How to Not Care What People Think

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If you’re one of those people who constantly worries what others think of you, this article may help you get off in the right direction, reversing those unpleasant thoughts. No matter what it is that you obsess about — looking good for complete strangers, listening to rumors, getting into a negative cycle — this article should help let you begin to turn your life around.

Steps

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    Stop over-thinking. Most of the time, when you think you are being judged, you probably aren’t. It’s just too hard to judge every single person you meet, analyzing their flaws and imperfections like they’re a test you’re grading.

    • One way to test this is to push your limits a little and do something that is a bit out of the ordinary for you. See how people react. Chances are that only your “friends” will notice the change and make comments, but a random stranger really won’t care.
    • Learn to catch yourself when you start over-thinking. Recognize this pattern of abuse and do something to overcome it. For example, every time you over-think, force yourself to compliment an aspect of your personality. This should help to give you a better self-esteem:
      • “Thinking is good. I pay attention to all the little details. I notice things that other people don’t notice, but I should use this ability to be positive, not negative.”
      • “I care about being good at something. No one can achieve perfection, but I try to put my best foot forward. If I fail or under perform, it’s not like I didn’t try. That’s all I can do.”
      • “I care about principles. I have values, and I try to live by them. The world doesn’t always work the way I want it to, but that doesn’t mean that I’ll stop trying. I will accept it when it doesn’t.”
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    Put things into perspective. People who obsess about what others think tend to put ‘issues’ under the microscope and can’t see the forest for the trees. People who don’t obsess about what other people think tend to look at the big picture. You only get one chance at life; are you going to allow other people’s thoughts to make it less enjoyable? Sounds silly now, doesn’t it.

    • Give it some time. Apart from the fact that life really is too short to worry about things like this, the other aspect is that people’s feelings change. For example, say one moment people insult you for wearing yellow shoes, giving you the impression you shouldn’t wear them. What if this person’s opinion changes, and they start wearing yellow shoes themselves? People change their minds, so what they think now might not matter in the future.
    • Make a list of all the things that you are grateful for. Putting it into a list really helps. It makes things tangible, more real. Once you see everything that has gone right for you — maybe your family, your intelligence, your health — you begin to realize that life is more about what you do have than what you don’t have. Be appreciative of what life gives you, not resentful of what it doesn’t.
    • Take pleasure in the small things in life. Begin to see beauty in everyday things, like a child playing with a dog. Take comfort in everyday things, like a warm cup of tea. Find happiness in everyday things, like a story about overcoming hardship, told by your friend.
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    Be confident in yourself. What if we could eliminate the amount of times we second-guess ourselves? Well, you can. The trick, if you want to call it that, is to simply be more confident in the decisions and actions you are taking.

    • Have you never seen someone who is sporting something out of the ordinary, but just seems normal and isn’t being judged? If you are wearing yellow shoes and are clearly uncomfortable about them, people are going to target you: they can see your insecurity and they’ll attack you in order to feel better about themselves. Don’t pre-judge yourself before others do; they’ll be less likely to judge you in the first place!
    • Here are some small, but powerful, self-confidence boosters that you can try on for size:
      • Smile. The act of smiling may boost your self-esteem organically, science suggests.[1] If you smile more often, you send messages to other people that you are friendly, and they’ll be more likely to smile back, be happy, and even forgive you.
      • Visualize success. Don’t think about the “what if I fail…?” thought that is probably wandering around in your head. Instead, think to yourself: “How will I succeed?”
      • Break down goals into small pieces. Don’t set yourself up for failure. Set yourself up for success. If your goal is to be more confident around guys (or girls), break the goal into small parts: eye contact, conversation, flirting, etc. Reward yourself when you complete a small part of each larger goal.
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    Learn to control your emotions. When you start to push your limits and get more confident, you’ll undoubtedly have mixed emotions. From stress, worry and fear, to relief and happiness, it can be a bit of a rollercoaster of the mind; that is where controlling your emotions comes in. The simple practice taught by Eckhart Tolle goes a bit like this:

    • Be conscious of an emotion inside you — e.g. fear or worry
    • Observe it within your mind
    • Notice that if you are observing it, it can’t be a part of you
    • Watch the emotion disappear
    • As soon as you observe an emotion, you are separating yourself from it and thus it can no longer exist.
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    Accept yourself for who you are. Understandably, accepting yourself is not the easiest thing to do. Everyone in the world is filled with some kind of doubt; it’s all about how they manage it. Luckily, there are things you can do that will help.

