Is It Possible To Genuinely Not Care What People Think? A Closer Look at Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel from ‘Friends’ 😊

Is it really possible to genuinely not care what people think? My thoughts based on the ‘Friends’ TV show characters Rachel, Phoebe, and Monica

We’ve all heard it a thousand times: ‘who cares what people think?’ Well, I definitely think it’s easier said than done! I’ve been thinking about this lately and somehow this episode from Friends TV show emerged in my mind, so I decided to share my thoughts on the subject 😊

Friends might be not the best show of all time, but it’s a really good one. It’s entertaining, funny, and sometimes the writing is excellent. I like it because the show doesn’t take itself too seriously – I can watch and not think about the meaning of the events at all or dig deeper, and it’s totally up to me. I think the particular topic of caring what other people think is a recurring topic in the series and for a good reason – we can all relate to it.

The episode I’m focusing is the seventh episode in the sixth season – “The One Where Phoebe Runs”. The premise is that Phoebe and Rachel live together and Rachel suggests they go jogging together, but then it turns out that Phoebe runs weird (galloping and swinging her arms around), and Rachel lies in order to be able to run alone – she’s embarrassed by Phoebe. Later on she admits it to Phoebe and gets called a people pleaser and ‘pushover’ for caring a lot what people think, while Monica – ‘high maintenance’ for being a control freak.

When Rachel admits to Phoebe why she doesn’t want to jog with her, Phoebe asks:

Phoebe: Why do you care?
Rachel: Because they’re people!
Phoebe: People you don’t know and will never see again.
Rachel: Yes, but they still are people… with eyes!

It’s interesting how in this episode Phoebe is portrayed as the one person completely free of any worries like ‘what people will think about my abnormal running style?’ however that’s not who she really is. In one of the first episodes where Rachel’s Paolo makes a pass at Phoebe, Phoebe says that her friends are the most important thing in her life (Season 1, Episode 12). In the episode ‘The One With The Kips’ (Season 5, Episode 5) Rachel says that she thought Phoebe would be the first to leave the group because she lives far away, which deeply upsets Phoebe.

The truth is, it’s impossible to completely and genuinely not care what other people think. Humans are social creatures and we exchange emotions, we seek friendship and someone to relate to, someone to confide in. Social connection is crucial for human well-being and health. The real question here is ‘whose opinion exactly matters?’

In my opinion, despite that Phoebe is the ‘flaky’ girl in the group, she has the healthiest approach to what other people think. She does care, but only about what people who matter to her think. Rachel always dresses to impress and is used to attention, while Monica is insecure in many ways and having control over everyday things helps her feel more secure. Both Rachel and Monica often worry about how they look in front of people, which ultimately causes them to fuss a lot more than Phoebe does and doesn’t make them feel any happier or more content.

One of the best pieces of advice I’ve ever gotten was ‘keep your inner circle small’ and it serves me well. One way or another, always being concerned about what people think is a tiresome burden that doesn’t allow focusing on our inner selves, on what we want, what makes us content. Trying to fit everyone’s standards is a fruitless endeavor, because ultimately it means not fitting anyone’s standards, but above all – our own.

I find it quite awesome how all three girls in ‘Friends’ grew over time. All three of them learned to live their lives their own way.

Who was your favorite character on ‘Friends’ (if you watched this show, of course)? I’m incredibly curious to know!

Thank you so much for taking the time to read ❀️

Alex

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Author: Alexandra @YouAndMeAndCupOfCoffee.com

Passionate researcher and writer. Coffee maniac. Pilates enthusiast. Makeup and skincare junkie. Occasionally - movie and book reviewer. Come join me on my quest!

