Optimal Living

How to stop worrying what others think

With every step, you take in your life and every decision, big or small you weigh the thoughts of others against what matters to you. Sometimes you give in to the idea that making others happy will eventually make you happy. But you just end up letting others make decisions for your life or not allow yourself to live your life as you want.
I know many people have already shared their thoughts and tips on this and I am just jumping on the bandwagon to share my thoughts on it.

Your life isn’t yours if you constantly care what others think. #bossbabe

It is good to be considerate towards people and what they think but you are not bound to obey what they wish. Everyone has and lives a life of their own. As a kid or teen, I had a habit or say I would involve in an exercise which I would like to share here <3

Growing up SHY!

Yet as an adolescent, the hormones hit me hard and I did become aware of every eye on me and every person’s thoughts of me. Soon I involved in the practice again and grasped my thoughts. This is actually an exercise or practice to allow yourself to know when you should care about what others think and when you shouldn’t.
Pick up a pen and notebook. Draw a circle which indicates YOU.
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The next circle that surrounds YOU is the circle that includes your parents and closest friends. Yeah, the people you can really fart in front of. 😛 This may include your spouse if you are married and / kids.
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The next circle is your family and rest of the friends. They are vital for socializing aspect of life.
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Then comes the rest of the world. People you meet up occasionally at work or events. Very close to being considered strangers, distant relatives etc.
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People in your life

Each one you meet in your life has some impact or influence in your life. They can be there at the moment but not forever in your life. At the same time, they may be there for as long as you can remember but you may only be emotionally attached. When you are grateful for each and everyone in life you get a sense of respect for each person even the strangers you meet. You feel you can’t do without your first circle of individuals. At the end of the day, you learn from every person that is the key effect people have in your life.
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The circle of your life

However, there is a fine line between respecting other’s thoughts and turning a total slave to what they think or their opinions to feel accepted or to fit in. You will notice it if you are making quite the changes in your life to impress those people or sacrificing some of your dreams in order to show respect to what the other person believes in.
The first circle that you surround with are the people whose thoughts are to be considered and respected. If you are making a big decision you are bound to think about their opinions on it. Maybe the decision affects their lives to a certain extent and or brings some kind of major change. In this case, you and the first circle of people can discuss and come to a certain point of agreement where both parties adjust but are equally happy with.
They are people who know you, support you and are the ones you can fall back on. However, make sure to not crush your desire for something in order to obey what this circle wants of you. Remember it is your life and you wouldn’t want to resent the person as they didn’t allow you to take a step you so wanted to take in your journey of life or of achieving something. It will only leave a bitter aftertaste given that you are more than adjusting, you are sacrificing.

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The opinions or thoughts of the second circle of people are to be welcomed but not necessarily to be obeyed. You have your own life and you wouldn’t want to change something major about your life because this circle said so or believes so. They probably have their own insecurities. Superficially they throw advice at you but genuinely they are just judging your thoughts or ways based on their principles of life or what they expect life to be. Here you should respect the differences in people and lives. Also, ask them to respect the same.

Take Action!

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The last circle or rest of the world don’t actually matter. Really, how much do they even know about you? Being concerned about what the people on the road or strangers in a public place think of your way of anything shouldn’t matter to you. The people you are happy to leave behind at work or school are your last circle and their opinions don’t even matter.

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Who you choose to put in which part of your circle depends completely on you. Maybe your best friend is your colleague so everything they say matters to you. They may end up in your first circle. So this is for you to figure out.
This is what I always did whenever I came across people or circumstances I kept placing those people in respective circles based on the circumstances and what they mean to me.5

Why you should not care for what others think

You become carefree, relaxed and happy

Everyone cannot be pleased

You will be more honest with yourself furthermore discover yourself and what you want

Only you form your own values and other’s cant make you happy

You can make more decisions for  yourself

Your life is yours and it is to live once

Hope does matter

People’s opinion is based on the way they are set to live life. You don’t have to follow them. You should be able to create your own

People’s thoughts are a reflection of what they think of themselves and so not everything they say has to be about you

It releases most of the negativity from your life1

 

How To Stop Caring What Others Think

Stop taking things personally

Believe and love yourself

Stop explaining yourself to others

Become more independent and self-confident

Never change your mind for others

People actually sometimes don’t care, you are worrying for nothing

If you are to do something, ask yourself what have you got to lose? rather what will they think about it?

It is better to just do than regret to never have done it

Be you and always do you <3

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Thanks for reading! Hope it helps <3

 

29 thoughts on “How to stop worrying what others think

  1. I loved this post! I’ve been doing these things you mentioned for a few years now & I feel so much better mentally & physically for not giving shit about anything else than what really matters 😄

  2. This is a great way to visualize something that can sometimes be difficult to conceptualize. Thank you, as always, for being vulnerable with your readers for our benefit. 🙂

  3. My husband has a book that uses the concentric circles to explain influence. It’s fascinating. But you’re right…by keeping those in perspective, that can break us out of that shell!

  4. Wonderful – and spot on! I’m 44, and wasted almost three decades worrying what others thought of me. One day, I just woke up with an ‘I’ve had enough’ attitude on life. Much of what you’ve written about is exactly how I gave up being shackled to other’s opinions and took control over my life, and myself.

  5. I really do like the idea of the visual of the circle here. I think it really does work. I am not sure whether I would agree with every last thing here as sometimes even those in the first circle arent the best judges of what you should and shouldn’t do. But I guess you shouldn’t just toss them aside so easily.

    1. I really appreciate your thoughts! I never said toss aside the opinions of first circle but I said never toss your own dreams and also to communicate and not feel resentful. The same medicine never works for everyone and so I only appreciate your disagreement. This post was mainly for the individuals who are too paranoid to even take the smallest step towards their own life and wishes just because they fear the world or think it is better to stay quiet. Who lack courage and self confidence and yet the most courageous or confident might slip into thinking what will they think about me or will they accept me? But without trying how will they or you know. Everyone should test the waters before deciding what’s best for them. It is my attempt to liberate their thoughts so that they can take action. It is for people who cant toss aside anybody’s thoughts aside easily. Who pick safe and not risk. Who always think ‘others’ before thinking ‘me’ or ‘I’.

  6. That’s an article definitely for me! I always keep worrying about such things, I started working on my attitude towards others’ opinions, but I need some time to deal with that. 🙂

  7. I wish I learned about this exercise back in high school where I was always tensed because my classmates were always so judging me for everything, that gave me social anxiety in every social settings until I learned to filter out who’s opinions I should be worried about…

  8. This was a really thought-provoking post! I always tend to worry about what others think about me, especially the people that are important to me such as my parents. I’m trying to turn a new leaf this year though and break through the idea that I don’t need to make them happy and worry what they’ll think. It’s still a work in progress but I definitely feel more free and happy now that I am able to make decisions for myself and not just to make someone else happy.

  9. I hope that everybody at my age has overcome the point where they worry what others might think. If people have to much control over your life and do not accept boundaries, I cut them loose. I sadly even had to stop seeing my mother because she was too invasive.

  10. I love this! I’m glad I’ve read this because I did a post about self-esteem and I definitely still feel a bit like I am comparing others. I’m going to try this out.

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