How to stop caring about what others think
James Umber (Author of Stop Caring What Others Think)
How to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think of You
We're all guilty. Every day from the moment we wake up, we live our lives caring what other people think of us. We accept the status quo for what it is because everyone around us does. We tip toe our way through life by doing things in order to please others, not because it's what we believe in. Eventually our actions, appearances, and lives become molded by how we think other people perceive us. How are these pants going to make me look?
The best way to take feedback is to understand where the feedback is coming from. For example, so many parents tell their kids what direction they should go in their lives. But parents have an agenda too. I have empathy for their opinions because I understand how they could come to their conclusions with limited context. When I was younger, I would go up to old people and talk to them. Every one of them — at parks, bars, airports — all started with what they wish they did differently.
I stopped doing those “things that aren't normal for a girl” and conformed to the It's time to stop caring about what other people think .
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The occasional punch in the face by reality is good for us. Why do we do things, or not do things, because of how we expect others to react? What about those who spew hate and venom your direction for no reason?
We get by. Think about a time when you were extremely anxious — say, before standing up to publicly speak, raising your hand in a big meeting, or even walking through a room of strangers. The reason you felt small and scared and tense is you were worried about social disapproval. A craving for social approval made our ancestors cautious and savvy; thousands of years ago, if the responsibility for the failed hunt fell on your shoulders, your place in the tribe could be threatened. The desire to fit in and the paralyzing fear of being disliked undermine our ability to pursue the lives we want to create. This underscores why we need to train and condition our mind — so the tail is not wagging the dog.
Have you ever wondered why we care so much about what other people think of us? For some, this problem can be life crippling. It can become an obsession. We wonder what people will think of our clothes, body, hair style, profile pic, car, presentation, voice, etc. You might not even be fully aware that you're doing this. We try to impress each other by saying what we think other people want to hear instead of letting our inner authentic voice guide us.