Mindset

10 Reasons to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

“Care about what other people think and you will always be their prisoner.”  ― James Frey

Who cares what anyone else thinks, right?

Easier said than done.

Most of us do care, at least some of the time. Especially us ADDers who so frequently rely on another’s perspective because we can’t always ourselves so clearly.

Caring about what others’ think isn’t really the problem. Worrying about it is.

What’s the difference?

Caring about what others’ think means you respect their opinion and will bear it in mind, but it doesn’t suggest that you will rely on someone else’s viewpoint to determine your worth. Worrying about it implies that your worth is contingent on someone else’s appraisal.

I hypothesize that almost all people, from time to time, worry about living up to other people’s expectations and that the few who have NEVER cared are probably sociopaths. It is human nature to want to be liked and accepted.

But for some, this worry can affect their lives almost globally. It can be so debilitating that it interferes with their ability to feel at ease with themselves and around others, and possibly even limits what endeavors they take on in life. This kind of need for acceptance can be so great that people will actually forgo their own needs and desires in order to do what they think will achieve the approval of others.

Letting go of this need is not an easy task. It is unrealistic to think that you will never again care about what other people think. But it is possible to worry less about what other people think and to care more about your own needs, beliefs and desires.

Here are ten reasons to stop seeking your worth in approval from others.

1. Me, me, me!

One of my favourite sayings goes something like this:

“You’ll worry less about what people think about you when you realize how seldom they do” (David Foster Wallace).

To me this is a very profound statement, but it can be taken one of two ways: that either a) people don’t think about you or your shortcomings as much as you think they do, or b) people generally don’t hold you in high regard.

Someone with low self-esteem might be apt to think the second interpretation is true, but I believe the author’s true intent was to point out this: people generally don’t think outside themselves a great deal of time. It is a sad but simple truth that the average person filters their world through their ego, meaning that they think about most things in terms of “me” or “my”.

Therefore, all people, events and phenomena are judged according to how they affect “me” or “my”. This means that, unless who you are or what you have done directly affects another person or their life, they are unlikely to spend much time thinking about you at all.

 

2. It’s None of Your Business!

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Another one of my favourite all-time quotes is from a character in the movie Adaptation. The lead character, Charlie, asks his “twin brother” why he didn’t seem bothered by the fact that his high school crush never reciprocated his feelings. Donald responds with this:

“That was her business, not mine. You are what you love, not what loves you. That’s what I decided a long time ago.”

People are entitled to think whatever they want, just as you are entitled to think what you want. What people think of you cannot change who you are or what you are worth. People’s thoughts, even the ones about you, are their business. Their thoughts or opinions of you cannot add or subtract anything to or from you, unless you allow them to. Try as you might, you ultimately do not have control over what other people think.

 

3. What Difference Does it Make to You?

What does it really mean to your life?

If you decide to wear something unusual or bold and you are met with (what you interpret as) a disapproving look from someone else, how does that really affect your life?

Try to think about your answer in tangible terms. Sure, you might be embarrassed momentarily, but five years from now, or even five days from now, how much will their fleeting opinions really matter to you?

 

4. Give Back the Crystal Ball

 

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You are not a mind reader or a fortune-teller (my apologies to any readers who in fact are mind-readers or fortune-tellers!). You may think you know what other people think, but unless you ask them directly (and assuming you would get an honest answer), you will never truly know.

 

5. Life Is Complicated

People have many things going on their lives. They have unfulfilled desires to dream about, worries to worry about, families and spouses to care for, jobs to do and careers to advance, bills to pay, chores to be done, pets to walk, plans to be made, hobbies to indulge, TV and movies to watch, music to listen to, sports to follow, religions to follow (for some these last two may be one in the same), and so on.

If people sleep eight hours a day and work another eight, that leaves only another eight hours to devote to those other things.

How much of those eight hours do you think another person would devote to thinking about you and your perceived short-comings?

On the other hand, think about this: people have on average 60, 000 plus thoughts a day. Even if someone else thought about you ten times in one day, that is only 0.017% (if my mathematics aren’t precise, forgive me for I know not what I do!) of their overall daily thoughts. That is so inconsequential it is almost imperceptible. Something that insignificant is hardly going to make much of a difference to the person thinking it, so why should it affect you so much?

