Nobody Cares. This is Good.

We worry far too much about what others think.

Have you ever had this experience:  you have decided to commit yourself to a creative project, say a novel.  And then you have to tell people about it.  You worry about this.  Because, what if they think its dumb that you want to do this?  What if they don't think you have the talent?  What if they don't want you to take attention away from them?  And so on and so forth.

Finally, you get the nerve to tell them. 

And they shrug.

Perhaps they are interested for a moment.  Perhaps they ask you, politely, what it is about.  But after that they go back to their own concerns.  (Because, now, they have another one–someone they know is making good use of their time and being creative instead of watching TV every night.  Dammit!)

Nobody cares.  Honest.

We worry so much about what other people think.  How will they react to my toothpick and glue gun creation?  Will they laugh at me for my passion for Ricolas (this is, alas, in my case, true.  I buy them by the bushel and eat one before I go to bed every night and I know this is really, really weird)?  Will they mock me or scorn me when I express my most deepest desire to go to Fargo on vacation?

No, they won't.  They'll smile and nod and go back to whatever it was they were obsessing about.

And this is good news for us creative types, people.  Because it allows us to smile and nod and slink away to work on our writing.

So no more worrying about what others think, okay?

Have you ever had experience worrying about what others would think?  What happened?  What was the reaction when you told them?

Cool photo by anitapatterson.

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Charlotte DixonDerekPatty - Why Not Start Now?Jessica Recent comment authors
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I’m worrying about what my grandmother will think of my new apartment (yes, it looks like I finally have one). We have yet to see what the reaction will be. This, unfortunately, is not one of those occasions when nobody cares.

I’ll have to give this concept some thought.

Patty - Why Not Start Now?

OK, Charlotte, this is weird. I have the very same Ricola ritual at bedtime. Do you also buy the sugar free kind?


This post reminds me of a workshop I once attended where the theme was “why we seek approval” and the outcome was that nobody really cares because they are too worried about getting approval for their own actions. But then…. some do show interest, but how can they really care? So… Are we really all in this life for ourselves? What if we were to have a sharp stabbing pain every time we showed somebody how much we cared about them? Usually when we show caring in this way we get a warm feeling that we have made somebody’s day… Read more »

Charlotte Dixon

Oh Patty, I can’t tell you what a relief it is that I’m not the only one with this ritual! I thought I was truly weird to have an addiction to Ricola. And yes, I buy the sugar-free kind.

Derek, I think you are correct–most of the time we are all so worried about what others are thinking of us that we are not truly listening.

Charlotte Dixon

Oops, sorry, Jessica, I missed your comment when I replied to the others. Still, even if your grandmother disapproves of your apartment, it is your reaction to her disapproval that matters, if you see what I mean. And by the way, congrats on finding one.