Last week I was driving around and my current favorite song came on (House Party by Sam Hunt, if you’re wondering.)
I start dancing around and tapping my steering wheel, blaring the song and screaming every word. It was also perfect timing, too, because I was on this road that I usually hate driving on (because it’s curvy and you have to go 25 and it’s just not fun), and so the song made that road so much better.
So I’m curving down this road, having a wonderful time, and then I get to the stoplight. And the guy in the car to the right of me looks over and sees me having my own little jam session. And the guy looks away, all embarrassed. And then I get embarrassed.
When I got home, I couldn’t stop thinking about that interaction. Why did me enjoying my own little moment embarrass him? And why did I get embarrassed?
I’m jamming out in my car. Obviously I’m going to see people and I must not care or else I wouldn’t be doing it.
But then as soon as he got embarrassed, I started caring.
So here I go with taking a small story and making it philosophical.
This interaction serves as a classic example of saying that we don’t care what people think, and then when those people actually notice, we then care.
It’s hypocritical. It’s ridiculous. But I do it all the time.
I say all the time that I don’t care what people think.
But I totally do.
We all do.
And even though I convinced myself that I was fine with the possibility that people could see me jamming out in my car, when one person saw, I got completely embarrassed.
I can tell myself that I won’t care what people think, but saying that isn’t the same as doing it.
So how do I actually live not caring what people think?
This is a huge topic. I could create my own blog to try to tackle the topic every day and still barely scratch the surface, but here’s some beginning thoughts.
Not caring what people think begins with some rationality. Like, first, I will never see that guy again. Second, even if I did, he won’t remember who I am. And third, he totally understands the feeling of your favorite song coming on and just because he’s not jamming out now doesn’t mean he hasn’t in the past. And fourth, he understands how embarrassing this is for you so he’s going to pretend like he didn’t see, and you can pretend like he didn’t see, too.
In addition to rationality, add some perspective. This interaction was one moment in millions of moments of one day of one week of one month of one year of a lifetime…. It wasn’t my only moment and it’ll get lost in the shuffle of more embarrassing moments in the future. (Trust me, it already has…)
And lastly, throw in some confidence. You know what? I love Sam Hunt. His songs are stories and he’s hopelessly romantic like me and he has good biceps and a Southern accent. I like listening to his music. I like House Party, a song about not wanting to go out but still wanting to see people. Because that’s so me! And I like when the universe aligns and the song plays right when I’m on that annoyingly curvy road. And you know what? I sound good. (I don’t actually sound good, but that’s the point of confidence… You just fake it till you make it.) I’m having fun. Life is short. I’m cool (again, fake it till you make it). Everything is fine.
Rationality, perspective, and confidence: They go a long way. Remember them next time someone catches you waiting in your car in your driveway for the Hannah Montana song to end. Not that that’s ever happened to me.
PS: If I were to add a fourth “ingredient” to not caring what people think, I’d add my Faith. It has really helped me gain confidence and see the world in a new light. Ask me about it if you’re ever wondering!