Why you SHOULD Care What Other People Think

why you should care what other people think

In The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene, law 5 reads “so much depends on your reputation– guard it with your life.” While we aren’t all looking for power, everyone can benefit from the effects of a great reputation. 

Caring about what others think can feel negative, but some of your best decisions can come from it. It is generally accepted that when you leave a job, you give proper notice and take care not to burn any bridges. This is an act that actively protects your reputation, and guarantees you will have a place to bounce back to and a good reference for years to come.

Bridge over water
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

Your reputation can land you places in life you couldn’t get to without it. For example, an old classmate of mine established himself as a good speaker in elementary school. From that time on, any time the school system needed a student to give a speech, he was the one to go to. He went on to be part of big speaking competitions, getting in front of huge crowds and making his name known across the states. By the time our 11th year came around, he had a handsome list of accomplishments.

His great reputation is what landed a Kentucky public school kid in Harvard University.

Now, most people won’t be going to Harvard, but this holds true in many desired roles. A good reputation can get you a place in a huge company, or make you the chosen party in a competitive sale. When people already view you as a respectable person, it doesn’t take much convincing to get what you desire.

As Greene put it, “your reputation inevitably precedes you, and if it inspires respect, a lot of your work is done before you arrive on the scene, or utter a single word.”


A good reputation also just makes your life generally easier. If you are known to be a highly respectable person, your boss may not be peering over your shoulder as much as others. You may be able to relax a little, while someone who didn’t prioritize their reputation works twice as hard to prove themselves. It seems unfair, but in truth we all want it a little easier.

A bad reputation, on the other hand, can stop you from the life you dream of. A person known as a cheater might never have the family of their dreams. A person known as selfish might not have a circle of friends to spend their days with. A bad reputation can be a lonely fate.

lonely man

It’s sometimes unfortunate, but others opinions do matter. If humans weren’t social creatures, this wouldn’t be the case, but we are. If we wish to make a good life in our society, we must present ourselves as best as we can.

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