What People Think About You | INTJ Perspective
Recently I was asked by a subscriber tips on how to “not care what other people think about you”. I had more than a few thoughts to say on the subject, so I figured it was worthy of a legitimate post.
So initially I genuinely thought that I’ve never really cared about what people have thought about me, but after processing this concept further I realized that was not the complete truth. We are going to break down this concept in two ways.
But first, let’s start here….
My Perception of My Own Identity
Ever since I can remember, I have a very poor view and understanding of how other people view me. Do they think I’m nice? Mean? Funny? I have no idea, and quite honestly because I didn’t know and validating those understandings wouldn’t really provide me with a valuable asset, I just didn’t care or think about it further. What if someone thought I was mean? Well… that's just not true and they would be wrong. But them thinking that doesn’t really affect me all that much.
I remember several times throughout my life people who I knew peripherally and then eventually got to know on more personally, expressing to me how at first they thought I was unapproachable and/or intimidating. They later realized below the surface I’m a sweet unicorn, though on the outside I’m a dark, unwavering, non socializing unicorn.
The first time I heard this from someone, I was genuinely shocked. Is this how people perceive me? Did everyone perceive me this way? Maybe, but once again it was a line of questioning that didn’t really produce anything for me so I acknowledged it and moved on.
What do people think about you vs What do people think about what you produce
So while I didn’t care what people thought about me in terms of my identity, I did realize I cared about what people thought about the work I produced.
Now I’m primarily looking at this through the scope of the jobs that I’ve had, or really any interaction where someone was counting on me to produce something of value.
I take immense pride in my work. I want to make sure that whatever has my name on it is innovative, brilliant, and exceeds all expectations within reason. I know professional relationships of any sort are a point of leverage for future endeavors and success. In a lot of ways, my identity is tied to what I produce - not who I am. This is why in the INTJ function stack Te holds rank over Fi.
So, what do you do?
If you care about what people think about what you produce.
Well. If you’re someone like me with an extroverted thinking over introverted feeling, chances are you’re probably just fine with “not caring” … well that is until someone calls out your identity directly in a negative way. I will certainly “care” if someone says something like “I’m so mad at you because you ruined my life with bad advice”. The spectrum of feeling has been turned inward, and be directly aimed at my Fi. I can’t say this happens often, but when it does I call on my Te to quickly find a resolution to solve the issue the best way possible.
If you care about what people think about what you produce, simply produce good work. It’s that simple.
Side note, you should also realize that your self worth isn’t dependent on what you do, but who you are. Marinate on that, I had to.
You care about what people think about you personally.
Here are a few principles I recommend brainwashing into your psyche.
Don’t trust your inner dialogue. Hey you… I know what you’re doing. You’re reworking that situation in your head, and conjuring up possible meanings as to what that other person's reaction truly said or meant. You are creating a world that IS NOT real. Hello up there! Come back down to earth and accept the fact that you HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THEY ARE THINKING. Do you know how many times I’ve been sitting there with RBF and someone has asked “Are you mad?” and I’m like “No but I’m hungry and totally fantasizing about Chipotle right now.”.
Deflate your Ego. Wow you must be kind of a big deal for people to spend that much time and effort thinking about you huh? I’m sorry to be the one to say this, but you’re not that special. You’re one in a billion of human slugs toiling the earth, and each one of us is primarily concerned with our own success and survival. If you are looking to get validation of your self worth, you’ll never be truly satisfied getting it from other humans.
Remember People are Goldfish. Oh man remember that one time you did that really dumb thing in front of that person and now it’s just eating away at you? Well while you are sweating over that tragic memory they are busy not remembering it at all. Have you heard that goldfish have an attention span of 3 seconds? I swear… people are sometimes worse. Your perception of your personal human fails will always feel amplified and in general your audience won’t even remember it. People have an attention span, extremely selective memory, and whatever happened to you has probably happened to them before. Also... they’re probably hungry and want Chipotle.
Value your own time MORE. Do you know how much time is wasted with negative thought cycling. A truly incredible amount. You are doing a disservice to yourself by not valuing that time and the actual
Consider the big picture. At the end of the day, i’s not a big deal. Whenever you are feeling embarrassed by something or insecure in some way, really take into account what you’re actually talking about. In the grand scheme of things, is this ACTUALLY a big deal? Like seriously. I bet you can find something that's a bigger deal… go ahead. Please try.
An affirmation to tell yourself:
The right people for me will think good things about me.
Your tribe, the right people for you, they are already in love with you, even if you haven’t met them yet. You don’t have to do anything to win their loyalty. They are believers and encouragers of you in your worst times and your best.