Do You Care What People Think?
I’m not sure when it happened, but somewhere along the way, I stopped caring what people think of me. I don’t mean that I stopped caring what the people I love think of me – I care enormously about that – but I stopped caring about the big, wide swath of people who have opinions of me based on their own projections...
... Over the years I’ve been accused of many things: of being self-absorbed, narcissistic, spoiled, privileged, and so forth. I’ve been accused of these things by people who don’t know me, and who make certain assumptions when they read into my public persona. A newspaper comes and photographs my house – it looks larger than it is, neater, prettier, more nicely-furnished, because that’s what photographs do – and the next thing I know, I hear I live in a house straight out of a movie set. I post pictures on Facebook or Instagram of lovely moments: a favorite barn at dusk, my son playing tennis, a view from a writers’ conference. A schoolmate of my son’s who apparently follows me on Instagram recently said: “You seem to really enjoy your life.” It was such an interesting thing to hear, and it took me aback. I mean, I do enjoy my life – sometimes. And those are the times that end up on Instagram or Facebook. Right? We don’t pause partway through a marital squabble and take a selfie. We don’t snap a picture of the dog pee stain on the rug. We curate our lives, airbrush them. I’m on the cover of a magazine this month, and boy oh boy, I wish I looked like that all the time, or even some of the time. I had a team of the best hair, makeup and stylists in Los Angeles taking care of me that day.
Shapiro's words come at the exact right moment for me, and perhaps for you too. Tell me:
Do you care what people think?
Do you think it's truly possible to get to the point where we only care what people we love think of us?
Do you think it's possible to tell the truth of our lives while also curating it? (I certainly do.)