Show me somebody that has said that (the title of this post) and I’ll show you a liar.
Everyone cares about others think about them. If you don’t, then you’re a legit sociopath.
In fact, concern for what other people think is the cornerstone of civilization. We wear the clothes we wear because of this. Observe and obey laws. We have fucking language because of this!
But people say these things because they want to shield off their empathy, and by wearing the “i dont care what people think” badge, they believe they’re fooling you. Yet clearly they do care, because they tell you all the time. Obviously they want you to think something about them.
Unfortunately the human psyche just can’t shut off its concern for others, and the ego can’t lock out its concern for what others think of it. Our whole sense of self is based upon our relations to others.
Of course I’m not saying that we should be paralyzed by fear over other’s opinions. Perhaps a more accurate statement would be “I am who I am”, and coming to terms with the fact that it’s impossible to please everybody.
I was watching Bart Ehrman debate some dude, forgot who, and he mentioned the non-canonical early Christian text, Apocalypse of Peter (never read it). The text describes heaven and hell, with descriptions of hell being far more creative than those of heaven. Point being, as Ehrman explains (paraphrasing): “there are only so many ways to describe eternal bliss”, while the imagination on eternal damnation knows no bounds.
It’s not really a revolutionary observation, I know, but that’s true in all our storytelling: “heaven” is a place of temporary stability before “hell” comes along and propels the plot forward. Therefore much of the creative energy behind a story lies in the “hell” of it all.
In other words, story is conflict.
But I think Ehrman’s statement is also a reflection on the nature of language. I’ve always found that imaginative descriptions of dread, anger, depression, anxiety, etc. to be far more creative and rewarding than depictions of bliss. Heaven, beauty, bliss, etc lie in the realm of the sublime, and therefore transcend the possibilities of language.
However, that might just be a reflection of my own deranged mind.