As difficult as it might seem, there are ways to stop caring about what others think of us. I struggle with this myself. Although I’m completely aware that always seeking the approval of others prevents us from doing what we want and it's unhealthy, it’s still a hard habit to break! Most people want to be well-liked, but if it gets to a point where you’re sacrificing your happiness for the sake of others, it’s a problem. If you battle with this issue as well, keep reading for some helpful ways to stop caring about what others think and get the focus back on you and what you want.
1. You Can’t Please Everyone
No matter how much we care about what others think of us, the truth of the matter is that you can’t please everyone. There will always be someone who feels you can do better or thinks that someone else did a better job-that’s just the way it goes! There will always be people in your life who are critical and will make judgments. As unpleasant as that may be, in the end it really doesn’t matter, does it? Just because someone makes a judgment about something, that doesn’t mean something terrible will happen. Recognizing that you can't please everyone is one of the ways to stop caring about what others think.
2. A Person’s Opinion is Not Necessarily Your Problem
A person’s opinion is just that, an opinion. Just because a person sees something a certain way or feels a certain way about something does not mean it’s your problem and it also doesn’t mean that it’s the truth. Do you expect people around you to change because of your opinion of them? Are they forming judgments on you based on false or superficial representations of you?
3. Stop over-thinking so Much
Over-analyzing things or ruminating is unhealthy and harmful. Constantly replaying a fight with your partner or an incident at work isn’t going to take the incident away and it can cause you to feel helpless. Instead of obsessing over the negative details, use it as an opportunity to problem solve and then move on. Identify one or two things you can do about the situation to try and stop the over-thinking cycle.
4. Shift Your Focus
The next time you start worrying about what others might think of your work or something you did, shift your focus to where it counts instead. You can’t worry about what your family thinks about something while simultaneously focusing your attention on a project you’re working on. If you didn’t do as well on an assignment, make a plan of what you’re going to do to the next time instead of thinking about what your instructor thinks or a comment that a classmate made. You only have the capacity to focus on so many things, so make it count!
5. Worst Case Scenario
Whenever you start worrying about what others think, take a step back and think about the worst case scenario. Are you going to get fired from your job, have to retake a class or get the finger from someone? Chances are, whatever the worst case scenario is you can get through it, although it most likely won’t even happen. Start desensitizing yourself of these fears.
6. Accept Yourself
I know, easier said than done. Learning to accept yourself takes time, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t start! Think about this, if you never allow yourself to be your true self, you will never meet people who will like you for you and you’ll always be putting on an act. If you don’t accept yourself, how can you expect others to accept you as you are? If your happiness is largely based upon the opinion of others, you will never be happy.
7. Surround Yourself with Positive People
Stop spending so much time with negative Nancys who only bring you down or feed into your fears. Make it a point to surround yourself with positive, self-assured people who will help bring out the best in you. Being around confident, optimistic people will help you to see things in a different light and encourage you to be the unique individual that you are!
I hope you take some of these suggestions into consideration and that they are helpful for you. I know how hard it is to try to stop worrying about what others think of you and while it’s a process, it can definitely be done! Do you have any suggestion on how to stop caring about what others think of you?