“The minute you start caring about what other people think, is the minute you stop being yourself.” — Meryl Streep
Does it effect your self-esteem when you consider what other people think of you? Are you troubled by other’s opinions? In a modern world that seems to be fuelled by approval and ‘likes’ of various kinds, we are likely to spend some time considering what others think about us.
Being a human we often enjoy being liked and accepted. However, it often leads us worrying too much about what others are thinking about us. Excessive worrying as a result can have a negative effect on our life.
We can all care too much what other people think of us. Excessive worrying prevents you from living your life to the fullest potential. At UC Berkeley, Sonia Bishop, associate professor of psychology and cognitive neuroscience, has found that anxious people make worse decisions amid uncertainty. There are many more downsides of worrying whether people like us or not.
Here are some more reasons to ditch this kind of worry.
The Consequences of Worry
-You could end up tailoring your behaviour based on what you think other people expect of you and may not be true to yourself. You may lead your life in an inauthentic way.
-You might find it difficult to relax, or when faced with stressful situations may struggle to cope at all because you’re so busy worrying about what others are thinking about you.
-Your search for happiness and peace becomes out of our control and you rely on people and things outside of yourself.
-You might expend valuable mental energy exaggerating your perceived flaws.
-Worry about what other people think of you is exhausting. This is energy that could be channelled in many more progressive and positive other ways.
-You might miss out on living your real life. Life is too short to worry.
Many of us care so much about others because our happiness may depend upon (or be greatly influenced by) the quality of our relationships. One study (Diener & Seligman, 2002) found that every last person in the happiest 10 percent of the participants had at least one intimate and meaningful relationship; so, if you want to belong to the happiest 10 percent, great relationships are not a luxury—it’s a necessity. The irony is, usually we worry to ourselves about what others think about us far more than others actually do think about us. Here are some ideas and tips worth bearing in mind next time such thoughts comes creping in…
1. You can’t control what other people are thinking
“You can’t control other people’s thoughts but you do have control over how you see yourself. Be proud!” ― Jane (@veryjane)
You can stop worrying by realising a few simple things, first, no matter what you do or say… some people won’t like you, alternately no matter what you do or say other will still like you, but most importantly you need to realise that you don’t have complete control over who likes you or why. As an example, throughout history there have been many terrible people that others have followed such as tyrannical leaders, and equally there have been many others who were hated despite being good people. Once you accept that some people just will not like you for whatever reason, while others will like you… it will help you stop worrying about which is which and why.
2. Change the direction of your thought process
“You are stronger than you think you are. You are not your thoughts. The only devil inside of you is the one you created yourself.” ― Amy Lukavics
Instead of asking yourself if they like you, ask yourself if you like that person. It changes the direction of your thought process. What do you like about that person? Can you share the positive reason/s with them? What are the reasons you value their onions – are they solid and laudable? People like and want to spend time with people that make them feel good about themselves. If you don’t like a person, that may mean that you don’t feel good about yourself around them.
3. Remember that people usually focus on their own matter
“Stay focused on your goals, your peace, and your happiness. Don’t waste your time on anything that doesn’t contribute to your growth.” ― Anonymous
People seldom think of others. Maybe you thought you said something wrong in a conversation that made people think poorly of you, but usually they won’t even remember it. Take yourself as example, a rude guy pushes past you on the train, you get angry. But a few days later you won’t even think about him! Only take it seriously if you know someone really cares about you, for example, your parents, your close friends or relatives or those who have similar importance and impact in your life. But if they really like/know you, they won’t mind your small quirks (more likely that they’ll enjoy and celebrate them!). If we play such small role in other people’s mind, then why bother to invest your mind on analysing what made certain people not like you.
4. What’s best for others may not be best for you
“Sometimes you have to do what’s best for you and your life, not what’s best for everyone else.” ― Unknown
You should know that other’s opinions are often based on their own unique experiences, activities and thinking. So, what is best for one person, might well not be good for you at all. You never know your treasure may be garbage for others and vice-versa. We are unique in our own ways. Therefore, only you know what is right or wrong for you.
5. You’re the only one stuck with the end result
“When you have something to do life will not allow you to move forward until you do it.” ― Iyanla Vanzant
You are solely responsible for the consequences of your decisions. No one else will be responsible for them. So, it doesn’t always matter if your decisions are influenced by others’ opinions or not. In the end, the outcome of your decision will affect your life more than others. For example: If you buy something after someone’s recommendation and you didn’t like it. Then, you might think you your money but you did not waste the money of others. You have to bear the loss incurred, learn from it and live with it. When people give you their suggestions or even orders, there is no risk for them. They don’t have to live with your choices, just you do usually.
6. People’s thoughts often change
“Don’t be too confident when someone tells you they like you. The real question is until when? Because people change and so do feelings.”- Ritu Ghatourey
We are constantly changing. Similarly, our thoughts too change with the time. We rarely stick with one thought all the time as we need to adjust ourselves over time and in response to prevailing conditions. People’s thoughts, ideas and views change on a regular basis. It means even if someone dislikes you at the moment, then, next time there is a good chance he/she might like you. So, people’s thoughts don’t really need to matter as much as you might think. What’s more, we all oscillate regularly in our thinking.
7. Life is Too Short
“Let’s not allow ourselves to be upset by small things we should despise and forget. Remember ‘Life is too short to be little’.” – Dale Carnegie
Everyone has one life to live. So, why would you spend it worrying about other people’s opinions? Live in the moment where possible and appropriate and live on your terms and conditions instead of others’. Get comfortable being yourself as long as it does not harm others and then enjoy and live your life to the fullest.
8. You reap what you sow
“Be kind. We never know what people are going through. Give grace and mercy because one day your circumstance could change and you may need it.” ― Germany Kent
If you keep worrying about what others think of you, you can become a self-fulfilling product of that. When you start indulging your need to be liked, it starts dictating to the way they behave. You become people-pleasers or subservient that turns many people off. Many times, the behaviour you use as an attempt to ensure you are liked may actually cause you to be disliked by others. Therefore, you reap what you sow.
9. Know that you can’t please everyone
“You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” – John Lydgate
You should understand and accept the fact – you can’t please all the people all the time. You can’t live up to everyone’s expectations. So, there is no point in burning yourself out trying to do so.
10. Learn to respect yourself
“Never force you way into a heart that refuses to make room for your presence. Respect your self-worth at all times.” ― Edmond Mbiaka
Respect yourself and people’s opinions of you suddenly won’t matter as much if at all. You’ll still be upset if someone said they don’t like you, but you wouldn’t obsess or care about it as much. Once you respect yourself and actually like and admire the person you are, you’ll appreciate who and how you are and not seek the approval of others’ so much.
It is good to be liked, and we should never stop considering other people’s opinions of us to the point whereby it creates problems for others or makes us obnoxious. However…. If you keep worrying about other’s thoughts, then it can become an unbearable burden for you. It can influence the way you live and think as you are being influenced and controlled by other’s thoughts and expectations. To be perfect and ideal for others, you forgot to be realistic and unique in your own way.
So, it is better to stop giving too much concern to other’s thoughts. Once you understand how to let go, you will see the world as entirely different. Then, you will see it through your own eyes and not from others. Stop worrying about others’ thoughts and you will find out who you are and what are your own thoughts.
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