The power belongs to the one who cares the least.

This wisdom was brought to me by one of my best friends, Jen. She knows that I wear my heart on my sleeve and I care (sometimes too much) about what other people think. It’s natural to care about what other people think about you, but when it’s to an unhealthy degree that’s when you get into trouble. I was getting so preoccupied with what other people thought about me that Jen decided to bestow some words of wisdom on me to help me out and they were: “the power belongs to the one who cares the least.”

So what does this mean?

When you start to feel like you don’t matter to someone else, that’s when it’s important to remember that you may be caring too much about the opinions of others. Your value is important, regardless of what other people think or feel about you. So what do you do? You care more about your feelings and less about what they think about you. If you start caring too much about pleasing other people, you will drive yourself crazy. Trust me, I have done this and has negatively impacted my life. When you start going down the road of validation seeking through others, remember that your feelings are real and valid. You don’t need to seek reassurance from other people to feel like you matter. The less you care about what other people think, the better your quality of life is.

Not everyone is going to view things the same way. Each of our viewpoints is informed by our own life experiences. If someone doesn’t understand you or where you’re coming from and they aren’t able to see you as the beautiful person you are: you can choose how to deal with this information. One option is that you could try to “make them see” how awesome you are by doing things for that person or making them feel loved. Maybe it’s your “fault” that they don’t recognize how wonderful you are? Perhaps you’re not trying hard enough? If you go with that idea, you’ll try harder to make this individual love you and probably to no avail. People will choose to see your value or they won’t and we don’t have control over which option happens. If someone isn’t able to recognize your strengths and positive attributes then maybe they don’t deserve you?

The less someone makes an effort to be in your life, the less effort you need to make back. Friendships and romantic relationships both have the same principle: they are the healthiest when the relationship is reciprocal. That’s why it’s important to continually evaluate whether your relationships are one or two-sided. Having a connection where you are doing all the work to maintain it doesn’t serve you. That means that you are caring too much and not getting anything in return. Reserve your ability to care for people who deserve that level of love and concern; people that can give back to you. When someone isn’t giving you what you need, you don’t have to continue to ask for it. It’s possible to move forward and remember: the power belongs to the one who cares the least.