Maybe you’re a people-pleaser, maybe you’re not. Maybe you couldn’t care less what people think, or maybe people’s opinions are your whole world. Regardless, here are eight reasons why people’s opinions shouldn’t define you no matter what.

1. People aren’t perfect.

They don’t know what perfection is any more than you can achieve it. Everyone has a vague idea running through their mind of the “ideal person,” but that vision changes from person to person and from week to week. Unless you want to get lost in the ever-changing waters of the human mind, I suggest you stick to being what comes naturally, which is you.

2. People misunderstand.

Oh my word, how people misunderstand. They’ll misinterpret, tell you that you are doing X action for Y reason and ignore any explanation or justification. They’ll tell you that you are this or that, but you can’t let that influence you. They don’t know your motives or mentality, and both of those are so essential in making you, you.

3. People conflict.

Go ahead and turn down their idea once, and you could very well see yourself becoming the bad guy. One disagreement, one wrong move, and they write you off as an antagonist. You are so much more than one argument.

4. People are shallow.

There’s a reason why our society has that wonderfully cliché statement: “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” It’s because everyone is always doing that exactly. They’ll take in your blonde hair and assume you lack intelligence. They’ll take in your glasses and assume you lack athleticism. Now, while these might be age-old stereotypes, there are plenty of other living and breathing boxes people like to place you in. Don’t let them. You are more than any piece of cardboard, figurative as it may be.

5. People are limited.

Although I can admit I’ve had my moments of delusion, no one individual can know everything. Everyone is subject to the unfortunate consequence of living their own life: We cannot experience everyone else’s. People will forever see you through the small sliver of a window into your life and as such, judge based on inadequate evidence. You are more than a sliver.

6. People are biased.

Just as you have your own experiences, they have theirs. Now, while their life lessons learned from said experiences are typically beneficial, they do also help to contribute to a skewed perspective. Something you might view as meaningless, they might view as crucial. Take a moment to understand their view and consider it, but don’t let it form the crux of who you are. You are not a product of their past.

7. People are fickle.

One second, they’re praising your boldness, the next, they’re shouting at your audacity. If you base your value and identity only in what they think, you will find the rug ripped out from you time and time again. You are not whatever they feel like calling you. You are not their moods.

8. People are selfish.

This isn’t an attack on anyone, it’s just a fact of human nature. At the end of the day, a majority of people will put themselves before others, their desires before others’ desires, their goals before others’ goals. However, it is because of this that you can be well assured that they do not always have your best interest at heart. And if they do not, how can you allow that prioritization to affect your identity? You are not an afterthought.

You are more. You are more than their perception of perfection or their misunderstanding or their conflict. You are more than their shallowness, limitations, bias and fickleness. You are even more than just you. You are something greater because you are a part of something greater.

Lead Image Credit: Madi Telschow