Living your life to impress people vs not caring what they think

I think it’s something I’ve gotten attuned to for years now. Maybe it had something to do with social media, getting likes, approval, etc.

This is not just about bragging or humble bragging about what you did or who you know. This feels more automatic, like it’s what you want. Let’s take cooking, for example. I identify as a foodie, food lover, love checking out restaurants, trying new recipes, etc.
But when I talk to people about things related to this, I feel like there is some part of me that wants them to care, or I’m subconsciously choosing to talk about things knowing they may approve or give me attention.
It doesn’t feel as much a conscious decision to get the approval or whatever it is I’m trying to get.
But, it’s actually influencing other decisions I would make, and that’s where I’m noticing there could be a problem. Because I will be making choices (let’s say, to cook food) not even knowing I may eventually use it to impress someone.
I might actually think I’m doing it for myself, me trying to live my best life, put me first.

But there are other choices I could make, which is more boring. Or it might just be about how I feel about my life, and by trying to live my life more glamorously, I feel better and think I have an important life or I matter. But if I make the choices that might be right for me or based out or need or not caring what others think, others might find that boring. Or I’m afraid it will mean I actually do have a boring, uninteresting life and I won’t matter.

So if I make those choices instead, it hits differently, it hits deeper; like this is what I really want and need to do, and whatever else I am doing, whether it be for someone’s attention or for pleasure, it feels almost like not really me, like I want them to care, but it feels entitled somehow.
When I’m doing what I truly care about or need or doing it out of the place of not caring what others think (even if they think I’m boring or I get no attention, etc)
It feels humbler, I feel more at peace.

Anyone else experience this dichotomy? How does it affect the choices you make? The conversations you have?

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