How to Stop Caring What Other People Think

One of the strongest desires of humans is the need to be loved. There is a yearning for validation that all humans have. This is a universal desire, and it’s totally normal. However, there are times when this need is so strong that it affects you as a person.

Sometimes, being self-conscious about how people perceive or judge you can help give an important balance. However, when people’s perception precedes you, there is a problem. This excessive self-awareness is often irrelevant as people do not care. There is such a thing as caring too much, which can cause worry and take a toll on mental health.

The Hidden Costs of Caring 

Caring about what people think can hinder your ability to lead a happy and fulfilling life. The emotional burden can strain and allow others to take advantage of you. The excessive urge for validation can often be associated with a lack of care or attachment while growing up. According to the attachment theory, this could lead to a need to overcompensate in present relationships. 

No matter what people say or think, you only need to pay minimal attention to it. The only justifiable time to pay attention to people’s opinions is when a handful have pointed out the same thing to you. And rather than wallow in self-pity, you channel energy into the situation and move on. 

A Natural Instinct 

The tendency to care about what people think of you is based on most people’s instincts. Many years ago, humans needed to be in groups to survive. Survival mechanisms back then depended on living a communal lifestyle where the group rules reign supreme. You either conform to the group or be booted out. 

Even though evolution, societal change, and cultural revolutions took place, the primal desire of wanting to be accepted remained. People want to be trusted and respected in their chosen communities because it has become an indicator of success. Going against instinct is difficult. It is like going against your essence and DNA. 

Overcoming such instincts requires consistent reinforcement of new habits. In today’s world, seeking external validation turns you into a people pleaser as you prioritize what others want, think, or feel over your own needs. Focusing so much on people’s approval can cause low self-esteem. 

Reforming Biological Behaviors

If you’re constantly looking over your shoulders seeking approval, here are tips to relieve worries and live your best life.

Look Inwards 

The first step to changing a habit is admitting it is wrong. You need to reach a point where you appreciate and accept who you are. You must identify your strengths, weaknesses, and skills to unearth your uniqueness. Then you can approach life from a place of strength rather than defeat. 

Think New Thoughts 

The key to overcoming bad habits is replacing them with new ones. Rather than dwell on anxious thoughts, think of new possibilities. Instead of thinking, “Everyone is staring because my dress isn’t good enough.” Why not think, “My dress is fabulous, that’s why everyone is staring.” 

Journaling 

You constantly seek external validation because you’re not doing enough internally. One way to change this is to start journaling. This helps you focus more on the positives going in and around you. Making a habit of writing down a couple of positives from your day helps validate your journey. 

Prioritize Growth 

First, you need to have a plan for your life. Ask crucial questions about where you want to be in the next few years. What is the difference between where you are and where you want to be? Then, identify skills, relationships, and networks that will enable the process. 

Avoid Comparison 

One of the fastest ways to unhappiness and misery is by comparing yourself with others. For example, wearing sunglasses for visually impaired people can be a source of anxiety. 

You might compare yourself to others and how wearing sunglasses, but you can’t wear them because of your glasses. There are prescription sunglasses sold online. Prescription sunglasses perfectly combine an eyeglass, UV, and blue light protector and make a fashion statement. 

Sometimes you unintentionally make yourself self-conscious and become prone to overthinking. Remember, there is always someone on the other end of the spectrum who is better or worse than you are. Rather than compare, pick up positives you can learn and implement. 

Creating Boundaries

Knowing when to prioritize yourself above everyone else for your mental health is important. Many times in life, you’d be presented with situations where you have to choose between yourself and others. It is okay to choose you over and over again.