Honestly, there might be only five or six people about whose opinion I care. Other people — they are there as my coworkers, acquaintances, neighbors, and so on. They are just there — having a rather insignificant part in my life. Of course, for my part, I always try to be polite and helpful, and easygoing towards them. And I do expect the same in the return. That should be all, but I do catch myself from time to time (more often recently than before) thinking about what they might think about me. There is no reason for me to care about it, but I do. I catch myself and try not to think that way, but before that happens I see myself acting in a way as to receive positive feedback (verbal and non-verbal) from them. Sometimes before I do something, I stop to think about any potential reactions from those other people — it feels like I want to be liked and appreciated by them. Why? It shouldn’t really matter, we just go about our lives in society (at work and in public spaces) and then retire to our homes and families, and loved ones. And yet, there are those nagging thoughts in my head — “did I do this right?”, “did I say the right thing?”, “did they understand me the right way?”, “maybe I should explain myself”, “what do they think about me?”…
It bothers me because I should’ve known better. I learn that in therapy, and I did put a lot of work and effort into changing my thoughts and my needs from trying to please others into actually seeing my needs first. It doesn’t have a negative influence on my emotions (yet), but this is something to watch carefully and be more aware of those thoughts in my head.