12 thoughts on “Is It Possible To Genuinely Not Care What People Think? A Closer Look at Phoebe, Monica, and Rachel from ‘Friends’ 😊”

    1. Joey is the charm of the show, easily my favorite character too ☺ He was also sometimes the wisest one of the bunch, like when Chandler was afraid of commitment and he said ‘face your fear. Afraid of bugs – get a bug’ or something like that πŸ˜‚ That was brilliant πŸ˜‚
      Thank you for reading and commenting β™₯

      Liked by 1 person

  1. I loved this post Alex. This show was just soooooo good. They keep playing reruns of every season out here on TV to this day….everyday theres an episode aired. And when the season is over….they start all over….it never gets old….
    I guess my favourite character is Chandler. Hes witty, funny, sensible yet caring, loyal and sensitive. Hes easy going yet focused on the right things.
    I also love Monica’s looks. She is an absolute beauty but super difficult to please, fussy and an absolute mood killer with all her crazy obsessions and bossiness.
    Rachel is the most normal of them all. Shes fun and the regular girl most women would be able to relate to. But she’s selfish and vain….just like most people are….so she’s just like regular people.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I always watch an episode or two whenever I want lighthearted fun – it’s so true that this how just never gets old!
      One thing I never understood: why doesn’t the group appreciate Chandler’s jokes more? He’s hilarious! It’s same with Ross’s science talk – I’m always so curious what he wants to say, but they just interrupt him every time πŸ˜„πŸ˜„
      I think every girl on the show had her time to shine, so to say, but I feel like the makeup artists and hairstylists never did justice to Monica. Rachel’s hair, outfits, and makeup were always on point, Phoebe was understandably the quirky one, but somehow with Monica it felt like they never really tried that hard. She’s stunning though, so I never undestood why so. My best guess is maybe because they pushed Rachel’s character as ‘the sexy one’ of the bunch, but clearly all three were gorgeous women and fantastic actresses, too. Hard question πŸ€”
      Totally agree about Rachel! I feel like the show was so successful because every character was somehow flawed, which made them down to earth and relatable.
      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed this post! Thank you so much for reading and commenting ❀️

      Like

      1. I totally agree…Chandler was hilarious….I’d love to be around a real Chandler…
        Not sure about Ross. I had a very good friend who spoke and behaved just like Ross…he bored me to death πŸ€­πŸ˜… ….always
        I agree.. Monica was soooooo beautiful….I guess they kept in mind her character which was a workaholic and always busy cleaning or cooking so….vanity was not as important….but it was a necessity for Rachel’s character I guessπŸ€”β˜Ί
        Good post Alex….made me smile πŸŒˆπŸ˜€

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Ross has walked the delicate tight rope between ‘likeable’ and ‘unlikeable’ so many times that I just could never relate to him. And I’m always on Rachel’s side when it comes to their ‘break’ πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚ I had a classmate who behaved and even looked very much like Ross! I guess the ‘typical nerd’ stereotype doesn’t come from nowhere 😊
        It’s the most amazing comment I could ever get – that my post made you smile! It made my day 😊
        Sending lots of love πŸ’•

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Lovely post Alex….
        Lots of love right back at you πŸŒˆπŸ˜πŸ€©πŸ’œπŸŒˆπŸ˜πŸ€©πŸ’œπŸ’—πŸ’œπŸ’—πŸ’œπŸ’—

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I don’t think it’s possible to ever really 100% not care, but I imagine some people are better at not over obsessing or not adapting themselves to stop criticism. I care a lot more about what my friends and family think, and sometimes I wish I didn’t.
    Rachel was my favourite Friend’s character because I like how much she changed throughout the show and became a career woman, but I do think a lot of the funny story lines revolved around Ross. Maybe unpopular opinion, but I always remember his leather pants, spray tan, teeth whitening and the guy who ate his sandwich. I’m glad I read this post. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Agreed! Sometimes it’s hard to maintain that inner focus, especially when it involves very close people.
      OMG the leather pants episode is one of my absolute favorites! I’d also add the episode with the couch (‘PIVOT!!!!’ πŸ˜†πŸ˜†πŸ˜†) and the one where he tried to convince Phoebe that evolution exists to the list! Ross definitely provided some of the funniest situations in the show, despite that he’s rarely mentioned as anyone’s favorite character. I like how the writers let Rachel progress so much too throughout the show.
      Thank you so much for taking the time to read and comment ❀️

      Liked by 1 person

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