Actually, nobody cares

And if they do care enough to condemn you for X, Y, and Z… not only are they not very good friends, or nice people, but they seriously need lives!  And who cares what not nice people who need lives think?

It is a fundamental truth that most people are too busy with their own lives to notice or pass judgment on yours.  Unless you take great effort to point it out.

That is all.

Comments?  Examples?

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30 Responses to “Actually, nobody cares”

  1. First Gen American Says:

    The first thing this comment made me think about is a particularly narcissistic person in my life who thinks that everything I say somehow relates back to them. Even if I’m not talking about them at all, they still think I’m talking about them specifically.

    One time another friend of mine nonchalantly said that “cats were therapeutic.” She had a cat and narcissist person does too and was present. She interpreted this statement from friend one as “she thinks I’m crazy because I have cats and you must have told her about my therapy sessions?”

    Um no. The statement really doesn’t have anything to do with you, really and truly. No one really cares about your life as much as you think they do.

  2. kh Says:

    I wish that were true. I really do. Unfortunately the internet has made it easy for people with too much time on their hands and too high an opinion of themselves to do and say things that have real life consequences. Not nice people who need lives can and have done damage that cannot be repaired. It sucks. It shouldn’t be that way. But it is.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      I suggest sending them directly to the spam filter!

      How can people on the internet do damage that cannot be repaired? (Aside from say, illegal activities, and even those have legal consequences for the perpetrators). We’re not teenage girls being preyed upon on facebook. And if adults took care of bullying situations like they ought to, teenagers would be better able to ignore things.

      I suppose there’s infidelity problems too, but that seems to be a much bigger issue than thinking people are noticing your life who aren’t.

      • kh Says:

        When those people begin spreading rumors on the internet that affect your business and your personal life, that cause you to lose clients, that cause you to have to hire lawyers to defend yourself from slander and libel … they’ve done damage that cannot be repaired. All because they have taken a dislike to you on the internet (never met you in person) and feel like it’s their “responsibility” to “take you down a notch”. (Yes, both things I was told in person and online.)

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Ah, I see. That’s pretty bad and sounds pretty illegal to me. That sucks.

  3. Cloud Says:

    For the most part, I agree…

    But a question from scantee on my blog got me thinking about the judgmental culture we have right now- particularly around motherhood, and why I think that is bad. I think that society uses judgment to try to control people and keep us in line with expected norms. Sure, we can ignore the judgment, but we’re social creatures, and feeling like we’re being expelled from the group is disturbing to us. So judgment actually works pretty well to keep people in line. As you said in your comments on attachment parenting- it can be pretty lonely when everyone around you thinks that you’re doing it all wrong.

    However, I also think that we do indeed have part of the solution to that problem in our own hands- i.e., stop caring what other people think. That gets easier when you find a new group to belong to, whose members are more accepting of your choices.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Historiann’s got a post up right now on that… Though don’t tell her I said so, but I think some of the comments are a bit ironic

      I didn’t have a new group to belong to with many of the parenting-related things I’ve encountered, but it’s nice reading books and research. Just knowing that there are multiple viewpoints can help people trying to find their own way, even if there isn’t a group to belong to or a culture of other people doing the same things. My hobbies are solitaire, but my partner has encountered the some of those kinds of things with his hobbies in the past, but one finds different groups or starts one’s own. Because honest-to-God, who cares what a loser nerd thinks? Poor loser nerds, if only they weren’t jerks, they’d be awesome nerds like my partner instead.

      That said, to use the overstereotyped internet example of moms and baked goods, other moms probably don’t care if you bring in homemade cupcakes to preschool, and if they do… well, it’s a good thing you don’t have to socialize with them. A lot of the judging people complain about, I kind of wonder if it’s just in their own heads. Someone bringing in cupcakes does not mean they’re judging you for not doing the same. And if they are, well, maybe they should get a real hobby or a job. Because caring about whether or not someone else brings in homemade cupcakes… that’s kind of an indication that a person has way too much free time. Pity them.

      • Cloud Says:

        Of course I had to go read the comments thread. I think I like Historiann far better than I like most of her commenters.

        And I think I need to work on not being annoyed when someone calls all mothers “mommies” in a derogatory tone. Until I can do that, her comment section isn’t good for my blood pressure. (But why DOES that bother me? I’ve totally gotten over people who say snotty things about blondes and Southern Californians. Maybe some day I’ll get over people saying snotty things about mothers, too.)

        I totally agree with you re: baked goods. My basic stance on baked goods is that if someone else wants to bake some for me to eat, that is generally a good thing. I was thinking more about the people who tell me that using a housecleaner means that (1) my house is too big, and/or (2) my housecleaning standards are too high, and plus, I’m exploiting the people who work for my cleaning service. For instance. I guess the baked goods equivalent would be someone actually saying to me that buying store bought cookies means that I don’t love my kid, or some such nonsense.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Yeah, who cares what they think?

