You may be aware that in life, most things typically exist on two levels. To succeed at relationships for example, you must fix your inner game – your self confidence, maturity, self esteem. You’ve also got to fix your outer game – your conversation skills, your appearance, your lifestyle. The reason most people get stuck when they try to stop caring what other people think is because we don’t realize that in order to do so, there are things you have to handle with your inner game, and there are things you have to handle with your outer game.
Your Inner Game:
1. Stop making imaginary reasons why people won’t like you.
Until someone has explicitly told you that they don’t like you, caring what other people think is like trying to be a mind reader – and that’s crazy. How can you know what the other person thinks without getting confirmation?
Even if you DID have a clue what “other people” thought about you, what does that matter? What other people think of you is NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS.
2. Be prepared to accept the worst case scenario
If you’re worried about what someone else might think of you, often times it’s because you imagine a negative outcome for being honest.
Now unless you’ve acted in a crummy way to this person, chances are you can handle the worst case scenario. Most people are extremely bad at estimating how bad something will be. In order to get over this fear, rehearse this scenario in your head. Come to the place where you can accept it if it happens.
3. Get in touch with how you feel about yourself
If you’re obsessed with what other people think, could it be because you don’t think highly of yourself? Take a hard look in the mirror, and come to terms with who YOU are.
If you don’t like what you think of yourself, you must face it, and realize that that’s ok. Then you need to figure out what you need to do in order to start liking yourself again!
Do you need to make amends with somebody?
Do you need to be more disciplined in one area?
Or do you need to spoil yourself in another?
Do whatever you need to do so that you feel and believe in your own self respect.
Your Outer Game:
1. Make your opinion more important. Speak your mind, and assert boundaries
It’s almost impossible to simply “snap” and stop caring what other people think. This is because if you care what other people think, it’s because you’ve spent your life acting in a way that encourages you to care what other people think.
When you avoid speaking your mind freely for example, you force yourself to stay trapped by what other people think of you.
Suppose someone offends you, but you just take it because you don’t want to cause trouble. You’ve essentially slapped your own face.
Anytime you hold your tongue, you train your mind to think “My opinion of myself doesn’t matter, but other person’s opinion of me does”.
2. Act based on what is right or wrong, not based on how much approval you get.
Most people are afraid to do what is right because they will lose friends in the process. Ironically, it is that person who can unapologetically act based on justice who is the most wildly popular person.
When you act based on what is right or wrong. You look to yourself, to determine your actions. When you act based on how much approval you get from other people, not only do you look to others to make decisions for you, terrible things can happen.
Can anyone say The Holocaust?
Acting based on right and wrong reinforces your self-respect.
3. Act based on what you think of yourself, not based on what you can get away with.
Have you ever cheated in your relationship? Have you ever stolen something?
It might feel like when you “got away” with it.
Like you’ve won. . .
But you pay a huge price for dishonesty.
When you act dishonorably, first, you establish a tone in your life where you spend time hiding the evidence of your evil deeds because you care what other people think – rather than walking around with your head held high.
Secondly, even if you get away with it in the short term, you know what you’ve done, and you know what you did was wrong. When you betray your mind like this you condition your mind to believe that your opinion of yourself is of no importance.
When you live like this, it’s impossible not to care what other people think.
Hope you enjoyed this post, and I’d love to find out how you will do things differently with your new tools to stop caring what other people think of you!
Photo by Scarleth White.
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