 

6. Here One Minute, Gone the Next

 

People’s thoughts, ideas and views change on a regular basis. Some philosophers and theorists would even suggest that we are in a constant state of flux, so much so that we cannot even say we have one, specific ‘self’ or a fixed personality. We are constantly changing.

That means even if somebody does think badly of you at the moment, there is a good chance they will think differently in the near future. Either they will have changed their opinion of you, or they will be thinking about something entirely different (see point five for a comprehensive list of entirely different things to think about!).

 

7. You Reap What You Sow

Worrying too much about what other people think of you can become a self fulfilling prophecy. Frequently, people indulge their need to be liked so much so that it actually dictates to the way they behave. Some become people-pleasers or so submissive that many people are turned off. The behaviour you use an attempt to ensure you are liked may actually cause you to be disliked.

8. Everybody’s Doing It

Remember that everyone has negative thoughts about other people and themselves from time to time. So when you are worried about someone in particular, remember that they too worry about what someone else thinks of them (maybe even you). They, too, have thought negatively of by someone in their life. And you, too, think negative thoughts about other people from time to time.

 

9. It’s a piece of cake? No, a piece of pie!

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Draw yourself a circle. Imagine that it is a pie. Now think of everyone in your life, and draw segments in the circle, whose sizes are proportionate to their importance in your life. For example, your family have a larger slice of the pie than your hobbies. Think about the particular person you are worried about at the moment – unless their allocated piece of the hypothetical pie is bigger than anyone else’s – then who cares what they think!

10. You Can’t Please Everyone

You can’t please all of the people all of the time, but you can please some of the people some of the time.

Every time you are concerned about what people think of you, write down a list of attributes the people in your closest circle admire about you. Don’t be tempted to discount what they think (“Of course she’d say ____, she’s my mom!”). After all, the people closest to you may have a bias, but then again – shouldn’t their opinions also matter the most? You’ll never be liked by everyone, and even the people who do genuinely like you are not going to agree with and approve of every single aspect of your life.

It is impossible to live up to everyone’s expectations so there is no point in burning yourself out trying to do so. Just make sure that one of the people you please is you!

Concern about what others think is completely normal, and even the freest and most confident spirits will at times worry about how they are perceived and whether or not they are accepted by others. But you should take solace in knowing that the need to be loved and accepted bonds us together, as different as we are, in this – the human race.

If you need to know how to handle your critics (including yourself), check out this post. 

What experiences have you had in being overly concerned about what others’ think? If you’ve found ways to overcome this please share below!

 

 

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74 comments on “10 Reasons to Stop Worrying About What Other People Think

  1. This article really help me…I kept worrying about what my friends do say behind me, Cos I took a decision they didn’t support but I was happy with it…but i can’t stop thinking about how they see me, I know I’m not all bad but their interpretation of me gets me scared sometimes… but I think I can handle it now since I know my worth and their thinking really doesn’t affect my future…

  2. My friend and I mean that literally because he told me I worry about everyone but my self
    I told him my second grade teacher told me the same thing- you really can’t see the picture from the frame as the saying goes
    Now I jumped onto G and found this helpful post so thank you so much for helping guide my thinking a slight bit and well needed.
    Never want to limit my wants/needs/desire/beliefs in this way again
    I decided right now that I AM what I love, not what loves me
    Grateful & Thankful,
    Ant

  3. Something someone said in one of the above comments triggered a thought. I always over-obsess about what others might be thinking about me. AND I think WAY too much about one person in my office. She’s self-absorbed and over-confident and has a common youthful “entitlement” issue. Her personality makes me crazy. I have let her take up WAY too much space in my mind. As much as we shouldn’t obsess over what others think of us, we should equally temper how much we obsess over what we think of others.

    1. Very good point TTB, it is just as important to stop worrying about how other people are as it is to stop worrying about what they think. Thanks for pointing this out.

  4. I really enjoyed this article as it gave me lots to think about. I usually do have it in my head that people aren’t thinking about me because after all I’m not that special that everyone is going to talk about me. Lately this just isn’t true, it seems like I’m constantly hearing from friends the things that people are saying about me and I’m honestly losing my mind with it. I hate playing into gossip and spend very little time worrying about others because well It just doesn’t matter what people do however I would like the same respect. I should explain my situation, I’m from a small town, about 200 people small and I’m currently expecting a child. I am now single and have chosen to keep the identity of the father to myself for now because of paternity and custody issues that we don’t need everyone knowing about. I have tried to be resilient through this and try to ignore all the nasty things people have been saying but it’s really starting to wear on me.

