This week I’d like to discuss the value of what other people think of you. There is some value in what others think, but not as much as most of us place on it. Being overly concerned about what other people think of you can be a burden and can create unnecessary stress. It can cause a lot of fear when it comes to putting yourself out there in your personal life or business pursuits.
At a young age I started down the path of placing too much value on what people thought of me. This had gradually become more severe for me throughout my life up until last year when my Psychologist/Therapist helped me realize how I was letting it affect my life to the point of giving me extreme anxiety. I had actually reached a point where I believed that if a person thought something about me, that in itself made it true. I began imagining people were thinking the worst of me much of the time and believed it was true, just because I thought they believed that of me.
I’m learning that this is actually a situation that many people find themselves in, not always to the extreme level that I experienced it. Studies show that many people overestimate how much, and how badly, others think about us. (See here
My purpose in writing about this is to help people identify such things to prevent unnecessary stress and anxiety. Here are some examples from my life that signified to me that I cared too much about what people thought of me…
-Finding myself frequently explaining my reasoning for my actions to people.
-Feeling silly, self-conscious or embarrassed when doing something in front of somebody else.
-Second guessing a post, text, or pic/video that I had originally felt good about when I first posted it.
-Bending over backwards to keep a person happy with me.
-Getting especially stressed out when my kids are misbehaving or acting their age in public.
-Frantically cleaning my house more than usual just because someone is coming over.
Everyone’s experiences will be different in one way or another from mine. The first step in changing is recognizing such things in your life so that it won’t cause stress and hold you back any longer.
If you have already noticed yourself being overly concerned about what people think about you, here’s what can be done.
1. Realize that you cannot be in control of what others think of you.
2. Realize that whatever it is that you think they are thinking, they usually aren’t even thinking those things. And even if they are, that doesn’t mean it’s true.
3. Realize that typically what you think someone is thinking about you is actually what you think about yourself.
4. When you find yourself overly concerned about what a person might think of you, delve in and ask yourself specifics.
For example, “What am I worried people will think about me regarding _______.”
“I’m concerned that they will think that I’m _________.”
“Is it true that I am _________?”
“No it isn’t true that I am ________so I don’t need to worry about them thinking that.”
“Yes, maybe I am________, so what can I do to change that so I don’t feel that way about myself anymore.”
These four steps are things that have helped me to overcome my anxieties surrounding what people think of me. If you’re interested in learning more about how to not worry about what people think of you, see this article from Psychology Today (click here
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If you know of a publisher, agent, or someone who would be willing to sponsor/publish a children’s book about this subject, please let me know by commenting below!
I’d love to hear your personal experiences regarding how you have overcome placing too much value on what other people think of you! Feel free to comment below! If you’re interested in my previous motivational tips, click the following Tip 1: Self-Compassion
or Tip 2: Self-Approval.
A special thanks to continuedoptimism.com
for letting me use her quote. Her blog has many inspiring words.
Until next time,
Be Gleefully Me (as you not as me;-)