I have said, more than a few times, that the best day of my life was the one when I stopped caring what other people thought.
Not the people that matter, the people you trust, your people. You have to have an inner circle who can check you when you need it.
But strangers? People who don’t have your best interests at heart. We’ve all wasted far too much time worrying about what they think.
That said, it’s a tough lesson to learn – one that never really takes for so many people. Too many people. So, if you’re looking for encouragement, or advice on how to flip that switch, here’s some tips and tricks from 15 people who have done it.
15. If only.
Get rid of your social media.
14. It’s true that you’ll probably never see them again.
I literally just remind myself that 90% of the people I run into will never see me again, so what’s the point of trying to impress?
13. I want to give this guy a fist-bump.
Idk what happened I think it’s when I got dumped for like the 34th time and I was like.
Dude I’m way happier alone so now I live life like a fucking weirdo and I’m growing out a man bun and trying new things that would otherwise make me look like a fool until the person that can truly love me for who I am shows up
12. People are inherently selfish.
For me, it started with realizing that everyone is thinking about themselves way more than they’re thinking about me.
I’m not that important. In a good way!
11. If you can trick your brain, do it.
Understandably this is delusional but my method is to assume one of three modes.
I am a God and your opinions carry as much importance as your worship for me.
I am a visiting alien from another planet. Your opinions are meaningless as well as difficult to understand. I am only here to eat your food and visit your theme parks.
I am an elder immortal who has lived long before you were born and shall continue to live long after you are dead. Your opinions only matter to you as I am far too busy to be bothered with them.
Foolish with a hint of insanity but I do get more stuff done now that the opinion of others hold no significance.
10. If you’re kind, people won’t remember you.
I worked in retails for years.
I figured out that I barely remember anyone or what they did. I only the complete pricks.
9. Sometimes it’s fun to imagine it.
You know every single stupid thing you’ve done that will pop into your head years later?
They have done stuff like that and worse.
8. The sooner the better, if you ask me.
I think as soon as you turn 30, each year afterward you just naturally give about 10% less of a fuck what anybody else thinks.
7. Only compare you to you.
Most of that comes from social competition and continuous comparison to others. Learn to compare yourself only to yourself.
Did I do my best? What can I improve? How much do I want to improve next time?
By comparing yourself to yourself you automatically stop comparing yourself to others. As a result you become happier, more goal oriented, more strategic and more accomplished/productive.
6. Takes one to know one?
It’s possible that you thinking that everyone around you is judging you comes from you projecting your own critical judgement of others.
The solution here would be to try to stop judging those around you so much and become more accepting of people in general.
This will slowly alter your perception of others to the point where you stop worrying about them judging you.
5. Live and let live and all of that.
Go into the politics subreddit and tell them what you really think. Spend days arguing with people.
At some point, you just realize that maybe it’s fine to let them be them and you be you.
4. I wish people cared less, honestly.
Ask yourself how many hours of your day thinks about the guy you just bought your groceries from? Or that girl you walked passed by?
If you don’t really give much thought to others than other people don’t give a fuck what you do. So stop being scared and YOLO
3. He’s right: it’s something to unlearn.
Be yourself and give zero fucks about their opinion, because honestly, their thoughts do not rule your life.
It’s not something to train, it’s something to unlearn.
2. Sort of like picturing your audience naked.
This might help.
Or it might be stupid.
But the idea that everyone you meet in the day has had to use the toilet just like you might take away their mystery and the idea you have to care what they think.
They’re no better than you. Boil it down to biological functions and they have to do the same things you do. They can’t escape it.
Even the queen.
Other than that, I used to care a lot about what people thought, and it made me very self conscious aged 16-21.
As I grew older I started to realise that, in the nicest possible way, most people just don’t care about you.
Think about if you saw someone in the street with a really bad haircut. It might register in your mind.
But then that person is gone.
You don’t spend your day thinking about this bad haircut stranger, you don’t start making plots against them or shouting about them on social media (unless you’re a sociopath)
We just don’t care about strangers. They aren’t part of our lives.
So maybe that’s a way to think about it. Nobody cares about you.
Do you feel better now?
1. Some of it definitely comes with age.
I was really bad for this in my late teens to early 20’s.
What worked for me in a practical sense was actively redirecting my thoughts when I started having those self-conscious and negative ones.
Walking through a room full of people, I would automatically think they were viewing me negatively. I realised that my thinking was actually very self-absorbed. I didn’t automatically leap to negative judgements about other people. What was so special or different about me that made me think people were even thinking about me? And even if they were, why did I automatically assume it was bad?
It was because my thoughts about myself were usually negative, so everyone must see me how I see myself, right?
So in situations where I started to feel worried/negative I would instead focus on paying attention to my surroundings with a positive spin. So walking through a room full of people, I would direct my thoughts to notice someone’s lovely hair, the rich colour of the wood flooring or the malty smell of beer. Anything but myself in that moment. In conversations, I would actively listen and think about what the other person was actually saying instead of just half-listening while thinking they were thinking something negative about me. I coupled that with retraining my brain to think more positive thoughts about myself rather than the negative ones that were my default.
I did this enough that it started becoming second nature and having other things to focus on like work, volunteering and sports really helped. Now I don’t have to consciously think about it anymore unless I start hanging around with perpetually negative or pessimistic people.
I hope this helps. This is just part of what worked for me. It was not a quick fix by any means and no one can “think positive” 24/7 so have some compassion for yourself when you’re feeling like shit and being a Negative Nancy.
I’m telling you – make this your resolution for the year. It’s worth it.
How did you shed the social conditioning that told you other people’s opinions matter? Share your own tips with us in the comments!