Do you worry about what other people think of you?
I am sure you have done it and so have I, it is natural and normal. It feels good when someone tells you he likes your outfit, your hairstyle, your phone cover, your house…but it also feels bad if someone tells you that the way you dress up is out of fashion.
Yes it is natural and normal , but when we become sensitive to the point that we seek approval for anything and everything in life then it is a serious problem.
When you refuse to go to the gym because you are not fit and people will look down to you, you think you will look stupid carrying very light weight or doing just 10 min on treadmill while others are able to do far much more, then it is a problem.
When you avoid to ask for information even if you are in absolute need of it just because you don’t want people to think you aren’t smart enough, then it is a problem.
When you decide to go for a plastic surgery with all the risks that might come with it just because others will find you younger then it is a problem.
When you spend all your salary on branded clothes to impress your friends and colleagues and you keep on taking bank loans to keep living in the same standard then it is a problem.
I can go on and on. From small decisions such as what to wear to go to the gym to big decisions such us which husband/wife to marry. It’s strange how we can adjust our actions based on our assumption of other people’s thinking. We don’t realise how much this is affecting our lives and preventing us from doing what we want, or being who we truly are.
And here I want to draw your attention to one important thing regarding caring too much about what other people think:
- It tells us how insecure we are and how much we are seeking for validation from others
- We are living according to other people’s perception and standard and not ours
- other people’s likes, dislikes, opinions, judgments, expectations, …are all related to their own experiences, to their perception of what is good and bad, and has nothing to do with our choices and decisions. It is ok to think differently and do things our way.
If you think you are aware that over caring about other people’s opinion is affecting your life by preventing you from living your life the way you wish to, a life according to your own standards then try these:
- Have your own personality:
Your personality is connected to your values. If you know them well then you know yourself better than anyone else. It makes your decisions easy and your thought process clear.
If you value tolerance for example then respecting other people’s opinions is easier for you and any other interpretation of your behaviour won’t affect you.
If you value generosity, then you will not care about people thinking that you are just trying to show off when you are giving charity or helping others.
2. Respect other people’s tastes/decisions/space:
Take control of your own life and mind of your own business:). By doing so, you will understand that it is your right to ask for the same and you will see how peaceful you will become.
Your life belongs to YOU, take ownership of YOUR decisions and allow others to do the same.
3. Connect to yourself
The more you connect to yourself the more you know yourself better. You start to be aware about what you like and what you dislike, then it is easy to know which clothes you are comfortable wearing, which friends you enjoy hanging around with, which sport activity you enjoy the most, which music is close to your heart, which career is appealing to you, …
4. Read self development books
Those books help a lot when you need to do some internal work. Consistency is key, you will not expect the change to happen after reading two pages but it will definitely happen overtime. And don’t forget,“WE ARE ALL WORK IN PROGRESS”