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Not giving a fuck
My social life transformed from an exhausting and anxiety-provoking people-pleasing chore into an effortless carefree experience when I discovered a huge paradigm shift. Essentially, I discovered what it truly means to “not give a fuck what other people think of you”.
When most people say “I don’t give a fuck what people think of me”, they actually mean the exact opposite. The fact that they’re saying it with a defensive tone and trying to convince people that it’s true (maybe even just trying to convince themselves) proves beyond a shadow of a doubt that they actually care very much what people think.
Why else would they bother saying it?
So when people advised to stop giving a fuck what people thought, it was – needless to say – unhelpful. Not only did it lead me to try to pretend that I didn’t care, which is about the most unsuccessful social approach one can take, there just really wasn’t any helpful practical guidance in that advice.
I couldn’t figure out how to apply it in a real life situation when I was feeling like I cared a LOT about what others thought of me and how things were going to work out between us.
Like most advice, the problem was that it was focused on what NOT to do. As my psychologist mother once said:
You should never set a goal that a corpse could do.
In other words, you can’t get anywhere helpful with “not” goals – goals that are focused on not doing something (i.e. a corpse can not do something easily).
Goals should always be focused on a new behaviour to do rather than an old behaviour to stop doing.
Replacement is better than abstinence
Instead of trying to quit smoking, you should try to fill your days with healthy actions. Instead of trying to not apologize all the time, you should focus on trying to speak boldly. Instead of trying to not blow your money on shoes, you should try to learn how to invest and budget wisely.
You can stop a bad behaviour by filling the space with a better one.
So instead of trying to NOT care what people think about you, you need to fill that space with something else that you can control and focus on; something that will by default remove your caring about what others think.
If, for example, you focused in on working as diligently possible, whenever you succeeded in this goal you would find that the focus on your work left no mental bandwidth available for worrying about how people perceive you. There simply isn’t room for both of these things to compete for your attention; one must win.
In essence, I discovered that not caring what other people think is really caused by caring about something else much more than that.
I’m sure there are all kinds of things you could focus on: your work, your health, your values, and so on. Today, I want to share one that worked really well for me. I call it:
“The Master of The House”
Imagine back a few hundred years ago in some English county, and picture one of those huge Victorian mansions owned by a Lord or something. It’s on a hundred acres of land, and doubles as both a living estate and a business. Maybe it’s got orange orchards, or salmon farming, or some shit like that.
In the house is a large extended family, alongside dozens of servants and serfs running around keeping everything functioning. At at the head of this bustling micro-community is the Lord; the Master of the house.
Everything in this house and estate runs according to his will and whims. The meals are served to his specifications at a time that best suits him. There is a horse and carriage waiting patiently outside at all hours should he ever need a ride somewhere. His manservant works 24/7 to manage all his minor affairs and his majordomo runs the household efficiently.
Imagine how confident this dude would be.
Not the kind of “I don’t give a fuck what people think” false confidence, but real confidence – the kind that comes from being the boss of everything and respected by everyone without having to exert any effort, whilst also being responsible to provide for and protect all these people. The confidence born of a lifetime of success and dominance and high self-worth.
Just stop a think for a minute how this man would behave while he was at home.
When he asked for something, would there be any doubt or apology in his tone?
When he needed to go somewhere, would he explain and justify it to anyone?
When he disliked someone’s presence, would he tolerate it and stay quiet to keep the peace?
When he wanted quiet time alone, would he make up excuses to avoid being judged?
When he felt like being goofy and silly, would he let disapproval from others in the house hold him back?
SEE WHERE I’M GOING WITH THIS???
The answer to each of those questions is a resounding Hell No! This is the Master of The House – he doesn’t move for anyone, they move for him. He doesn’t apologize, hide his preferences, shame himself, try to fit in, prove his worth, or basically exert any effort whatsoever to gain approval from others. They dance to his tune, or they don’t stay in the house. Period.
