Are you constantly aware of what people think about you? Do you tend to follow the crowd? Do you need people’s approval before you make a decision? Do you feel like you don’t have any trust in yourself? If your answer is yes to the above questions then this post is for you. We’re human beings and it’s normal to want to feel loved and accepted in society and be part of it. The issue is when the need of belonging to the society becomes more important than who you are, your goals, your dreams which can eventually drive you away from your real inner self and from being happy. We all feel lost sometimes in our lives and some people find their way after a while and others get there quicker. It doesn’t matter how long the road is but that you finally find yourself and the happiness that you deserve. Before sharing my tips on how to stop caring about what people think about you, let me tell you a bit about myself and how I also struggled to find, love and accept my true inner self:
I lived most of my life not knowing who I was because I never felt free. I was always extremely self conscious about everything I was doing or saying and even though I had some close friendships, the people who I trusted the most were not there for me, supporting me; they were always emotionally absent. As sad as it was and embarrassing for me to admit that made me the person that I am today: stronger, more optimistic and confident. I shared this part of my life with the intention to make people understand that if you are often concerned about what people may think of you, it’s because of something much deeper than what we think. But don’t let this affect your life and use it as a way to become the best version of you.
Check out this post “How to achieve a work-life balance: a life full of purpose and happiness”
Let me now share the best ways on how to stop caring what people think of you:
Be yourself: trying to be someone else to please the person you love, a colleague or anybody else is tiring. Always agreeing with them so that they like you, trying to be the perfect person in front of their eyes so that they accept you and maybe push other people away that they don’t like so that you please this particular person is draining. We only have one life and it’s important that we feel happy, free and be authentic.
Accept the truth: It’s important that you face the reality that not everyone is going to like, love and accept you. Besides, some people are impossible to make happy because it doesn’t matter what you do, they always want more. Some other people just have different opinions, beliefs and ways to be which are different from yours. So just be yourself, discover who you really are, what your passions are and follow your dreams instead of following other people's dreams.
Spend some time alone: even though spending time by yourself is sometimes seen as something negative as people may think of you as being antisocial or even depressed, where indeed it’s one of the best ways to discover who you really are. It doesn't just have benefits such as recharging yourself and unwinding; it allows your brain to refocus but it also gives you time to be totally in charge, make your own decisions, spend time doing something you love (your favourite hobby) and mostly you don’t have to please anyone! Wanting to spend some time alone doesn't mean that you’re being selfish but actually the other way around. You can’t love and appreciate others if you don’t love and appreciate yourself first.
Think about the worst possible thing that can happen: when you need to do a speech in public, share an idea in front of all your family members or talk about a project in front of your boss and colleagues, it is good to think about what could be the worst outcome. If you think about what can happen as a worst case scenario it will probably be unlikely to occur but can really help to relax before any major speech or even which you’ll experience in your life.
Stay away from toxic people: that’s one of the main reasons why people are likely to worry about people’s reactions and opinions. Imagine if one of the closest people in your life, could be a parent, a sibling, your best friend, a partner, has ridiculed you or put you down every time you had an idea, an opinion or anything else, it will bound to affect your self-esteem. It’s important that you spend time with people who love you, believe in you, support you and especially that they have to be honest and genuine about it.
Check out this other post if you’re experiencing bullying at work “Great steps on how to deal with bullying in the workplace”
Don’t hesitate, instead take risks to carve your own path: for example it’s hard to believe that our present job/hobby which we love doing but doesn’t yet make any income or little of it can be promising especially when we feel judged by people. Remember it’s your dream, you can still maybe find another way to make it work and be patient. Let’s say that in the end it doesn’t work, you haven’t exactly lost everything because you gained a skill, this passion brought you happiness and you can still keep it as a hobby. So the trick to stop caring about what people think of you is to stop being negative about yourself and always see the positive side of things.
So lastly I’d like to add that from my experience if you have been in an embarrassing situation, regretting to say something, wished to have stood up for yourself, think again before feeling that way because in a week or in a month time you might have forgotten that day and realised that it wasn’t that bad.