The 4 People In Your Life Whose Criticism You Should Take To Heart — Even When It Hurts

And the people whose opinions you can immediately disregard.

When To Let Other People's Opinions Impact Your Self-Esteem Steve Rizzo | Canva

It seems to be a popular attitude to have these days to "not care what people think" about you. Sure, it's freeing, but I've seen people go about this the wrong way countless times. 

Four times it matters what other people think of you 

Does it matter what people think? Of course, it does.

1. Your true friends

It matters what your friends think of you. They're your friends because they like you (hopefully). If they thought negatively of you, you'd lose them.


2. Your partner

It matters what your significant other thinks of you. How they see you is the whole reason they're with you.

Woman looks in mirror to reflect on other people's judgements Ilona Kozhevnikova via Shutterstock

3. Your colleagues 

It matters what your co-workers think of you. Do you hold a position that requires teamwork? A position where someone has the authority to replace you if they wish? A position that requires you to obtain, or keep, clients?


4. The people who sign your paycheck 

It matters what your boss or clients think of you. If you're employed and your boss doesn't trust you or think you're cut from a good moral cloth, your employment will be short-lived. If you're self-employed and your business requires others to patronize it (what business doesn't?), and you don't have a good reputation, you cannot expect it to last very long.

RELATED: The 90-Second Test That Reveals What You Subconsciously Think Of Yourself

If you injected an "I don't care what you think" attitude into any of the above situations, my guess is your thoughts would change very quickly. On the other hand, it doesn't matter what people think, either.

  • It doesn't matter if someone thinks you can't accomplish something.
  • It doesn't matter if someone thinks you shouldn't pursue your dreams.
  • It doesn't matter if someone thinks your rights should be oppressed because of what they believe.
  • It doesn't matter if someone thinks you're not good enough.
  • It doesn't matter if someone thinks that girl or guy is out of your league.

And it doesn't matter if some random stranger on the internet makes you feel bad about yourself (I'm looking at you, trolls who comment on my articles).

RELATED: How To Stop Being Controlled By Your Emotions, Once And For All

Holding a generally apathetic attitude needs to be focused in the right direction. First, it can drive people away from you more than bring them closer. Secondly, it makes people around you feel unwanted and unimportant.


You're just focusing on yourself and don't care what anyone thinks or how they feel.

Pledge to keep it real in 2024 YourTango

When it comes to those important in your life, if you don't care what they think of your personality and act accordingly, you could lose a friend, a loved one, or an income.

However, when it comes to your abilities, your goals, your dreams, or your passions, never let anyone tell you what you can or cannot do. If you have anyone around you that makes you feel like you can't have anything you want, you need to cut them out of your life.


Ultimately, we must care for others. But in the end, we must also live for ourselves.

RELATED: 2 Helpful Ways To Care For Others (WITHOUT Losing Yourself)

James Michael Sama is an internationally recognized speaker, author, and personal development coach. He is a go-to expert on CNN, Bravo, The New York Post, The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, CNBC, The Boston Globe, CBS, and more.