As a child, my mom would always tell me not to care what other people think. If I was embarrassed out in public, she would say, “Don’t worry, you will never see these people again.”
One time at a mall, I was in a changing room that was only a curtain. I remember telling my mom that I was very nervous that someone would walk in on me. She told me that it wouldn’t happen. Wouldn’t you know it, some lady opened up the curtain right in the middle of me changing.
I can’t remember if my mom said it at that time or it was the memory of her constantly telling me that we will never see this person again, but having faced the thing I feared, I realized she was right. This lady would not have thought twice about the half naked boy in the dressing room other than her own embarrassment at having opened the curtain.
Later on in grade school, some kids would call me “Alien” and “Weirdo” because I was different. But it wouldn’t really get to me. I always have my mom and the lady she paid to walk in on me in that dressing room to thank for that.
This fact is, at the end of the day, the only person’s opinion you have to be concerned about is your own. When you live with empathy, kindness and make choices you are proud of later, it’s pretty easy to live with yourself.