    1. Heather, this is a tricky situation. I know what its like to live in a small town and unfortunately, people do talk. It can be hard to be resilient but try to remember that if not now, in some time from now – whether it be a few months or a couple years down the road, this will all be “old news” and no one will be talking about it any more. I always try to remember that gossip comes about because people don’t have enough important things going on in their own lives, or they are ashamed of themselves so it makes them feel better to slate someone else.

  5. I totally agree to what u said. So true .
    But im so used to this that at the very moment i start thinking about what people think about me..i get stuck up badly in a state where i cant find my own opinion .
    Please help me how to focus.

    1. Hi Neene, in this kind of situation, its probably best to get help from a professional or a trusted friend who will help you to discover what your opinions and beliefs are. Best of luck.

  6. I totally agree to what u said. So true .
    But im so used to this that at the very moment i start thinking about what people think about me..i get stuck up badly in a state where i cant find my own opinion .

  7. Very well explained, Wished I had come across your website much earlier!
    I recently lost my precious mom because of her excessive worrying habit about what people think. Unfortunately, those who actually hurt her were her very own and so-called own! I remember her spending sleepless nights and days quietly, just by worrying alone and her health was gradually messed up!
    She eventually suffered a massive heart attack and in no time, I am grieving for her….
    These days, I, too am getting so worked up worrying about everything and everybody that I can hardly sleep. (The same applies to my dad and sister, hopefully this problem doesn’t run in our genes) I know I shouldn’t be doing the same but I just cannot handle my thoughts! Kindly, please shed light on this matter. Thank you for your attention.

    1. Pamz, So sorry to hear about your mother, what a tragedy for you and your family. I would definitely say that if your worry is affecting you to such an extent that you can hardly sleep, seeing a professional would definitely be in order. Anxiety can and often does run in families. The good news is that it can be treated, even without medications – and Cognitive Behavioural Therapy has proven to be very effective. Can you perhaps talk to your family doctor about what you are experiencing? He or she may be able to help or refer you to the appropriate help. My best wishes are with you.

  8. I have recently hurt an inlaw with very harsh words. I apparently misunderstood what she meant by something she said and I reacted before I thought it through. I feel like my inlaws will never see me as they did before and that they will never accept me again. This was my first outburst like that with them but I know they are not happy with me. I can’t help but worry about what they think. I am a stepmom to their grandson (the topic of what misunderstood) and mom to heir granddaughter.

    1. Hi Mandy – I wonder if simply having a candid and open discussion with them might help? Not for you or them to be on the defensive but to talk openly about the fact that we all make mistakes. By the very fact that you are so worried about what they think, it shows how important they are – and your family is – to you. Let them know that and I’m sure in time it will all pass over.

  9. How do you overcome excessive worrying about what people think about you, when you consistently hear people watching what everyone else does and judging them right in front of you. I am in my mid 30s and unfortunately still care! sad but true. At work, I constantly, hear people whisper the dumbest things about people. (she put on a lot of weight, what did she wear today, he is always coming in an hour late, did you notice he didn’t do this task for the past week). its excessive and shows that people are watching. Although your article emphasizes how much they are not. How can I overcome this waste of time burden that I carry around. (worrying about what others think). I know that I cannot do anything to change them talking about me. I know that trying to be a people pleaser creates a person that no one likes. But, yet I still do it. Because I don’t want people to think bad of me/ talking about me. (even though I am sure they do anyway). HELP!

    1. Sounds like your work place is pretty toxic Rae. Some trades people are required to wear protective gear to shelter them from environmental hazards and toxins. It sounds like you may need to wear ear plugs. In all seriousness though, people who are that watchful and critical of other people to the extent that you are talking about – they either don’t have enough going on in their lives or (and more likely to be the case) … they are a feeling in vulnerable in their own positions and the only way they can feel confident and more secure is to point fingers at other people. Sometimes, people ARE talking about us. But its up to us to choose whether or not their opinion matters to us. Its not ease to become thick-skinned, but as long as other people’s opinions are crucial to you, you will always be at the mercy of someone else. Why should they have that power over you or anyone?

