How To Stop Worrying What Other People Think About You
If you have low self-esteem, the chances are you worry too much about what other people think. You probably place too much value on other people’s opinions and overestimate how much they actually care. It's natural to care to some extent what others think, and it’s okay, to a point. It’s the excessive worry that’s the problem.
Why You Worry About What Other People Think
You may worry about what others think because you feel insecure about yourself or you might believe your worth depends on the approval from others. Ultimately all of us want to belong, be accepted, included and loved.
Worry is associated with distorted thoughts which create anxiety and negativity. For example, you might make irrational assumptions or generalizations about yourself or others. These thoughts can be damaging to your self esteem.
The good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the worry.
Ways To Stop Worrying About What Others Think
- Quit mind reading. Mind reading is when you make assumptions about what other people think about you. However, how do you really know? You’re not a mind reader and it is futile to make those assumptions. Instead, be open-minded about what others might think.
- Ask yourself what else someone's behavior could mean. There could be many reasons for someone's actions. For example you might think someone doesn’t like you just because they didn’t talk to you. Alternatively, they might be having a bad day, be incredibly shy or didn’t even see you.
- Know that you can’t please everyone. There will always be someone who doesn’t like you, no matter what you do. Please one person and you’ll disappoint another. Be yourself and you’ll attract the right people for you.
- Realise that you can’t control what other people think of you. What you can control is what you think of yourself.
- Let go of perfectionism. Everyone has flaws and you don’t need to be perfect to be accepted by others.
- Realize that people notice less and care less than you think. Most people are concerned about themselves and have their own issues to deal with.
- Stop relying on others for approval. What matters is how you feel about yourself.
- Embrace your individuality. No two people are alike and our differences are what make us all special. You add value by being different and you don't have to be like everyone else to belong.
- Quit overgeneralizing. If someone disagrees with you, or dislikes something about you it doesn’t mean they dislike you as a person.
- Realize that people will probably like you to some extent. It isn’t the extremes of black and white.
- Focus on the positives about yourself. You may choose to write down a list or talk to someone. Do whatever works for you.
- Use affirmations. E.g. “I am worthy,” “I can’t please everyone” or “I am true to myself.”
- Get professional help. You are never alone in your journey and there is good help available.
Remember that your worth as a person is not determined by what other people think about you. Worrying thoughts may require effort and persistence to change but it's well worth it. Freedom from worry is liberating. You’ll be more comfortable with who you are and your self-esteem will improve as a result. You can do it!
Agathangelou, F. (2014, December 30). How To Stop Worrying What Other People Think About You, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, May 16 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/buildingselfesteem/2014/12/how-to-stop-worrying-what-others-think
Author: Fay Agathangelou
This is Fantastic! I Find the best way for me to embrace this, is to be Less Judgmental myself :)
Thanks very much for your comment. Good point about being less judgemental, that makes a huge difference. I'm glad you like the article :)
Great article! I used to struggle with low self esteem for most of my life. All the tips you wrote here are great and in addition to them I would like to share what helped me. One night when my kids were about 3 & 4 yrs old, after I put them to bed and began cleaning up their toys I was thinking about how awful I felt. I felt fat, ugly and useless... (None of which was true of course.) But after about an hour of beating myself up (I really don't remember what started it) I went in the bathroom and looked in the mirror at myself. (Have you ever noticed that when we women are feeling really sorry for ourselves we go into the bathroom? That's because there's that big mirror in there so we can see just how pitiful we look and commiserate with ourselves!) Anyway, I went in there and was commiserating with myself when all of the sudden the thought came into my mind that I'm really not as bad as all that. I sat down in front of the mirror and started telling myself all the good things I could see in myself. All of the qualities that I liked in someone else, since I saw those things in me, then I really am a pretty good person. I learned that night to see me as I saw others. I had some weak points, but really, my good points far outweighed the week points. I also allowed myself to see that no body else was perfect either. I began learning to love myself for who I am. It's been a long journey - my kids are now 28 & 29yrs old, and I really love who I have grown into.
Thanks for your comment. I'm glad you liked the article and thanks for sharing your own experience. It's fantastic how you turned your thoughts around in such a positive way. Loving yourself for who you are is a great place to be, and good on you for getting there. :)
Excellent info, specially for a depression sufferer.
I did not subscribe to this at all, but maybe it's answer to prayer?!
Thanks very much for your comment, I appreciate it. I'm glad you found it useful.