I hate to be the one to tell you this, but nobody cares.
Nobody cares if you tripped and scuffed your new shoes. Nobody cares if you spilled coffee on your clean shirt. Nobody cares if you completely embarrassed yourself in some totally innocuous way that you may have found mortifying in the moment but, in retrospect, really wasn’t as big of a deal as it may have seemed at the time.
It’s important to note the underlying benefits of having nobody care as much as you may think they do. Take, for instance, one of the most well-known fears, public speaking. If you’re like me and tend to clam up when all eyes are on you, or you simply dread presenting in front of people, whether it’s your classmates or co-workers or peers, the fact of the matter is, people more than likely aren’t even paying that much attention, and even if they are, they’ll forget about it shortly afterward.
Likewise, nobody cares how you’re feeling. That may sound harsh, but it’s true. They only care about how you make them feel. For example, if you’re on a job interview, the interviewer doesn’t care if you’re nervous. The important thing to remember is that if you’re on the interview, that means at the very least they saw something on your resume they liked, and they want to hear more about your qualifications and experience to see if you’re a right for for the role. It’s as much for them to assess you as it is for you assess them and see if you can see yourself working and succeeding there.
Similarly, if you’re nervous on a first date, it helps if you keep in mind that your date is likely as nervous as you are, or maybe even more nervous than you are. At least on a date you can ease those nerves by admitting you’re nervous to the person to help break the tension. By drawing attention to something that feels awkward, it can help make the situation feel more relaxed.
The other thing to keep in mind about nobody caring is that nobody will care as much about you as you do about yourself. You have to work for yourself and put yourself out there to get what you want, whether it’s a new job or a new relationship or a new project. Nobody cares how much time and effort you’ve put in already, if you’re hurting or struggling or feeling discouraged. Nobody cares if you’re stressed. Nobody cares if you’re anxious. Nobody cares! All that matters is that you care about yourself and how you feel and that you know you have what it takes.
I have to point out this pertinent exchange from the wonderful show, Schitt’s Creek, between the Rose siblings, David and Alexis, from a season 3 episode titled “Driving Test:”
David: Okay, I’m gonna need you to step out of the car for 20 minutes, so that I can do my transcendental meditation before I fail this test.
Alexis: Okay, you are acting all sorts of crazy right now. This honestly does not matter. Nobody cares.
David: Uh, people care. I care, the driving examiner person cares.
Alexis: No, he doesn’t. Trust me, people aren’t thinking about you the way that you’re thinking about you.
David: What does that mean?
Alexis: You always overthink everything, and that’s why you fail all the time.
David: Thank you, Alexis.
Alexis: Well, it’s true!
If you’re stressing about how you came off in a meeting, or wishing you would’ve answered a question differently during an interview, or worrying you looked stupid in front of your date or a new friend or anyone at all, stop. Even if there was some sort of faux pas, it’s not the end of the world. Because chances are, the other person is just as likely harping on something they did that may have come across as embarrassing, or they’ve already moved on to the next thing.
Remember that everyone’s generally more focused on themselves than they are on you or anyone else, so don’t put pressure on yourself. Get out of your head. Don’t stress out. And since nobody cares anyway, what’ve you got to lose? Take that class. Go on that date. Write that novel. Go after what you want, and don’t stop even when it seems like nobody cares. As long as you care about what you’re doing, that’s all that matters. So don’t feel bad about yourself or let yourself get worked up, because remember, nobody cares! So why be so hard on yourself? Stop caring and worrying about things going wrong, and you’ll realize you can accomplish anything.