Have you ever really wanted to do something but you didn’t do it because you were scared of what people would think?
I’m betting that the answer is yes.
You didn’t do what you wanted because you wanted to be seen as a nice person. You wanted people to like you and to gain their approval.
The problem with behaving like this is that your freedom is taken away from you. That is a much worse thing than being liked by people you barely know.
So here are 11 ways to stop caring what others think.
1. Accept yourself
If you can’t accept yourself for who are you then it is no surprise that you care what others think.
The first step of overcoming any fear you might have is acceptance.
If you find it hard to currently accept yourself the way you are then make the effort to become the person you want to be.
If you are insecure about your weight, then start going to the gym more or eat healthier. If you are shy, then start talking to more people etc.
2. You can’t please everyone
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” | Abraham Lincoln |
It is impossible to please everyone. Some people might like you, others might not. This is just how the world works.
No matter what you do, there will be at least one person who disagrees or does not like you. It is no fault of your own. It is just their opinion. They are entitled it to. It is out of your control. I’m sure you know someone who every seems to love but you can’t stand.
3. Your own opinion matters the most
No one else knows what it is like to be you. You are the only one who knows what thoughts you think and what emotions you feel every day. You know your achievements, successess, what you are proud of etc.
Considering you know yourself best it seems crazy to hold someone else’s opinion of you above your own.
4. Make a list
Get a pen and a piece of paper and write down all your good points. This is a never ending list. Every time you think of another good point write it down.
This will remind you of all your good qualities during those times you are feeling low.
5. Surround yourself with people you like
You might care what other people think because you don’t know them very well. You want to gain their approval. Therefore, it is important to surround yourself with people you know and like.
The times we are least self conscious and most confident are the times spent in the company of friends. Our friends are our friends because they don’t judge us, they make us laugh, and they are there when we need them most.
These are the important people in life. Focus on what they say, not on what other people we think.
6. Act as if
What do actors do when they play a character? They act as if they are the person they are playing. If they have to play a confidence trickster, they act like the most confident person in the world. If they have to play a suicidal person, they act depressed.
Start to act like someone who just doesn’t care what others think.
After enough practice you will naturally behave in that way.
7. I didn’t know you were psychic
Most of the time we think we know what others are thinking but we really have no idea. I’m sorry to break it to you but you aren’t psychic. It is impossible to know what somebody else is thinking.
When you’re 18, you worry about what everybody is thinking of you; when you 40, you don’t give a damn what anybody thinks of you; when you’re 60, you realize nobody’s been thinking about you at all.
8. Do what you want to do
I’m sure you’ve all been there; you want to do something but you fear what others will think.
Let me give you an example which sounds completely ridiculous. I never use to bring food into the cinema because I was afraid that people would be annoyed by the sound of crunching or the smell. Completely ridiculous, eh?
If I was afraid of something as small as that and got over it then there is literally no stopping you.
9. Stop over analysing
You need to get out of your head to stop caring what others think of you.
Meditation is a great way to silence those thoughts.
Read 8 Minute Meditation to get started.
10. Keep your mind busy
If you are finding it particularly hard to get over something someone said to you then keep your mind busy.
Go for a jog, do some housework, listen to music, finish some work etc. You will soon forget what it was that someone said about you.
11. Do something that is embarrassing
The best way to stop caring what others think is to become desensitized to it. Doing something embarrassing enough times soon eliminates any anxiety you once had.
When you were learning to ride a bike, you might have been scared at first. What if I crash? What if I hurt myself? What if people laugh at me when I fall over? You took the plunge and soon enough, you were riding your bike with ease.
Shout something at the top of your voice in the mall, walk around with your shirt on back to front, walk around in a hot dog costume. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is something you would find uncomfortable doing.
You will notice that people don’t really care what you do.
They have enough going on in their own head to think about a complete stranger.
Soon enough you will find it hard to believe that you ever cared what people thought of you.