    • First of all, think of all the things that you don’t like about yourself and write them down. Now, look at them more closely and see if there is a possibility to change them.
      • For example, if you are thin and don’t like that, then look at ways in which you can gain weight and bulk up. If you aren’t willing to put in the work to change something that is fixable, you don’t have the right to complain about it.
      • However, If you wish you were taller, that’s not exactly something you can change. Think about how your situation could be worse.
    • As time goes by and you realize how unimportant some of the things you worry about actually are, life gets easier and your constant concern starts to plummet as your confidence rises.

Tips

  • Love yourself don’t be how others want you to be. Then you’ll find people who love you for you. That’s the thing for life: having the right people by your side.
  • Remember it all starts with how you see yourself.
  • Look in the mirror everyday. Smile at yourself and tell yourself something good about you. Keep saying it until your smile is genuine and you feel it.
  • Most people who are or were not appreciated by others, or who were criticized for a longer period, tend to care too much about what other think about them. It’s because we all want and need to be important to others, to be appreciated by others. The best way to overcome this is to do something worthwhile. Start working on something, do it really well, then learn to accept compliments and expressions of appreciation.
  • Only those who are insecurely building their egos find it necessary to criticize others.
  • 90% of the time people are so worried about what they are wearing or doing, they don’t even notice you.
  • What other people think of you is their reality; it doesn’t have to be yours. If people judge you, it says more about them than it does about you.
  • Realize that you are your own person and ultimately the only one in charge of your own actions and feelings. You cannot control other people but you can control how you react and feel about them. Be yourself! life is simply not fun if you are too worried about pleasing/offending other people that you can’t even have a personality! Truth is, not everyone is going to like you anyway so why bother trying? Let them get mad over petty stuff if they want to, but don’t become a victim of that kind of stupidity and small-mindedness. Just have fun.
  • You only get one shot at life. Don’t let what other people say or think get you down. Its irrelevant and they are irrelevant.
  • To try and rid negative thoughts, replace them with positive ones is a slippery road. There’s a phenomena known as the ironic process of mental control whereby trying to not think about something (e.g. a negative thought) will actually increase those very thoughts in the mind. For me, the way forward is self-acceptance of any negative thoughts and then connect with your values. For example, one of your values in the domain of friendships maybe openness. If this is true then you will value being yourself – open and honest – and therefore not care as much what others think because this is a core value of yours. If friends are mean and horrible to you because of this, you need to question who you spend your time with on this word. As humans, we are all.

Warnings

  • Don’t ever think you are not good enough; you are you, will always be you, and only have one chance at life, and that chance is short. You should simply live life to the fullest, and not care at all about any judgmental opinions that are thrown towards you in life.
  • Don’t let negative people suck your energy away. Gravitate towards positive people!
  • Don’t be afraid to be yourself. Don’t change yourself just because someone wants you to or they are judging you. You are you, you can’t be anyone different.
  • Don’t speak or act submissively – show to others that you are a wild spirit and you roam this good old world with pride and will do what you want whether they like it or not.
  • Don’t expect others to change themselves just because you want them to or you are judging them. They are themselves, they can’t be anyone different.
  • Don’t expect submission from other people – they can show to you that they are wild spirits and they roam this good old world with pride and will do what they want whether you like it or not.

Sources and Citations

  1.  http://www.time.com/time/health/article/0,8599,1871687,00.html