9 ways to stop caring what other people think about you

Seeking validation is part of the human condition.

We have this need to satisfy the established societal standards and cultural norms so we’d feel less left out and more adapted to a group.

So it’s normal to care what others think about you.

But there are instances when we care too much to the point of overthinking things, which can eventually affect our overall wellness.

If you want to improve the quality of your life, here are some things you can do to stop paying attention to what you think others say about you:

1) Expect The Worst Opinions About You

When you expect the worst things that others would say about you, you don’t have to suffer from unnecessary emotional damage.

Similarly, you have to know yourself and the obvious aspects of you that you think will pique others’ interest in you.

This way, when you hear something someone says about you, you’d just shrug it off as irrelevant because you already know the actual truth about yourself.

Sometimes when people call me out for something inappropriate about my personality, I’d simply agree with them and explain nonchalantly.

For instance, most people call me out for being the type of person that doesn’t exhibit tactfulness during conversations.

I simply explain the reason for my honesty and why I think lying wouldn’t benefit either parties involved in a conversation.

Although there are still opinions that still catch me off guard when I hear them for the first time, it’s how I know that expecting the worst of what others would say about you helps you to learn how to not care about them.

2) Seize Control of Your Emotions

You can’t control how every person sees you, but you can surely control how you feel about what you think their perceptions are.

You can definitely control overthinking the subject matter and converting it into something positive.

After all, not everything others say about you should be taken as a direct attack on you.

Aside from that, some people confuse their identity with what others say about them.

Controlling how you feel about something helps you clarify the labels that your mind puts in the things that others say about you and what you think you actually are.

Some activities can serve as mindfulness strategies that can help you gain better control of your emotions.

Starting my day with simple meditation and breathing exercises generally helped me get a hold of where my ship sails.

For others, yoga works as their mindfulness strategy. I think that more than relaxation, having a good mindfulness strategy helps to sort out through a cluttered mind.

3) Refrain From Unnecessary Apologizing

In an effort to be nice, most people apologize even for the littlest things such as being themselves.

As long as you’re not being a nuisance to anyone and you’re taking caution to avoid coming off as offensive, you have nothing to be sorry for.

This becomes common as social media attempts to call out individuals for almost every single offensive thing, as if there’s no more room for error or mistakes.

Although there’s nothing wrong with apologizing, always remember to set boundaries between the things that you know are worth apologizing for and those that aren’t.

I think that apologizing too much is an act that gives people so much power over you.

This appears as if you’re sending a message to them that their opinions matter to you so you’ll listen to every word they say.

Always control that power to avoid caring too much about what others think of you.

4) Focus On Your Strengths

Instead of focusing on the flaws that are pinpointed by others, — or even those that you think are highly noticeable of you — you need to know yourself deeper and focus on what drives you to work in the best way everyday.

It’s funny how people always pertain to the flawed version of you when they’re describing your “true colors”.

On the contrary, your true colors should be your strength and capabilities.

These are the things that allow you to be who you are, and to achieve endless opportunities every day.

So I think more than anything, you should focus on your strengths.

Allot sufficient time and energy to hone it and build yourself up so that whatever others say about you can’t even reach you in the first place.

5) Don’t Overthink Others’ Thoughts

Stop overthinking what others think about you. Most of the time, the greatest critic of your life is actually yourself.

Our minds often amplify how we think others perceive us, and we do so way more harshly than what they actually think about us.

For instance, one of the feedback I hear from the teams that I manage at work is that our new team members find it hard to contribute insights because of their perception that I don’t like newbies because of their mediocre and underdeveloped ideas.

Just because I placed them under the mentorship of other team members, they already overthought something that I never intended for them to think in the first place.

6) Rethink The Source

Sometimes the reason why we care so much about what others think is because of our own selves.

We put too much weight on what every individual says about us without evaluating the source of that criticism.

You just need to remember that some people simply don’t matter and their language shouldn’t have any impact on you.

I find it difficult for so many people to understand this. When they ask me why I always sound so confident with myself and how I do it, I simply tell them that I stopped caring when I learned how to segregate the people who matter to me and those who don’t.

This is a very important step because the reason why we care is that we comprehend and welcome those words with open arms.

Words are just words and opinions are meaningless unless we allow them to enter into our minds, first by hearing it and second by believing it.

Think about the reliability of the source and why you think it should be deserving of your attention.

7) Be Accepting Of Others

Sometimes the reason why we care about what others think about us is because we’re as equally judgmental as how we think others are.

You’re the kind of person who’s the first one to throw snarky remarks at someone’s flaws or gossip about something about that person.

If you want to stop caring about what others think about you, then you also have to stop caring about what others do with their lives.

How we treat others is reflective of how we think others treat us. It’s natural to notice some flaws and call out other people for it if you think that it would be beneficial to anybody.

If not, then just keep it to yourself and give the person the benefit of the doubt.

They don’t have to explain themselves to you every single time, in the same manner, that you don’t owe an apology to anyone for being yourself.

8) Surround Yourself With The Right People

The right people will influence you to do the right thing.

If you belong to a tribe (i.e, a group of friends) that gossips too much about others, then chances are you’d share with their negativity and contribute to every gossip session too.

But when you’re with the right people who want nothing but progress for everyone, then your values would also follow.

Their support is also often something that’s sufficient for you to build yourself on without having the need for constant validation from others.

Growing up, I learned that the right kind of friends will help you build your own confidence to be independent and happy on your own.

In the process, what others think of you is irrelevant. And that’s not only because of your confidence but because of the support that your peers have for you.

9) Let Go of Perfection

Society has set standards for the right kind of behavior, also depicting what a well-mannered and perfect person is like.

However, there’s no such thing as a perfect person. On the contrary, the kind of person that definitely exists is a flawed one.

By letting go of the unfruitful quest to perfection, we also let go of focusing on what we think others perceive negatively about us.

Instead of trying to be perfect and dwelling on your flaws, what you can do instead is to let go of perfection and learn to face your flaws.

There’s nothing else we can do about our flaws but to try to move past it and improve ourselves.

I think that dwelling on it too much without any kind of resolution is a complete waste of life.

People are bound to make mistakes, but make sure that you can address those mistakes without hurting anyone else in the process.

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Lachlan Brown

I’m Lachlan Brown, the founder, and editor of Hack Spirit. I love writing practical articles that help others live a mindful and better life. I have a graduate degree in Psychology and I’ve spent the last 15 years reading and studying all I can about human psychology and practical ways to hack our mindsets. Check out my latest book on the Hidden Secrets of Buddhism and How it Saved My Life. If you want to get in touch with me, hit me up on Facebook or Twitter.

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