And this, ladies and gentleman, is the most effective attitude I’ve ever discovered for creating a peaceful, effortless, anxiety-free, don’t-give-a-fuck social experience.
Ironically, in order to enjoy good friendships, pleasurable dates, happy work environments, and loving marriages, you must first let go of trying to make these things happen. You must behave like you’re the Master of The House everywhere you go.
The paradigm shift comes in two parts
First, you must accept that people are already either a good fit or a bad fit for you. This is pre-determined, it’s not something you cause with efforts. So you’re never actually trying to make friends or seduce someone into being attracted to you. All you’re ever doing is discovering how they already feel about you.
Secondly, you must accept that exerting no effort beyond what spontaneously and naturally occurs to you is the only way to socialize. As soon as you try, you are being something that you’re not, which means you’re now invisible to good fits and attractive to people you shouldn’t be including in your life.
Be a potato
One way to think of it is a being a boiled potato. This is how most people-pleasers think of themselves: as a person who is dull and unlovable and unattractive on their own – a potato that needs spices and herbs and bacon bits and cream cheese added to it before someone likes the flavour.
A confident person is willing to just be a potato. They understand that somewhere out there are people who like nothing more than plain boiled potato, and the mission is to find those few people rather than pretending to be more than a potato just to attract people you don’t even really like or feel comfortable around.
The Master of The House says what he thinks, shows how he feels, and does what he wants. If he’s tired, he’ll say he’s tired, move slowly, and cut back on activities. If he’s hyper, he’ll introduce himself to new people, share ideas excitedly and bounce around different tasks. If he’s grumpy, he’ll tell people to back off and give him space.
How they react to these natural emotions is of little concern to him: these people either accept him and love him for who he is, or they do not belong in the house. He refuses to add any dressing to his potato just to attract more diners.
What this looks like in real life
The key to making this paradigm shift is that you must act according to these principles before you actually stop caring what others think. At first, you’ll feel quite uncomfortable doing this stuff because you’ll still have the conflicting goal of wanting to be liked and respected and popular.
After a while of behaving as if you’re confident and don’t care what others think, you’ll see that it is true. That in fact you never really cared about these things, rather you were just programmed and conditioned to think other people liking you is important.
The truth is that finding your tribe – the people who love the potato just as it is – is much more important, satisfying and effortless than trying to be liked by people you don’t like.
Here are some examples of the things I started doing to embody this new Master of The House mindset:
Wear what you feel is comfortable and you enjoy wearing, regardless of social context (possible exceptions for workplace contractual requirements).
Openly show whatever mood you’re in, as if you’re in a safe support group meeting.
Only do social things you feel genuinely keen on doing for healthy reasons (e.g. only talk to someone if you’re interested in them; only say Yes to an invite if the event is your kind of thing etc.)
Treat people like you’ve known them forever and no longer have anything to prove or anything to hide.
Only confront people who you wish to have an ongoing relationship with (to ensure healthy boundaries) or people who are harming you. If someone’s behaviour bothers you but you don’t want to be their friend and you don’t need to deal with the behaviour, just leave it alone and move on with your life.
Be completely honest about your preferences and opinions at all times, but without fighting to convince others that you’re right – if other people disagree, only argue if it amuses you, never argue to change their mind. If you’re done amusing yourself, just say, “Well I guess we don’t agree on this one” and carry on with your day. Let them think they one the fight: you weren’t even fighting anyway.
Remove all invisible obligations that come with labels, status and proximity, i.e. don’t treat people differently just because they’re “family”, or “celebrities”, or “workmates” – be the same person regardless of social context.
Rather than asking people out or trying in some way to bring people into your life, just tell them how you feel about them and how you feel about spending more time with them. Let that discussion naturally lead to an invite or a rejection.
Don’t allow text-based communications to be used for anything other than the organization of real life meetings or phone/video calls. You either like the person enough to want to engage deeply with them, or you don’t. If you do, do it properly and meaningfully. If you don’t, then don’t have any form of communication with them.
