Do you struggle with other people’s thoughts and opinions of you and your choices? Many people have a hard time with others disapproving of them. Whether it is a family member, friend, or complete stranger on social media, some are deeply concerned about what others think. If you can learn to stop caring what people think, you will experience the freedom to be your authentic self. Here are 5 steps to get there.
How To Stop Caring What People Think
Step One – Start Valuing Yourself
Improving your self-value and self-worth is the first step to stop caring what people think. High self-value is like a protective seal between you and other people’s opinions and thoughts. This is especially important in the social media age where anyone can give their opinion on what you wear, what you believe in, and what you do in an instant from anywhere. You have to learn how to develop a “thick skin” so to speak and the more people who have access to you, the thicker it needs to be. High self-value is your thick skin.
Here are a few ways to value yourself more so that you can stop caring what people think:
- Stay focused on your strengths. What are you good at? What amazing things do people say about you? Which accomplishments make you the proudest? Most people who care about what others think rarely appreciate their strengths. Instead, they give their weaknesses center stage. Avoid doing this. Create a list of 10 of your most valuable strengths and carry it with you. Let it serve as a continuous reminder that you have some incredible strengths.
- Stop beating yourself up. Give yourself a break when it comes to your past mistakes and shortcomings. Learn to forgive yourself and let go of the past. Treat yourself like you would a good friend. You wouldn’t remind a good friend of their mess-ups and beat them up every chance you get, would you? No, you wouldn’t do it to a good friend so do not do it to yourself.
- Remember how strong you are. You have survived 100% of your worst days, right? Give yourself credit for all the things you’ve gone through and survived. See yourself as strong, someone who has made it through adversity, and can do it again if need be.
Step Two – Make Rock Solid Decisions
We all make bad decisions sometimes, it is inevitable. When you can learn to make consistently good decisions, however, it will be easy to stop caring what others think. That is because you are confident in your choices. Whether they are small decisions or big decisions you know that you did the right thing with your knowledge and abilities. You’ve done the research on your career choice. You listened to your heart and mind and weighed the options when you decided to follow a passion. You did some serious soul searching when you decided to leave a relationship. Do your due diligence and then make your decisions. If someone doesn’t agree with your decisions or thinks you are foolish, who cares? You are the one that did the research, spent the time and effort listening to your heart and mind, and the one whose soul was searched, not them.
Here are a few tips to make solid decisions more consistently so that you can stop caring what people think:
- Control your impulse decisions. Impulse decisions keep us stuck and prevents us from reaching our goals. They can wreak havoc on our finances, our health, relationships, and more. Stop letting decisions focused solely on emotion keep you caring what others think.
- Look at both sides of the coin. Always use the classic approach to decision making; evaluate the pros and cons. What are the positives of making the decision? What are the negatives? Also, look at the potential downsides of not making the decision. What could you be giving up?
- Have clarity. Do not obsess about your decisions and give yourself time. Walk away from it all and do something else for a time. Perhaps you can meditate. Taking some time away from the decision has always helped me especially when making bigger life-changing decisions.
Remember, the point of making good decisions is for your benefit, not the benefit of those who may have a problem with your decisions. You want to feel confident about the choices you make, not to give others peace of mind or so they refrain from criticizing your decisions.
Step Three – Stop Putting Others On A Pedestal To Stop Caring What People Think
When you realize that no one is perfect, that everyone makes mistakes, and that almost everyone has skeletons in their closet, you’ll learn to stop caring what others think quickly. I am not suggesting that you stop looking up to others and stop wanting to emulate them in some way that makes sense for you. What I am suggesting is that you stop seeing others as perfect and for you to stop comparing yourself. You have to ask yourself, “Why am I so concerned about what this person or others think of me,” “what makes them so perfect,” “what gives them the authority to make me feel like I have to please them?” When you ask yourself questions like this, you take them off the pedestal, especially if they are strangers like people on social media. When you ask yourself these questions after some stranger made a bad comment about you, it almost seems ridiculous to care what they think.
Here are some other things you can do to stop putting others on a pedestal so you can stop caring what people think:
- Be more compassionate. Usually, when we put others on a pedestal we can’t imagine them being imperfect. This is an unrealistic and unfair expectation to put on someone. No one is perfect, including you. Consider that even though on the outside they may seem like everything is put together, they still have issues and be okay with that.
- Put yourself on a pedestal. When you lift yourself up, you essentially make it so that you and others are equals. This is true in the first place, only this time your perspective matches reality. Do things like recognizing your strengths (which we talked about earlier), being kind to yourself, and prioritizing your needs.
Step Four – Imagine The Worst
Fear is a powerful emotion that is associated with caring about what other people think. One of the faster ways to overcome fear is to face it head-on often. Imagine doing something that you want to do and then everyone eating you alive about it. Visualize it in detail. How does it make you feel? What are people saying? Live in your emotions. Imagine someone disapproving of your career choice or who you are in a relationship with. Imagine someone’s judgments when you follow your dreams. What you will find is that your fear about what others think will start losing its sting a little bit at a time. Until finally you will wonder why you ever cared what others thought in the first place.
I suffered from body image issues for the longest time. I avoided pools and beaches because I cared what other people would think of my body. At the time I was in great shape but my unfounded fear still caused me to miss out on things that I wanted to do. One of the ways I was able to move past caring what other people thought was that I started imagining everyone laughing at me, staring at me, and pointing their fingers in disgust. Overtime this hypothetical scenario lost its power over me. I wasn’t completely free of all fear but I was able to finally overcome it enough to enjoy pools and beaches. Guess what happened? Absolutely nothing. No one even cared or noticed me.
Step Five – Realize Most People Don’t Care
Just like my pool and beach fear, what I found when I did face it was that most people do not care. Here I was thinking that I would be laughed at and no one even turned their head or gave me another glance. Most people are in their own world and could care less what you do or don’t do. Yes, there are some that make it a life mission to judge others and give their two cents on everything, but these people are much smaller in numbers compared to those who do not care one way or another. You may be at the center of your attention, but you are not at the center of most other people’s attention. If there is someone in particular who you care very much about what they think, consider that they do not care at all. Realize that most people do not care, and you will stop caring what people think.
Learn to be yourself fully and be free of caring about what others think of you. Stop caring what people think by valuing yourself, making rock-solid decisions, and avoiding putting others on a pedestal. You can also imagine the worst to help you overcome fear and realize that most people do not care anyway.
How has caring what others think served you? Let us know in the comments below.