        I also don’t care that apparently I’m failing the feministhood for not killing myself working. Whatevs. I’m going to read a novel if I want to. In that respect, I’m happy that I hang out virtually with super awesome personal finance bloggers. Singlemom Rich Mom, for example, has a work-life balance that I aspire to. She’s totally a feminist role-model.

        Though I think if folks actually examined my life they wouldn’t be making blanket statements about how much women have to work to not be an affront to feminism. But nobody is going to bother doing that unless I bring it up myself.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        (re: snotty things about blondes and Southern Californians)… maybe it’s best you don’t visit this blog on Sunday… *cough* but we did promise CPP it would post… It’s all meant lovingly, I assure you. (And, as my friend from Boston told me as we were observing some teenagers who had no idea they were waiting for the bus for the Hollywood bowl and not in a subway… some of the stereotypes are true, she didn’t believe it, because our friend is nothing like that, but …)

        I bet you that most people IRL have no idea that you have a house cleaner, and if your neighbors see one going into your house they probably don’t think, “Oh that Cloud, how dare she have a house cleaner” but if they do, then man, they really ought to get jobs.

      • Cloud Says:

        No worries. Like I said, cracks about blondes and Southern Californians don’t bother me.

        I’m really wondering why the snide mommy comments do. Must think on that.

  4. Foscavista Says:

    One of my pet peeves is when I see someone (like a colleague), ask how that person is doing, and that person does not ask me the same question.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Why?

      I think Miss Manners is pretty clear on the idea that doing something unasked does not obligate another person to do the same thing in return. And in some parts of the country, such a question could be considered intrusive. Midwesterners, Southern Californians, and East Coasters all approach these social interactions differently. Maybe if you just stick to the weather, you won’t have that problem.

      • GMP Says:

        I always thought that asking someone about how they’re doing is a courtesy, usually met with “Great, how about you?” and moving on. I don’t consider it more than an extended “Hi!” So I too am peeved when I ask how someone is, they give me way more detail than I would ever care about hearing, and then don’t reciprocate with asking how I’m doing. It shows a lot of self-involvement on the other person’s part: not only do they think I care more about them than I really do, but they also demonstrate they care so little about me that they wouldn’t bother to extend even the same basic courtesy after talking my ear off.

        But I guess this goes along the lines of the main post — most people are simply too involved with their own problems to give a damn about anybody else’s life.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Depends on where in the country you are. This is definitely something that causes cultural conflicts as people move across the country.

      • Foscavista Says:

        Mental Note: Don’t ask Miss Manners how she is doing.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Also don’t give her a gift if you expect one back.

      • Foscavista Says:

        I’ll sick George Bataille and Marcel Mauss are her!

      • Foscavista Says:

        ^”on her”

      • Foscavista Says:

        ^”sic” (I am done commenting due to too many mistakes.)

  5. scantee Says:

    I don’t know whether to attribute it personality or a learned response from past events or something else but I seem immune to other people’s judgments of me, and I feel lucky for that. If someone I cared about said something hurtful to me I would hope that I would be upfront about that hurt and we could make amends. If it happened repeatedly I’d have to look really closely at whether or not I would want to continue having that person in my life. For people I don’t know, well, I could care less.

    In the mom blog world I see a lot of talk about judgment, how we shouldn’t do it and cries of how we should just support each other choices, in response to everything from actual judgment to someone just stating a contrary opinion. No, I don’t think it’s ok for people to be mean to someone simply because of her different life choices but I also think we should be adult enough to have conversations with differing opinions without it devolving into cries of judgment as a way to shut down the discussion.

  6. Trish Says:

    This is an example of a situation where I let my values slide to avoid being judged. Our teeny town was having a fundraising breakfast, which we attended. I knew the plates would be styrofoam, and wanted to bring my own to avoid this (i am a rabid environmentalist), but I knew that some of the people would talk about it, and view it as me being pretentious (which I already am viewed as for my tendency to use complete sentences and visit the dentist). I can’t stand pretentious people myself, and found my need to not be viewed as such by others overrode my desire to not contribute to the piles of undecomposable substances on our planet. I could see myself facing the incredulous laughter of a few neighbors (it’s only one plate!), and knew that as per usual, this semiconvrontational stance they would take, would make me babble like a fool and and probably pee my pants.

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Oh dear. One shouldn’t pee in one’s pants in public. Small towns are interesting, but I think folks who would notice are just bored and need more things to occupy themselves with. Though perhaps they’d be worrying that you were judging them for using Styrofoam instead of bringing their own plates. In which case they’d be better off realizing you didn’t actually care, or rather, you care from an environmental standpoint, but not on an individual level.

  7. Molly On Money Says:

    I wish I didn’t care but I do….I’m the social partner, the connector. Saying that I do things all the time that put me directly in the line of fire of criticism. When my two yr old daughter was about to pee her brand new panties I let her stand over a patch of dirt on the parking lot island and let it out. A ‘mommy’ passed me with her young children with a look of disgust. I screamed out, ‘Just doing a little potty-training, you of all people should understand,,…Come on, I’m a single mom, cut me some slack!’…..I have no edit button when I talk.
    I gotta’ go check out Historiann’s comments now…..


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