10 ways to stop caring about what others say about you (and live on your own terms)

In a world where everyone can say anything for all the world to hear, every minute of the day, it’s hard not to get caught up in what other people might be saying about you behind your back.

And no matter how positive you try to live your life, the simple reality of knowing that those rumors about you exist out there can be enough to drive anyone crazy.

The simple piece of advice is to just stop thinking or caring about it, but that’s easier said than done.

How exactly do you stop?

Here are 10 ways to stop caring about what others are saying about you, and how to live a better life overall:

1. Don’t Live Your Life Trying To Please Everyone

There’s little chance you haven’t heard this one before, but it needs to be said before anything else: if you want to stop caring about what other people say and think about you, then you need to stop caring about whether they like you or not.

People-pleasing is a real, growing addiction.

Social media has made it easier than ever before to get hundreds or thousands of likes and hearts on your daily posts, and it’s made people prioritize the positive vibes of literally everyone around them over anything else.

But caring about everyone is a one-way ticket to disaster.

You just can’t make everyone happy; there are too many different kinds of people with too many opinions and likes and preferences. So why bother?

2. Get Off Social Media, Or Minimize It

Speaking of social media: get rid of it (or minimize the time you spend on it).

There are more people on your Instagram and Twitter timeline than you’ll see in person all week or all month, but you’re bombarded by their constant updates on a daily basis.

So posting a single picture or caption out into the wild exposes you to hundreds, thousands of people, and for the first few minutes after, you’re itching to know how everyone is reacting to it.

It’s time to let go.

Don’t use social media like a slot machine for constant dopamine bursts throughout the day, because it’ll drive you crazy over time.

3. Learn To Love Yourself

The only reason the negative opinions of other people can affect you is that it instills doubt in you, making you wonder if they’re right and you’re wrong.

Are you really as bad as they say; is your real-world image of yourself a lie?

When you don’t really fully love yourself, to begin with, all it takes is a few rumors to start breaking into the chinks in your armor.

So to combat this, all you have to do is work on loving yourself.

This isn’t the kind of thing you can do overnight — some people take years getting to this point — but simply starting your journey to true self-love can be enough to ward off the negative voices trying to break into your self-esteem.

4. Prove To Yourself That You Are Amazing

But how exactly do you love yourself?

Easy: find the things you excel at, the things that make you happy, and the things that make you healthy, and do them.

Envision the type of person who would be your ideal best friend. Instead of wishing they’d pop into your life, become that person, and positivity will attach itself to you.

Wake up every day with a purpose to move forward.

Tell yourself that whatever rumors may be floating around couldn’t mean less to you, because you have more important things to do and care about.

Your life is so much more than whatever nonsense other people might be cooking up.

And even if that “nonsense” has a factual basis to it; who cares?

You’re on the road to self-improvement, and that’s all that matters now.

5. Seek Criticism and Embrace Vulnerability

One reason why people become so reactive to negative opinions about them is that they’ve built a tight bubble around them that only exposes them to ideas and opinions that they wholeheartedly agree with.

While you might say this is healthy, it’s also incredibly unhealthy, because it takes away your ability to empathize with other people.

Creating your own bubble is easier now than ever before.

Just follow the right people, unfollow the wrong people, and you can create a world where you’re only exposed to the things you approve.

But criticism is a part of life. It helps us grow and become better people, and without it we’ll always just be whatever we were when we first set up our bubble.

You don’t want to be the same person at 45 that you were at 25, do you?

6. No One Knows What’s Best For You Except You

It might sound like a cliche, but in nine out of ten cases, it’s true: no one knows what’s best for you except you.

You understand your path, your hardships, everything you’ve had to overcome, and where exactly you started.

No one is as intimately familiar with your history as you are, and no one ever will be.

So how can their opinions on what you should be doing with your life be more valid than yours?

Of course, this isn’t true in all cases. If you’re not already on a positive path, it can help to let others pull you up.

Don’t be afraid to reach out and let them give you a hand; some people sincerely just want to help.

7. Ask Yourself: Will It Still Matter A Month From Now?

One trick that has helped countless people stop caring about other people’s thoughts and opinions is by asking yourself a simple question.

Will all of this still matter a month from now? What about a week from now, or a year from now?

Things come and go so fast in the modern world.

People might be spreading negative rumors about you now, but you’re probably already on a positive journey that will prove them wrong in a month or a year.

So why let yourself feel the pain of something that is so, so temporary? Why give it the time of day when it won’t last longer than a revolution around the sun?

8. Remember: No One Really Cares

The cold hard truth that we all need to be reminded of: no one really cares.

We tend to get caught up in all the small-time day-to-day drama that involves us, and it ends up feeling like the biggest deal in the world.

But no one cares as much as you do.

So they’re talking trash about you? Own it, brush it off.

The more you hide from it, visibly showing how much their rumor-mongering affects you, the more life you give to it and the people who spread it.

But they’ll already have moved on long before you finally get it out of your head.

So why let it get started in the first place?

9. Don’t Put All Your Self-Worth In One Basket

In the endless journey of “discovering who we are”, some of us end up putting all our eggs in one basket.

You might decide that your shtick is baking, or playing an instrument, or fitness, or a number of other things.

Your entire personality begins to revolve around that single thing, and you become less “you” and more your hobby.

And this makes you vulnerable because if people start to attack the one thing you think you can do right, your entire foundation of self-worth and self-love gets turned upside down.

If you spend all your time doing one thing, but suddenly people are talking behind your back about it, then what are you at all?

Don’t let yourself fall into the modern epidemic of cornering yourself in a single activity.

Don’t turn your identity into one thing, because then all it takes is one wave of criticism for you to lose all self-belief.

You are capable of so much more: branch out and discover.

10. Travel The World And Experience New Things

Finally, when everything else has been done and you still can’t stop yourself worrying about the gossip around you, there’s only one answer: take a break from your reality and travel.

The world is a huge, amazing, magnificent place.

It’s easy to feel like you’ve already seen and experienced everything because of pictures and videos online, but nothing beats the in-person experience of breathing in a new country and culture.

In just a few days, you’ll realize how small and trivial those issues you were worrying about actually are.

Your life can be about so much more, and traveling is the best way to flip that switch in your brain.

Get away from your routines, from the small circle of people you interact with, from the day-to-day annoyances you deal with, and jump headfirst halfway across the world, where no one knows your name and where you can’t even speak the language.

Life is about so much more: remind yourself.

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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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