My whole life growing up I was very different to people around me (one of the few visible minorities in London) and then quite different to the people I met at university. I did not spend a lot time thinking about what people thought of me but I was still young and not yet confident in who I was.
It was only in my mid twenties after graduation did I really come into my own. I was comfortable and confident in who I was and the type of person I had become. It was with that realization that I decided that I would no longer care what people thought of me. I felt a huge sense of freedom after that!
I was a good guy, always (well mostly) did the right thing, treated people with respect etc. If people had any issues with me, I would not care, it was their problem not mine.
This philosophy served me well for years to come, especially at work where you can’t expect everybody to like you. In fact I found if you spent too much time worrying what people thought then you could drive yourself crazy and would not be able to do your job as well.
This even spilled over to my personal life. If a girlfriend broke up with me or a girl I liked did not feel the same way, then that was ok. Of course I would be disappointed but I knew there was nothing wrong with me, or even them. We just did not work out, it was nobody’s fault. Some people were just not a good fit. In fact, it did annoy my wife (while we were dating) that I never got jealous. It was just that I was confident in myself, who I was, and what I had to offer (not in a conceited way, but more in philosophical way). If she were to leave me for somebody else, it was not because they were better than me, but just a better fit for her etc.
For those who are always concerned about what people think, I hope this gives you another perspective and something to thing about.
A quote that I took from my daughter:
“It does not matter if people do not like you, it only matters that you like yourself”
It’s not just us, Coco Chanel said it as well …