  10. I worry a lot about what other people think abt me to the extent of it affecting my work.. It is tuf to let go of it..

  11. Hi I’ve been dealing with this “problems” a lot lately, I’ve come up to the conclusion that I’m basically addicted, obsessed with what others think about subjective stuff like music, movies, books, video games etc…

    It’s stupid, it doesn’t make any sense, but every time I like something, and I read online lots of negative opinions about that thing, I feel uncomfortable, stressed. I become obsessed with those negative opinions, It’s like those negative opinions stuck on my mind like magnets.

    I kept asking myself why does it matter what some strangers think, and I’ve noticed that the more I read negative stuff I’m addicted to it. I’ve read about addiction to negativity, and approval addiction.

    It’s like that in my case, I constantly read comments online, just to seek “approval”, that my opinion is “ok”. But this happens when I like something, if I don’t, then I don’t care, nothing can make me enjoy a band or a movie if I find it stupid or boring, no matter how many people think it’s “good”.

    But when I like something, I worry what others might say, I worry that I may be “wrong”. This worrying is exhausting, stressful.

    I tend to focus too much on the negative opinions. If on a site like metacritic are like 100 positive ones, and 10 negative, I’m drawn to those.

    What should I do ?

    1. To be honest that sounds exhausting Carl, to have to scroll through and read hundreds of comments to decide whether or not your likes are validated by other people. It sounds like you have a lot of conviction in what you don’t like, and nothing will sway that even if hundreds of other people do like that thing that you don’t. Let me ask you this – if you liked something that millions of other people didn’t like – what would be so bad about that? Would it signify to you that you have poor taste? Turn it around to something positive – maybe it actually means that you are an original, someone who has unique tastes and interests. In my opinion, being unique will serve you much better in this world than liking the same stuff everybody else does. Perhaps talking to a professional or someone who knows you well about what this addiction to approval/negativity is about will help?

  12. Sometimes it’s so difficult to be myself anymore because I don’t even know what my true self is, it just makes me really confused and makes me hide myself in this false identity

    1. It takes awhile to figure out who you’re true self is, especially when you’ve been hiding for a long time. Start by asking yourself- what do I really think? What does my gut say about this situation? What makes me feel most alive? And… Who would I be, if I wasn’t afraid to be myself?

      Keep working to find your real you, and your real you will keep working to find its way to you.

  13. I have had a dilemma recently which has quite upset me even though I am not really worrying about it now. I told someone about a certain person on the phone nothing nasty at all. And they have gone back and told the persons relative what I said. And now it has been blown out of all portion which often happens in these cases. I am annoyed that my remarks which were said in confidence were repeated to the persons relative. This I feel has caused some friction. I find it is ok for them to make remarks but as some as you do they don’t like it.

    1. I think that it is best dealt with by trying to be open with both the person who broke your confidence and the person who was offended – to apologize and assure them that no harm was meant and to clear the air. It would be prudent to be choosy about who you talk to about what, as it would seem that you cannot trust the person who broke your confidence. Best of luck, I’m sure it will all blow over as time passes.

  14. I would like to know why, for example, sending my parents on holiday for a Christmas present, makes me happier than me and my husband going. Also why I am am so fearful of my parents death, have been for years yet they are healthy

    1. I’m not sure Jessica but perhaps it is something you talk to someone about, perhaps a good friend or a professional? Usually fears have underlying beliefs that you can work on when you know what they are. Best wishes to you. ,

  15. After studying myself as to why I care what other people think of me, I think I have traced it to my childhood development. I come from a broken and unstable family and I went to over 20 schools during my 1st to 11th grade when i finally dropped out. no one likes to be the new kid, boy do i know that, I have a few really close friends and I treasure them, however I have about 250 friends on facebook and most of them would never give me the time of day it seems, I have tried to make myself available for conversation, and have wrote personally to others just wanting a simple reply. has let me to believe that some people are so self centered and disdainful if you aren’t apart of their elite “clique” you just don’t exist, and it is very disheartening to say the least.then I look inward and think there is something wrong with me, am I a A– H—? and I have over 50 mutual friends with these people more or less.I know I may care too much because I think I always wanted to fit in with friends being that i went to so many schools it became such a important aspect of my development and to me my friends meant everything they were my family, and many are still and I am grateful for them. those are the ones I should care about instead of the others , they seem to have enough friends and I seem to want more friends I guess ,but not for popularity sake,just I wish it wasn’t that way, but it is. so my question is should I delete these “friends” , what would you do if you came from my dilemma ? thank you for the article

    1. Hey Andrew – its hard for me to say what I think you should do because of course there are so many things to take into consideration that couldn’t adequately be discussed here. Facebook is not a true representation of what you mean to the people in your life. Its a digital rolodex of contacts you have made throughout your life. Focus on your true friends and what they mean to you and vice versa. And recognize that some contacts are just people you know, not good friends, and they don’t have to be. Hope that helps.