Answer truthfully when someone says, “How’s your day going?” or similar.
Don’t ask questions you’re not genuinely curious about, just to fill the silence. Choose awkward silence over any inauthentic communication.
Let people dislike you. Let them misunderstand and misinterpret you. Let them spread their opinions about you onto to other people, without trying to manage it. Let your reputation grow organically rather than trying to create it. Make no effort to control how others see you and instead let them decide for themselves while you just focus on living with integrity.
Only put effort into reciprocal connections where you like the other person as much as they like you and you both initiate and arrange contact to a more or less equal degree. Anyone who doesn’t put in effort towards you should be dropped immediately to the bottom of your social list (unless they have an emergency or similar reasonable excuse), even if you’re interested in them.
You’ll know you’re doing this right when…
You are basically the same person in all contexts and with all types of people. You don’t change how you look, act, talk etc. with different audiences. You’re integral – a single person rather than split personalities.
Your friend circle consists only of people you love for who they are and vice versa. These are people you almost never have to confront because they are nearly always respectful. These people treat you like a priority in their lives. You feel safe and comfortable to show them everything true about yourself and never feel like you have to try.
You’d rather be alone than have a less-than-meaningful connection with someone. You’re either having real talk or nothing – no small talk just to keep harmony. You are willing to walk out on a date or leave a party early or disconnect from a conversation awkwardly the minute you no longer feel that the connection is valuable or authentic.
You confront people who mistreat you, or loved ones who accidentally overstep your boundaries, but without trying to change their behaviour. Your confrontations are merely you sharing your preferences and then you leave them to decide for themselves how they’ll respond. If they continue to disrespect you, you simply cut them out without any ill feelings or sense of vengeance, like a gardener calmly weeding his flower patch.
And, the obvious one, you notice that people’s opinions of you have become little more than curiosities for your amusement, and see them as reflections of the other person rather than feedback for yourself. Their opinions only matter as far helping you find people who are a good fit for you (i.e. people who have a high opinion of you), and dismissing everyone else.
Yeah, here comes the pitch…
You can do all this on your own.
Through trial and error, books, courses and online content, you can figure it out slowly piece by piece over time if you dedicate yourself to it and are willing to fail often and get uncomfortable in order to achieve relationship mastery and build strong self confidence.
You can work directly with me in your corner for a short period of time and achieve the same results in months that would take you YEARS on your own (or your money back!).
That’s what my confidence coaching is really all about. I accelerate your progress significantly by ensuring you:
- Overcome your fear of rejection
- Stop seeing yourself as not good enough
- Develop easy practical social communication skills while still being honest
- Unleash your masculinity to make you more assertive and attractive
- Increase your self-confidence and self-respect
- Get advanced practical tips to eliminate self-sabotage and give you the best possible chances at career advancement, dating opportunities, and deep connections with quality friends
- Help you see your blind spots and errors and develop a measurement system that you can use on your own to ensure ongoing improvement for life
It took me about 7-10 years to figure this stuff out on my own. It takes my average coaching client only about 3-6 months to achieve a level of mastery that leaves them able to continue coaching themselves to further success while feeling absolutely certain that they’re on the right path (proven by the results they get).
I’ve turned around doomed marriages.
I’ve turned virgins into fathers.
I’ve created assertive leaders out of meek people pleasers.
I’ve released overthinkers so they become powerfully decisive.
I’ve transformed shy introverts into social connectors.
I’ve moved highly anxious and depressed guys into a world of permanent self-confidence and optimism.
You don’t need to take my word for it. You can test it out for yourself. Fill out the application form below for a FREE trial coaching session with no obligation to continue, and no sales pitch!
My coaching will either blow you away and convince you that it’s worth it, or you’ll simply spend an hour talking to me without losing anything.
Thanks for reading
Hope to speak to you soon