Being Independent of the Good Opinion of others

Being Independent of the Good Opinion of others

“Be independent of the good opinion of other people.”― Abraham Maslow

I initially heard this quote years back - leading me to rethink the way I interact with people; and how my mood can in fact depend on other people. I always wonder how some people look calm ever under the most severe scrutiny or vitriol. The reality is - they are independent of the good opinion of others, particularly from these types of people.

Being part of social circles and as a human, you automatically want to be part of the group - you have a craving to belong - which is normal. Being too attached, is however, not in your best interest. You can try a better approach - seeking to be independent of the good opinion of others. That is, you don't get attached to people treating you well. You don't attach yourself to the positive feelings when people has a good opinion of you. Because as you do so, you become a puppet in their hands or in life - shifting from feeling good if they treat you well and bad if they don't. The reality is most people don't care.

assorted cars on asphalt road beside buildings
Photo by RayBay / Unsplash

Imagine you are feeling good, driving and suddenly for no reason you can think of, a stranger swears at you. If you want people to have a good opinion of you or you are entitled - thinking that people must have a good opinion of you, you are going to react to this situation, making it personal and possibly get hurt. You believe this person HAS to treat you well. If not, you lose your cool, your feel good factor and unleash on this person. After all - even if you are at fault, neither is the road hers nor her father's. You want to share your mind with this idiot.

Between stimulus and response, there is a space to choose or a space to think before actually doing anything. Before you say something aloud, you realise that this incident does not matter. The way this person treats you does not have any effect on you. You are independent of her good opinion on you. You don't give a damn. If she is patient and wait for her turn, good for her. Otherwise, if she is impatient and swears at you, her problem. This does not concern you because you don't care about her opinion, either good or bad. You just share your good feelings with her, either through a smile or a thumbs up - and watch her react even more negative.