We all want to feel liked and accepted, it’s human nature. But sometimes, this desire can seriously hold you back in life. Whether you find yourself regularly pretending to be something you’re not, just to feel accepted, or you spend a lot of time worrying about what others thought (or will think) about what you said or how you looked or acted, it’s exhausting. If you’re sick of letting what others think about you rule your life, try these four simple tricks to start to care less about what others think today.
4 ways to care less about what others think
1. Turn the tables around
How much time do you spend thinking about what others do? Not sure? Well, take your mind back to the last situation in which you either worried about how you would be received before the event or you worried about what others thought about you after the event.
Now turn the tables around. Name one person that you seriously judged during the situation and continued to do so for hours afterward.
If so, there’s a reason for that. The truth is that most people are much more concerned about how they look and act than about others. In fact, experts claim that we all spend 95% of our time thinking about ourselves.
This means that just as you’re worrying about what everyone thinks about you, everyone else is busy thinking about what you’re thinking about them. To be blunt, no one cares what you do or say as much as you think they do.
Remind yourself of this every time you get caught in a worry spiral.
2. Make peace with being imperfect
Of course, there are times when people will have an opinion on your actions. But keep this in perspective. To do this, think about when someone last did or said something you thought was a bit silly or out of character. How did this change how you saw them? Did they become an outcast to you? Did you mock them mercilessly to anyone who would listen? Or did you forget about it soon after?
We’re willing to bet the answer is the latter. And that’s because you know we’re all imperfect and we all do silly things from time to time. The problem is we tend to set much higher expectations of ourselves than others and beat ourselves up over things we give others a pass for.
The next time you catch yourself ruminating over something that happened that you think others are judging you about, stop. Ask yourself how severely you’d judge someone else over the same thing. Then treat yourself how you’d treat that person.
3. Surround yourself with cheerleaders
While we’re firm believers that you need to change your perception of a situation to care less about what others think, we also know that it can hard to stop thinking in this way when you’re surrounded by very critical people who leave you feeling bad about yourself.
That’s why it’s important to regularly spend with people you love and admire… and who love and admire you back. They can help you build up your self-esteem and become more aware of what you have to offer others.
Even if you already have great self-esteem, surrounding yourself with people who will help you grow is vital to your self-development. Read more about the four people you should surround yourself with to do better in life.
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4. Acknowledge your flaws
Being a perfectionist can increase how sensitive you are being judged by others, but we’re all flawed. Trying to fight that by beating yourself up every time you show a flaw is a futile exercise. Next time you notice you’re trash-talking yourself for doing something human, like forgetting to do a task you said you’d do or making a mistake, stop for a second.
Ask yourself if what you did was truly unacceptable or just a human error that anyone can make. If the answer is the former, don’t waste time worrying about what others think, focus on identifying why the mistake happened and how you can do better next time. But if the answer is the latter, tell yourself “So what? I’m human, like everyone else.” and then change the record in your head.
A great way to change the record is to name three positive things about yourself out loud.
So, what do you think? Do you often worry about what others think about you? How do you break free from those thoughts when they strike and has this helped you to care less about what others think?
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