Have you ever kept yourself from doing something because you worried what other people around would think about you?
Perhaps, that was something as innocent as blowing your nose loudly in a cafe. Or you wanted to start a conversation with a girl in a bus, but got scared that other passengers would not approve your initiative. What if someone would consider you too annoying or impudent, right?!
To some degree, everybody is afraid to “lose face”. Unfortunately, sometimes we let this fear go way too far.
Everything uncommon, one way or another, attracts people’s attention. It’s natural. So if you act in an unusual way in public, other people will notice it, no doubt. However, it is a mistake to conclude that unusual equals bad or wrong.
Lots of people think that if they attract other people’s attention they are somehow harassing or insulting those people with their uncustomary behavior.
Yes, sometimes this may be true. For instance, if somebody, sitting next to you, feels tired and sleepy, and you call a friend and begin a lively conversation.
The fact is that there’s always someone who is tired or sleepy. There’s always someone who won’t like you or won’t approve what you do. Is this a reason to stop doing what you want to do? (The right answer is No 😉 ).
We all know it – strangers actually don’t care that much about you, as you may think.
If you watch your own thoughts and judgments you have and do about other random people for a while, you’ll notice how tiny portion of your overall thought process a thought about other people occupies in your mind.
Yes, your attention may be attracted by some person who behaves in a strange way. You may even make a witty comment about him/her inside your head, but you usually forget about this person as soon as s/he is out of sight.
If you like playing computer games, I guess, you are familiar with the “NPC” term. This abbreviation stands for Non-Player Character and represents a game character who is controlled by an artificial intelligence (simply computer), and with whom a player character (controlled by you) can interact.
When you find yourself struggling to start a conversation in a bus, a bar, or some other public place, imagine that other people around you are NPCs. Moreover, they are not even those NPCs, who may give you some quest. No. They are just one of those dummy NPCs, who roam around the village and have one predefined lame phrase to say when you click on them, men in the street.
Would you care about an opinion of such a character, if you were playing the game? Would you seek an NPC’s approval on how you should walk through the game? I doubt it.