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The 80/15/5 Rule

One of the most powerful realizations for many people is that most people just don’t care about what we do. For whatever reason, most of us believe that everyone is watching our every move, judging what we wear and how we speak. But, as has been memed to death “aint’ nobody got time for that”.

I don’t know who first coined the 80/15/5 rule, but it’s honestly genius.

Think about everyone in your sphere. These are the people that you are in contact with regularly - people at work, at our favourite coffee shops, extended family, neighbours, etc. All those folks we believe are scrutinizing us.

80% of people in our sphere just don’t care about us and don’t see what we’re doing. When we return to work after an extended absence, they’re happy to have extra hands on deck, but otherwise didn’t notice we were gone. They have their whole life outside of us that is much more important to them, reasonably so.

15% will be our cheerleaders, always on our side no matter what happens. They will support us on our worst days and on our best days. They notice when we feel badly and when we are shining. They enjoy being in our circle and choose to stay there.

Finally, 5% will be malicious. They don’t like us for reasons that are their own. Often, these folks prefer to be miserable - for whatever reason, it makes them happy. So when we fail, or get sick, or make mistakes, they love it. They’re in their gossipy, mean element.

When we say “what other people think of me is none of my business”, this is what we mean. Everyone we interact with sees us through the filter that they see the world through. They notice people who support their world view, whether that’s a positive or negative view.

The best thing we can do is behave in a way that makes us feel like the best version of ourselves.

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