We all care about what others think of us to some degree. Evolutionary Psychologists say this is because we needed others to survive millions of years ago. If we were shunned from the tribe, our chances of survival dimished rapidly. We are social creatures and we want to feel liked and included.
When we care too much though about what others think of us, we divert from our authentic path and start pleasing others and this is where it all goes wrong. It’s important to stop caring about what others think, or at least train ourselves to care less.
How to stop caring about what others think
Tune in to your values
When you are more in tune with yourself and what makes you happy, you will feel stronger and more committed to what you want out of life. When we don’t really know what we want for ourselves or what makes us happy, we are far more like to be swayed by what others think. What is important to you – is it family, work, honesty, love, friendship, loyalty, non judgemental people?
Self belief and self acceptance
Make a plan to champion yourself. When we like ourselves we are more committed to following our goals. We feel less involved with the ‘noise’ from others trying to tell us what to do. When we have a healthy relationship with ourselves we don’t need the same amount of approval from others.
Remember – it’s your life
You have to live with the consequences of your decisions, not others. As long as your choices are not hurting others, you don’t need to give others explanations for what you choose to do nor do you have to ask for permission. Many of us will be judged by others as we go through life. Sometimes, that judgement may be based in concern for you, but you are still an adult who actually knows best. It’s your life to live and no one else is as best placed to know all the facts as you are.
At the end of your life, looking back, will you be more proud of yourself for forging your own path and being true to yourself or will you feel more proud of constantly appeasing and pleasing others? My hunch is that you will feel happier with yourself for being true to yourself and living your life the way you want to.
Throw off the shackles of oppression and be an independent, critical thinker. When others judge you, it says more about them than it does about you. Look at the source! No one lives their life from a clean, clear objective standpoint. We all ahve our biases and hang ups. Consider this too when looking at why others feel the need to judge you or to try manipulate you into doing what they think is best.