  16. My story is entirely different. We are a group of 6 friends studying in dental school. I failed twice and now I’m 2 years behind my friends and they’re
    2 yeard ahead of me. I’ve recently noticed they talk about me in my absence. I kind of sensed it as when I tell them stuff they just look at each other in a way that makes me look like a fool at times. I didn’t know I actually care about what they think of me and considering I’ve failed I sometimes would think of lines in my head like they’d probably be saying ” she needs to grow up or get serious in her studies” (which I am)And when I go to
    college when somebody is staring at me I feel
    as if they’re thinking ” wasted 2 years of studies, failed twice etc” But I just want to graduate and move on and not care but deep inside I know I do 🙁 Thanks for listening

    1. Sorry to hear about your troubles Henah. Likely they aren`t thinking about you at all but even if they are – its still you who will go forward and live your life the way you were meant to. I don`t know where we ever got the idea that we are only successful if we get things right the first time. Success is how you are and the journey you take – not dependent on how many roads it took you to get there. Best of luck and keeping trying!

  17. This is an excellent article. I am constantly worrying what people think of me, I seem to have a complex that other people are better than myself. Coming from a family where we weren’t allowed an opinion, I learnt it was best to keep everything to myself. I have got better since meeting my wife and having two fantastic boys. But when I care about something passionately or have to make decisions in my community role that not everyone will agree with, I worry so much it makes me ill. Yet I can rationally understand that I can’t please all the people all of the time, only some of the people all of the time. I’m going to bookmark this page and read it regularly, thank you.

    1. Hey Ben – it sounds like you have a lot of integrity and no doubt it is important to you to make the right decision for all involved. Focus on the fact that no matter what, you tried your best to do the right thing. Even still… people will sometimes be unhappy, but at least you know that you`ve done all you could. Unless you have superpowers, you can`t get everything right, every time. All the best!

  18. I shared something with my friend. When my best friend was chatting with her she said that what I told was” silly” to her. But, actually I was trying to explain the ground rules with them. Then I thought a lot about and realised that we can never have a good impression on anyone. My friend argued with her and she was trying to support herself but a last she accepted that it was her mistake. So, guys never lose your spirit as someone is thinking negatively about you, as their is no other person like you. After I was proven by my teacher that I was correct.

  19. Thank you for this information…I have a terrible time with one particular person – my mother in law. While nobody would ever realize this, I am so obsessed with what she thinks that it’s literally eating me up inside. Even though it’s been 8 years since my husband and I got married, we now have a 7-month old daughter so just recently her “true colors” have came out and I’m realizing just how selfish and negative she is. She complains about nearly EVERY single person she encounters. No situation ever suits her- it could have always been differently or better, regardless of how minute the subject is. While she would never do it in front of me, I know she’s complaining about me also. I guess I was oblivious to it before, but now we’re in the spotlight with “HER” granddaughter. I came from a very bad childhood and don’t really have my own family involved, so it’s almost as if I feel the need to strive for her acceptance and attention. As far as she knows we really do have a good relationship, but internally I am astounded at how self-centered she is and because I’m such a giving person, I can’t relate at all. While I am extremely appreciative, she has a strong sense of entitlement with every aspect of life. I find myself astonished and unable to relate to her- and thinking about it ALL the time!! I realize that I can’t change who she is – only how I deal with it. that’s what I’m trying to figure out right now…and that’s why I read your message. As long as I can determine how to re-focus my thoughts, I can go on living my life!! I’ve come too far and have accomplished WAY too much in life to let this bother me, and I have a husband and daughter who deserve my attention instead of being obsessed with my mother in law’s opinion. I have a lot to figure out. But again- thank you!!

