I have been reading The Simple Dollar, and one blog post there is called Ten Big Mistakes #5: Worrying What Others Think of You.
The author is a frugal man who keeps a blog to teach others how to be frugal with money. He certainly has not been a saint for all his life. When he was younger he was a big spender. He spent money on luxury cars, fancy clothes, up-scale restaurants, and so forth.
Even though the author claims that you should not care what others think of you, I personally find that it's difficult to not care at all what others think of you. I try hard not to let other people's opinions of me matter, but I find that it does matter. This is especially the case with, say, the clothes I wear. I have a lot of old clothes in my wardrobe. In fact, I approximate that about 95 per cent of the clothes in my wardrobe is out-of-fashion. I find that I cannot wear really old clothes in public. It would be like wearing pajamas in public. People would stare at me and I would feel self-conscious.
The author says, "Spend money on what you value, not what other people value. I buy automobiles based on reliability and gas mileage and safety, not how they look in our driveway or whether the neighbor will be impressed." I would agree. I purchased a fairly cheap car about four years ago. However, because I am a male I am glad I purchased a sedan and not a small girls car like a Nissan Micra or a Ford Ka. It would be terribly embarrassing if I drove one of those. I think conforming to gender stereotypes makes people feel more comfortable, and this definitely applies to me. I have admitted this to my friends, but some of them tell me that I should just do what I please, e.g. if I wanted to wear a dress then I should just do it and not be worried. I quickly showed them that they too were influenced by fear of what others thought because I dared them to wear a dress in public or to come to work with blue hair. Many people seem to like to think they are immune from the opinions of others, but when you really test them it seems as if they are just acting rebellious to impress you.