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Self Improvement

Are You Trying To Impress People Who Simply Don’t Care?

keeping up with the joneses, impressing people, ethics

We all crave acceptance from our friends, our family, and our peers. We perceive the easiest way to gain that acceptance is to be like them. Wear what they wear, drive what they drive, do what they do, live like they live.


Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /

It’s commonly called keeping up with the Joneses, and it’s exhausting.

Exhausting both emotionally and financially. Constantly keeping up with what everyone else is wearing, driving and buying, plus trying to figure out how to pay for it all takes a lot of energy. Oh, and just having these things isn’t enough, you have to make sure everyone else knows you have them

I read an article recently that suggests that trying to keep up with the Joneses is a complete waste of time.

I recommend reading the entire article, but there’s specific section that really hit home for me. If I told you that someone thought of you 10 times in a day, would you consider that obsessive? Would you wonder why someone would think of you so much? A recent study suggests that a person has up to 50,000 thoughts in day. Which means that person’s thoughts about you made up of 0.02% of their total thought activity for the day. The net is, you’re hardly a blip on anyone’s radar.

People just don’t care that much about the lives of others.

That certainly makes sense to me. Between my day job, my writing, being a husband and a father, and all the things that need to be done to maintain our home if I had any time left over at the end of the day I’d spend it in a chair by myself in complete and utter silence. I couldn’t care less whether Bob next door has the latest iPhone or how old his car is.

The next time you’re thinking of dropping some serious cash to impress someone, or utter the phrase, “But what will my friends think?” remember this:  They don’t care, and neither should you. Spend your energy on yourself, building the life YOU want, and making YOU happy.

How much time and energy to you spend trying to gain acceptance of others? Why do you think we assume others think about us?

Brought to you courtesy of Brock

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  • This is very true. My wife and I both driver older cars (2006 and 2007) and while a lot of my neighbors drive newer cars, I have to think that they really don’t care, so long as I don’t leave my cars in a heap out in the street. Honestly the neighbors that do that are the only ones I care about.

  • @moneybeagle – Exactly, and it’s not even so much what they leave out in the street…it’s just that they leave it out there. BTW, I dunno if I’d consider 2007 THAT old. 🙂

  • I try to quell any urges I have to keep up with the Jonses’, and I think it’s a natural instinct, but you’re right; people are self absorbed! Myself included. None of us care so much about other people’s lives, so why bother?

  • Sometimes I try as an instructor, but the people/students don’t care enough. It all depends on if they are willing to take it upon themselves to be interested, but it will be harder for future generations.

  • @Holly – I hear you there, it’s funny though when you gain perspective that you don’t want to keep up anymore….and then you get in a group of people and REALLY listen to what they’re saying. I did once, and what I heard were four different couples just trying to impress each other. Yikes….

  • @Daisy – AND life is just so much less complicated when you don’t have to worry about everyone around you…and just focus on ourselves, right?? Thanks for reading!

  • @David – I find trying to impress people just isn’t worth the energy. The only person I try to impress is my wife. 🙂 Thanks for dropping in!

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