In one way or another, we all care what others think. There’s a healthy way to care what others think and an unhealthy way.
If we get into the people-pleasing mode, we go down some paths we’re never intended to take. Or at least we go down the paths for the wrong reasons. But considering others and having compassion and respect for them is important.
We are also unhealthy when we won’t consider others’ perspectives.
Both involve pride. One says we don’t need others, that we’re the most important person, and if we’re happy, then who cares what others think. The other says we’re not enough to determine what’s best; it might look like humility or sensitivity but it’s actually insecurity. Pride can be thinking of ourselves as too high or too low. Neither reflects reality.
We need others’ perspectives, input, encouragement, accountability. We might not agree with everything someone shares, but we can always learn something from everyone. We might not absorb everything someone shares, but we should use our filters instead of deflecting it all. We might not let others control us, but we have enough self-control to engage and consider with wisdom and maturity.
You can care what others think not to please everyone but to simply care – to care for others, to show them respect, to be willing to learn and grow and change.