It matters what other people think about us. It matters what we think about ourselves. When people think well of us and treat us well, we can feel good about ourselves. When people think bad things about us or treat us badly, that also affects us. We are social beings. We need each other to survive. Our sense of who we are is largely based on what other people think about us. We need to be loved. We need regular evidence that we matter.
In order to feel good about ourselves, we need to know that we are good. One way to confirm that we are good is to see ourselves in a positive light from other people’s perspectives. Seeking that confirmation is second nature to us, but that basic goodness is our primary nature. If we are able to recognize our primary nature of worth and dignity, then we are better able to compare what others think with what we know.
If you are playing cards and holding an ace of hearts, you know what that card is and no matter what other people think your card is, you know exactly what you have. If they try to guess your card, you can confidently say right or wrong. It doesn’t affect you if their guesses are wrong. You can confidently put your card in your pocket and you don’t have to check it. It is what it is.
It is helpful and delightful for your sense of self to have others recognize goodness in you and treat you as you deserve, with kindness, respect, admiration and love. Who sees your goodness, and who appreciates it, matters and has real effects on your life, but understanding for yourself how you matter can give you what you need to work with all those other opinions out there. When you know what you have, you can stop checking.