It’s unlikely to have bothered primitive humans, but in the process of evolution we have learned a practical and partly destructive skill – the habit of caring about what others think of us. It’s not about upholding the basic rules of social behaviour, but worrying about how others will react to your appearance, words and actions.
“Fear of not being liked is a common problem that especially annoys women,” comments clinical psychologist and hypnotherapist Olga Golosova. – Attention to the feelings of others is certainly a positive trait, but if thinking about other people’s opinions interferes with self-expression and personal development, this kind of obsequiousness is clearly not good for you. If you reconcile every action with how acceptable it is to those around you, it’s time to pause the need to please everyone and start pumping up the rights to individuality.”
8 signs that you’re too worried about what others think of you
1. You are constantly controlling your words and actions, avoiding spontaneous statements. Basically, you are afraid to say what you really think or feel.
2. You don’t like to take risks, you prefer to take the safe route, you rarely listen to your intuition and you always think through the consequences of your actions.
3. You are stressed by change, you do not like them. Sometimes you have new ideas, you want to change something in life or appearance, but you are worried that you will be criticized, and always agree with their wishes with family, friends and colleagues.
4. You find it difficult to make decisions on your own and follow them.
5. You always try to please others and rarely contradict when you disagree.
6. You avoid certain people because they overwhelm you and make you jealous of their flamboyant personality. In addition, you are depressed by the feeling that they are not interested in you.
7. You often have the (unreasonable) feeling that someone is annoyed or angry with you.
8. Because you are always adapting your needs to those around you, you don’t really know what you personally like or dislike.
If this or that point seems familiar to you, the situation is clearly not in your best interest. It’s time to stop this one-sided process before you become a complete and unqualified “pleaser” – someone who puts other people’s opinions and satisfaction ahead of his or her own. “Instead of channeling energy into a fear of being rejected/someone else, change your habits, master self-esteem-enhancing practices, or better yet, consult a specialist,” advises Olga Golosova.
Here are 5 truths that our expert recommends to learn by heart so that you do not have to worry about what others think of you.
1. Everyone has flaws
Worrying about someone else’s opinion of you forgets that everyone has flaws, and even the seemingly confident characters occasionally have doubts about themselves. While you worry about how you look in his/her eyes, that person’s mind may be spinning with thoughts of “I wonder what she thinks of me?” or “What kind of impression is she getting?” In most cases, your fears about how you will be perceived by others are completely unfounded; you are simply making them up.
2 People don’t really care about you.
It sounds harsh, but it’s true: 95% of our complicated lives are about ourselves. The capacity for others to think about you (much less critically) is negligible – only 5% of the attention goes to the people around us, that’s just how we are built. Get this statistic straight – frustrating perhaps, but liberating at the same time.
3: What people think of you is not your problem.
If you feel like stepping out in a pair of sweats and a ragged jumper, there’s no reason to be sceptical about your style. Your world view may be totally different from the other person’s. We’re all different, we like very different things, and if your style or mannerisms don’t match his/her idea of what’s beautiful, that’s his/her problem, not yours.
4. Caring about other people’s opinions damps self-esteem
Think for a couple of minutes about how much time and emotion you spend imagining what others might think of you. That’s a lot, isn’t it? These meaningless experiences not only drain your energy, but also encourage you to doubt yourself more and more. You should be concerned first and foremost with how to maintain the integrity of your identity, not betraying yourself for the benefit of others.
5. You can’t please everyone.
There will always be people who don’t like what you say or do, and there’s nothing you can do about it. However, you may respond to criticism in different ways, either accepting or rejecting it. If you realise that you are being projected negatively, don’t take it personally – it’s possible that the person has a problem and is being aggressive towards everyone around them. It is more important that you like yourself. Remember that you have friends and loving people in your life who support and accept you for who you are. Don’t waste your time and energy on people who don’t care about you.