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How to Stop Giving a Fuck What People Think (medium.com)
24 points by sarreph on Mar 1, 2014 | hide | past | web | favorite | 19 comments

When you are someone who lacks self-confidence or whose actions are determined by how others will think of you (taken to the extreme), this may very well be good advice. This is the type of advice that helps me personally, since I have struggled with the anxiety caused by worrying too much about other people's opinion of me.

However, while this may be a good quick-fix solution to self-confidence issues, I wouldn't say it's a very good way to live life in general. We're not isolated in this world, and other people's thoughts and opinions do matter. But if someone worries _too_ much about what other people think, this may be the type of article that helps shock them out of their current state.

This is a pretty good way to limit your friends network, though. For example, feminists and other sjws often will delete you from everything and start a witch hunt trying to fire you, get all your friends to hate you, and so on if you "confess" to being an egalitarian and/or say anything that indicates rival theories for things outside of their ideology, like the scientific method, might have some validity.

Religion used to be like this (and still is in many developing countries, along with an uncomfortably large segment of the US), but it has to some extent grown much more milder in portions of the community. However, cult like thinking takes many forms, and inadvertently contradicting a cultist may very well become an aspiration crushing torment to the novice idgaf-er.

I guess it's all about taking baby steps at first. And sometimes antidepressants.

The rest of the article aside, I really like the notion of travelling alone, at least once. It reminds me of a quote from one of my favourite movies, Into the Wild.

”The sea's only gifts are harsh blows, and occasionally the chance to feel strong. Now, I don't know much about the sea, but I do know that that's the way it is here. And I also know how important it is in life not necessarily to be strong, but to feel strong, to measure yourself at least once, to find yourself at least once in the most ancient of human conditions, facing the blind, deaf stone alone with nothing to help you but your hands and your own head. “

Not that you have to hitchhike alone to the Alaskan wilderness! Thats extreme of course.

This is bad. The advice given perpetuates the myth you are an individual completely separate from the world outside of it, the very feeling that alienates you from other people and the feeling behind the animosity that we feel towards others. The only way to be at peace with world( and people who live in it) is to realize that you are the world not a part of it.

"The advice given perpetuates the myth you are an individual completely separate from the world outside of it" <--- where in the article does it say anything like that?

>> the myth you are an individual completely separate from the world outside

Aren't you?

You were born alone, you will die alone, nobody can live your life for you, nobody can share the responsibility for your decisions.

You are alone. Everyone else is a script. The only thing that matters is whether your actions make you happy without a hangover. Why would you worry about anyone else's judgments?

(Sick people, who are made happy by abusing neighbors, will always exist, but they are, luckily, not numerous.)

>> Aren't you?

Yes if you choose to identify yourself with small part of your being called the consciousness.

I don't find that view of self particularly appealing, I prefer to view my ego as part of me as my leg is a part me. You are not the image that you have constructed for yourself shaped by the society you live in. I don't want to identify myself with a tiny portion of thoughts that my mind has, I am not my ego.

Nobody is an island. Human existence is a collaboration, but people do need to do things for themselves. You just described narcissism.


It's not clear to me you read the article, because your comment doesn't refer to anything that was actually in it.

Which part(s) of it are the way arrogant, cruel jerks operate? Were you referring to this? "Start standing up for what you believe in—causes, opinions, anything." Probably not.

There was a lot of good advice in the article, I think its a big creative leap to say someone who travels, understands their needs, dresses how they're comforable, finds inspiring friends or has a strategy for personal growth is somehow a 'cruel jerk'. On the flipside I've met people who are insufferably subservient to the status quo and they are literally the most boring and uninspiring people on earth.

I don't think he is promoting being arrogant or cruel and find your comment rather obscure. He is saying things like "learn to say no when friends pressure you to go bar-hopping" and "it's better to be loved by a few people you care about, than to be liked by everyone". Really tame stuff dressed up in foul language. This all sounds like the basic philosophy of Feynman to me.

> This is exactly the way arrogant, cruel jerks operate.

But that doesn't mean all people who operate like this are arrogant, cruel jerks.

>You want to do as far opposite from this as reasonably possible.

And be crushed by the arrogant, cruel jerks.

(I realize becoming the enemy is in no way defeating the enemy, but using the enemy's tactics to advance better principles and achieve a just outcome is War 101 stuff.

"Not giving a fuck what other people think" does not imply being mean or rude to people. If anything, the people who need this advice the most are the people who already give too much importance to external signals and won't become arrogant just by becoming more confident.)

Reminds me of the title of a book by Richard Feynman -"What Do You Care What Other People Think?" http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/What_Do_You_Care_What_Other_P...

Exercise is also effective at reducing emotional reactions to painful stimuli


But what about downvotes and hellbans?

Also, it's hard to take this advice seriously, when the title of the article engages in polite self-censorship by partially masking foul language with asterisks.

I think there are two sides of this question.

The first is common decency: don't hurt others unnecessarily, don't be an ass, or you feel guilt.

The other is a matter of shame: worrying about the disapproval of others for something you did.

I want to be more proactive about being good to people around me in ways that matter to them.

I am also trying to do more things which create my "shame" feeling, because as this piece says the feeling is generally unnecessary and irrelevant to the feelings of the people around me. I try to do things I am uncomfortable with, or if the only thing holding me back is some vague sense others might disapprove. Really, most of the time they just don't care.

From that perspective, if you really think it will hurt some of your readers to spell out the words, and you don't have a significant reason to do so, censoring them is perfectly in line with his philosophy.

Clearly, the author doesn't care what you think of his polite self-censorship. :-)

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