Today I have another pretty personal post for you all. If anyone else out there is tired of holding yourself back from the world for fear of what other people think, I hope this helps you in some way. <3
From a very young age, a lot of us have this belief instilled in us that it’s important to have others think highly of us. That other people’s opinion of us matters more than being ourselves. And I think we can all agree that this is kind of ridiculous, right?
I’m a “quirky” person, with a silly sense of humor and, in some ways, a “different” outlook on life. I like to think that I’m just unique, but I’m always scared people aren’t going to “get me” or they’re just going to flat-out think that I’m weird. (I’m weird in a good way, I promise!) But I’m also one of the most caring, sensitive, and kindest souls that you’ll meet. I care so much about other people, it hurts. I can’t see another female cry or I’ll start bawling with them. I can’t watch any movies where an animal dies. When I hear about a child being hurt in any way, I get depressed.
My point is, I feel things deeply and I take every little thing to heart.
I’m not going to go into major detail right now, but I was bullied badly in high school. It was an extremely small school, and everyone literally knew everyone so I couldn’t escape it. It got so bad that I started going to counseling for it and my counselor told my parents that they should probably pull me out of school ASAP because of how bad it got. I was already suffering from depression too and I lost it. I let everyone’s opinion of me get to me to the point where I’m still struggling with some of the pain from it. It was almost traumatizing.
I know what it’s like to be made fun of and I know what it’s like to feel like no one gets you, no one understands you, or even no one is there for you. I know what it’s like to care so much what people think of you that you’ll morph into someone else if only to keep them from having negative opinions of you.
We live in a world where we’re supposed to be like “everyone else” (whoever that is) or something’s wrong with us.
And really, if people are going to judge you or make fun of you for something, it says more about them than it does about you. Because they have to be super unhappy to even care that much about what you’re doing, when it has no real affect on them.
I know that my appearance, personality, opinions, thoughts, and beliefs are nothing to be ashamed of. I’m very open-minded about people who disagree with my views and if people can’t accept me for who I am, that’s on them. I wish everyone felt this way about themselves because there wouldn’t be so many problems with lack of confidence or low self-esteem.
Because in the end, why does it matter what other people think of you? Would you rather live a life of “what-ifs” because you’re scared of what other people think, or would you rather live an awesome life full of joy, in spite of what other people think.
But how can you stop caring so much what others think, you ask?
Over the past few months, I’ve been trying to learn to come to peace with other people’s opinions of me. And I wanted to share some tips that I’ve been learning, and trying to live by.
– Try to understand that you can’t control what people think of you.
I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again. It’s important to try to understand that there are always going to be people who don’t like you. And you can’t control that. Everyone has judgments and opinions about people and no matter how great you are, you can’t please everyone. It’s a sad truth, but it will always be that way.
– Stop thinking that you can read people’s minds.
This is always a big problem for me. I assume that people don’t like me sometimes, only to find out that it’s not true. That’s not cool, though. How can you really be sure that someone doesn’t like you, or that someone is going to judge you? You can’t read minds, so it’s good to always try to be open-minded about other people’s opinions of you or you’re just going to make yourself feel bad for no reason.
– Remind yourself that people probably don’t really care what you’re doing.
A lot of times, we put way more importance on other’s opinions than we need to because of the simple fact that they don’t think as much about us as we think they do. Most people aren’t critiquing everything we do, as much as we might trick ourselves into thinking they do. It’s usually just us being self-conscious and maybe even a little bit paranoid.
– Realize that focusing on other people’s opinions is getting in your way.
Sometimes worrying too much about the opinions of us keeps us from doing things that would’ve been good for us. Sometimes we turn down amazing opportunities or don’t go after things that we want because we worry that people will judge us, laugh at us, or think badly of us for it. For example, when I first started this blog, I almost deleted it because I was scared that people would make fun of me. But now I’m so happy that I didn’t because it’s helped me chase my dreams and grow so much!
– Ask yourself why it matters.
Next time you’re getting worked up about what someone thinks of you, stop and ask yourself why it really matters. What’s the worst thing that could happen if so-and-so doesn’t like you? Why is it important if someone judged you or laughed at you? It’s not the end of the world, and the worst that could happen is exactly what happened – someone doesn’t like you. So what? Your feelings might be hurt for a while, but you’ll move on. And you’re amazing, so it’s their problem anyway!
– Work on your confidence and self-acceptance.
If you’re truly comfortable with yourself and you’re truly confident, it’ll matter less and less what others think. So work on yourself, work on “finding” yourself, and work on loving yourself. I actually have a few posts here that might help you with this:
- 7 Things Confident People Do (And Don’t Do)
- 15 Effective Ways to Feel More Confident
- How to Feel Less Insecure
- 5 Reasons Why You Should Always Be Yourself
- How to Be More Independent
– Pay attention to the people who matter.
Only focus on the important people in your life. The people closest to you know the most about you and they love you so that says something, right? So their opinion of you should be the only opinion that really matters to you. Listen to what they say when they tell you you’re funny, smart, pretty, kind, etc. This is who you really are!
Another awesome article on the topic of this post: How to Stop Giving a F*ck What People Think
Question: How do YOU deal with the negative opinions of others??