One of the main problems I had to deal with, when I started to meditate and study the Dhamma, was the consequence of giving up attachment to reputation and pride.

Of course this is an extremelly positive thing to do, you simply become stronger when you stop caring about how other people see you, you just care about your actions, about karma, about your thoughts.

The problem is that people think you just don't care about anything else, they think you are not commited to your job anymore, to your appearance, to other people feelings... for instance: If they give you a bad feedback and you don't suffer and don't react to it, they think you are ignoring them.

It looks like we need small portions of drama to live in this society, non attachment to reputation makes you look like an alien or a brain washed person. I don't know how to balance that sometimes, any advise?

5 Answers 5


I don't exactly have an answer or advice to this, as I have a similar experience to a certain extent, but I understand that even though others might see the external us and base an opinion on it, the mind development that's going on for Buddhists may always be misunderstood by those not familiar with it and thus, dukkha arises for the one making the judgement. Maybe it also arises in us too, if we react to it even just a little bit. It's hard to be unaffected, I find. I guess that depends on where each one of is in the practice. As the Buddha describes, it is 'Patisothagami' or "it is a path that goes against the stream", so we're bound to hit resistance both from the stream and the other fish...to use a popular analogy.

Maybe here equanimity is needed with compassion in order to keep us within the sphere of 'normal' worldliness whilst striving for something beyond it.

I hope the reflection is useful and thank you for bringing it up.

Best wishes


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    Hello friend, thanks for your points, it is always nice to see people that relate to our questions
    – konrad01
    Oct 3, 2014 at 19:42

I too have felt some resistance, although it did eventually resolve. For one, try being more compassionate. For a long while I simply desired wisdom, and did so in a way that was neither mindful of the consequences of my actions(and how people felt about them) and had a sense of pride. Now I am practising more compassion, and its harder for negativity to phase me. Consequently, I am not trying to shield my ego from the negativity, instead I embrace it. Through companions sharing this, they provide insight into how I could help them better. It was only through realising how my actions were harmful(atleast from the perspective of my friends) to the relationships, that I was able to eliminate the misunderstanding.

If you confront the ignorance, rather than purely ignore it, and practise compassion, you may find a more harmoneuous relationship. Of course there are people who will resist changing their attitude, such as someone who may be biased against Buddhism or any religious practise! In this case, try and see it from their perspective, and act in such a way to minimise their suffering. If they have no reason to suffer, your suffering should too reduce.

I used to try and impose my attitude towards vulgar language upon others, but only through accepting the present nature of some people, and their use of such language, was I able to eliminate my suffering. I let go of my attitude, and it no longer bothers me.

Good luck, hope you manage to find the trickly balance between practising yourself and being understood by others.


In buddhism, what is referred as attachment is the type of attachment which keeps wheel of dependent origination.

In each case when a through arrives in your mind you get a sensation. When you react to this sensation with liking then it is attachement. If you do it with dislike it is aversion. All this because you do not understand the true nature of things.

If you experience any sensation with respect to thoughts of responsibility to which you react then there is attachment to reputation. If you do not react to the self awareness and reputation then there is no attachment. You can have applied through without attachment. This is more emotionally balanced than you doing things for stimulus from thoughts on reputation. This is more like a carrot and stick approach at a subtler level.


Maybe don't try to balance anything, just experience. Wanting things to be a certain way is always dukkha. Ideally, we should do what is appropriate to the situation(this is easy for Arahants, hard for beginners). So if they think they are being ignored, maybe use the misunderstanding as an opportunity to tell them about what your practicing. Say something like: "I'm not ignoring you, I'm practicing the Dharma and to stay in line with the Dharma I keep my words few but just right, it's called Right Speech. All Dharma practices aim at making the practitioner quit ignoring what makes themselves and everyone suffer, in order to transcend suffering and be happy. So, now can you start to see that I'm very far from ignoring you?"


The right fix, in my personal opinion, would be to respond as best as you can when people tell you such things. Try to see what it is about your reaction that gets on these people's nerves. It's not the case that you have to suffer when making use of social norms and conventions in order to maintain a dignified conversation. Try to see if you can find a way to appear right and normal to these people, without sacrificing your stability.

May I also suggest that, so long as you're not a monk, you don't want to sacrifice your job and relationships for the sake of not wanting to engage in things you don't like just right now. It's the long term well being that you're better off working on - and getting fired or thought lowly of by your friends & relatives isn't going to be part of that. Surely you can find a way to balance things out rightly.

Best of luck.

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