All right. Which friend, relative, neighbor, or even business colleague have you tried to impress lately? Checking your “friends” WhatsApp status today? Did you try to flaunt your career standing, fashion sense, parenting skills, or level of education perhaps? Speaking of which, as a parent of a five-year-old, you know all the names of all of the dinosaurs but none of your co-workers? Lol. What’s that? You say you are impervious and immune to trying to dazzle, charm, or captivate others? Hmmmm. So you never once presented a slightly false impression or created an image you wanted someone to believe about you?

Yes, it is perfectly normal to want a good life, to try to look good, to compare yourself to your peers, to want to be accepted by others, and certainly to feel a sense of belonging. Did you ever spend days trying to figure out why someone who barely knows you does not seem to like you? I had to learn the very hard way, sweet friends, that there are some situations in life wherein people are simply not going to like you. No matter how kind, courteous, or cordial you are trying to be. And, yes, we humans have a desire to be liked, admired, or even adored by others. So, it does sting or even ache when we are not, or perceive that we are not. You are not quite as independent of the opinions of others as you may think.

Did you know that there are some out there who don’t dress to impress; they dress to depress. They want to look so good, that others hate themselves. Others view people as bank accounts. Without a lot of money, they don’t generate a lot of interest. Judging yourself through the eyes of others is fraught with danger, my friends.

If you realize how quickly people forget the dead, you may stop living in order to be a hit with others. Want to truly be touched and inspired? Start by noticing the way someone treats other human beings. Now that can have a strong, even lasting impression.

Trying to get or hold the attention of others your entire life is nothing but mental and emotional imprisonment. Not to mention that getting them all to approve of you is an unachievable goal. Your life is yours to live. Don’t let other people live it for you. And if you’re doing something worth bragging about, let others brag for you.

What would you like others to believe about you? Does it have anything to do with your inner being or life purpose? Do you behave the same even when no one is looking at you?

Perhaps it’s time to ask yourself: Why did I choose this college? Why am I buying this flashy car? Why am I wearing this outfit or designer shoes? Did you consider how you might appear in the eyes of others going to an Ivy League school or wearing those five-inch heels? Let’s be real, sweet friends. Who wouldn’t want to be seen with the latest gadget or phone? Still using a rotary? I didn’t think so. Then again, my landline is affectionately known as my “cell-phone finder.” Come to think of it, did you ever feel like an iPhone? You keep losing energy without doing anything? And I know you’ve had that mini-heart attack when you can’t feel your phone in your pocket.

Wanting to fit in is perfectly natural. But if you care way too much what people think of you, they truly own you. Why give them power to decide who you are.

If we’re being honest, we would admit that much or at least some of what we do is heavily influenced by what others will think of us. No need to always be quick-witted and entertaining at those social events. Next time, try to focus on your own thoughts and deeds, without sizing up everyone in the room. The fact is that people who matter in this life will be impressed by what is good and true about you: your worthy actions and efforts. Try living a day that you can truly be proud of, just for yourself.

And don’t you worry about making mistakes. The greatest mistake you can ever make is to be afraid of making one.

Caroline is a licensed psychotherapist, crisis counselor, and writer with an office in Queens.  She works with individuals, couples, and families.  Appointments are available throughout the week and weekends.  She can be reached at 917-717-1775 or at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or at