“Your opinion of me affects me with pain, not for my own sake but for yours, because to hate perfection and assail virtue is in itself a resignation of all hope of doing well.” – Seneca
The notion that the trick to being happy is not caring what others think of us is often used as an excuse to act like an absolute fool and somehow mentally remove any guilt we might feel over our behavior. This may actually work for some people but for those of us actually putting the work into becoming the best possible versions of ourselves, it just won’t work like that.
This is because those of us on this path will end up reflecting on our behavior and trying to see how we come across through the eyes of the people impacted by our actions. If we are being honest with ourselves and if we have been acting like fools, we will realize it. And we will regret it.
Even if we are acting in the manner we hope to and coming across exactly like we want to, there will be people who hate us for it. This is where self reflection is actually a protective measure instead of a tool for being critical with ourselves.
People who have given up on becoming better, either as people, at a skill, or just in general will always find a way to criticize, mock, or degrade someone still making the attempt. It is only through self reflection, listening to what others have to say and then applying a reasonable amount of logic to a situation that we will be able to determine what sort of situation we find ourselves in. Fortunately, this gets easier with practice.
And we should practice everyday.
virtus fortis vocat