Do you really need to stop caring about what others think of you?
We are a highly social species, we tend to like meeting and making friends and generally spending time with other people .In 2014 there were over a quarter of a million marriages in England and Wales alone.
Relationships, on the whole matter to us and we can care deeply about other people’s opinions. Too strong an external locus of evaluation however can cause discomfort.
It means for ‘people pleasers’ among us, there is a middle man through which we make ourselves happy.
More crucially it places our own happiness in the hands of others.
If you do something that makes you feel embarrassed or ashamed, it’s generally not a great feeling.
“Oh no!, what will they think?”
Embarrassment and shame are emotions which occur when we wonder and worry what other people think of us or our behaviour.
Worrying or caring about what others think of you isn’t always a bad thing. Recalling feelings of embarrassment and shame can motivate us to be kinder, less selfish and thoughtful of other people.
Harm arises when the worry grows into anxiety, fear and panic, because you’re caring about what other people think of you too much. Anxiety, fear and panic can lead to feelings of insecurity which then leads to behaviour which can drive others away.
There are ways to break this cycle of worry, anxiety, panic and insecurity.
- Be kinder and more considerate of and towards others; this can stop you worrying about what others are thinking about you and probably attract more friends and good people into your life
- Realise that you’re often not the sole focus of attention of all of your friends and colleagues all of the time, means you can take it all less personally.
- You can’t please everybody; it would be impossible for everyone you come into contact with to love everything about you. This is natural and normal. You can’t stop people from having opinions, but you can stop those opinions from having a negative effect or learn how to stop them from having any effect at all on you.
- Believe in what you believe in: they are your beliefs. Stand up for them. Don’t change them because others disagree. The people you may be worried about impressing will be much more likely to respect you, even if they disagree with you.
This is just touching on the issue but these quick tools and shifts in thinking can help.
It is a complex subject this and the circumstances are as unique as you are but the principles and tools can work for everyone.
Those tools need to be carefully chosen by you and carefully applied to your world and you.
If you need more help with issues around what others think of you then don’t hesitate to contact me here.