Growing up, I bet you were taught that it doesn’t matter what people think of you. What’s important is that you stay true to yourself and do whatever you think you should do. I’m sorry you were lied to. I’m sorry we were all brought up to ignore others’ opinions of us. It hasn’t made things better, it’s only set us up for failure.
Others’ opinions control our lives, whether or not you think that’s how it should be. You made or didn’t make a sports team based on what coaches and captains thought of you. You were accepted or rejected by colleges because of what the admissions team thought of you.
In every interview you’ve had, the goal has been to make the interviewers think highly of you. People decide whether to invest in you (in every meaning of the phrase) based on their opinions of you. Not only does what people think of you matter, how we view each other affects everything we do, achieve, or fail on a daily basis!
To an extent, we’ve all realized this, right? We’ve each felt a need to impress so-and-so to get ahead. Or at least we did until we were far enough ahead that it was now our opinions that mattered. But articulating this might be one of the most liberating things you can do for yourself. It might be just the motivational push you need on a rough day!
The fact that others’ thoughts of you matter doesn’t mean that they’re always right. Often, though, if someone thinks you’re doing well, it’s a good indicator to keep doing what you’re doing. If someone thinks you’re doing poorly, you can use that as a prompt to assess yourself.
It does matter what people think of you. Any contributing member of society’s life is enveloped and controlled by others’ opinions. And that’s okay! Rather than becoming defensive and resentful, each and everyone of us can use these opinions as benchmarks for where we’re doing well, and where we can improve.
It matters what others think. It matters how well you perform. Instead of telling yourself that person’s a bully, turn their opinions into constructive advice to help you grow, to reach your goals, to positively influence others, to achieve everything you want in life.