    1. That sounds like a really difficult situation Jessica but you are right to focus on the people (i.e. your husband and daughter) who really matter. Your mother-in-law is but one person in your life and her opinion is only one small fraction in the grand scheme of things. Glad this post helps.

  20. One time when I was 17 and was a complete jerk, I was at a kids t-ball game and yelled out that the visiting teams town sucked. Everyone looked at me and I gave them the “I don’t care” mentality straight up. The girl I was with, who was seated next to me covered her face in my direction and didn’t speak to me again that night. I was embarrassed and I think that I understood why people don’t do that stuff, I left because I had no business there at that point and a month later even if some of the adults remember they just chalked it up to me being high and the girl I was with talks to me just as well as she did before. I find that time heals our mistakes and I admit, I was an evil little goat but I did learn my lesson and the next time I went by that ball field I just applauded the visiting teams hit and waved if anyone looked. It feels weird, but knowing that I moved on feels great and I feel like SUCH a better person for it.

    1. Hi Micky – we’re all guilty about saying things that we shouldn’t but you’ve have gained incredible insight and strength and have grown from the experience. That.is.awesome! So many people do not even accept responsibility let alone look to how they can change things or grow from their mistakes. Mistakes are part of the experiences who make us who we are. Good for you!

  21. hello all, great post, especially the ‘me me’ and life is complicated sections. You’re right, it doesn’t make since for people to be thinking about you for ten minutes a day, in the eight hours away from work and sleep. Some other article had mentioned, a person’s visual of you, can be the result of them being reminded of a ‘similar’ person they like or dislike. My situation kind of sucks because I worry too much about what some people, who have a bigger pie slice than they should, think of me. As in superficial relationships. I can be at times. Seeing as I’ve relocated a lot, I don’t have any true friends; the relationship I’ve built with my cousin was bonded(not solely) by my delicate efforts to fit in. it wasn’t hard, but still I wanted to be apart of the team. Now I am, and have been, but still regret having to first manoeuvre to not be outcasted, to being myself. I’m a giver and I like to make a good impression on the people that seem to matter. I still have friends(associates), my family and now closest cousin. Still sucks that if I was broke down on the side of the road, no one in my phone would fail to have a late excuse for why they couldn’t help. Not even my right hand man. only mom. Thanks for listening. Thanks

    1. Hey Jay, thanks for your comments. I don’t know if this helps, but the way I see it is this: You first build your confidence by trying to fit in. Then, you develop your confidence to be yourself in more situations. As that grows, you learn to be yourself in all situations. Then, you learn to let go of the people in your life that don’t accept you for who you are or who are only there for themselves, because you are confident enough to not need them in your life. Its a process that happens in stages, not all at once. Like you, I’ve moved around a lot and had to adapt. Friendships usually start off with superficiality and trying to find ways that you and the other person fit together. Later, they grow into the kind of bond that can withstand differences. I’m glad you have your cousin and your mom. Try to see yourself through your mom’s eyes. As a mom myself, I can say you will be amazed at how truly wonderful you are!

  22. I always worry about how others think of me. Even when I really think about how stupid it is, i still care. It drives me crazy. Especially because I’m a teenage girl, it’s really hard to deal with because girls my age are SO nasty. They control the way i behave and i have lots of trouble trying to get myself into control. I throw-up all the time because i get so anxious about it. I really, really try to help myself but nothing works. I play soccer, and i get nervous before every game and even get nervous for practice because im scared that i will mess up and people will hate me. Its a 24/7 worry, especially whenever i try new things. I’m terrified to try out for jv, not because im scared if i will make it or not-but if i make it and the people on the team or even the parents will think i suck. I can never shut of my mind and bad thoughts and i just want it to end.

    1. Eleanore you sound like an intelligent girl with so much to offer, please don’t let anyone else dampen down your spark. All I can say is hang in there, it will get better. I was very shy and lacked confidence when I was teenager, yet no one would suspect that about me now. Keep working at it, and know that even if you don’t feel that way now – one day you will feel more confident and care less about what other people think. Imagine yourself being a confident woman in the future – then imagine what that woman would say if she could go back in time and talk to you right now. Its so hard to imagine things being any different than they are right now, but they will – and you will look back and see how much stronger you have become but also know that your sensitivity is part of who you are gives you strength. Big (((hugs))).

  23. I was badly abused by my parents. They called me names and made me hate myself. But one night when I was 7 years old I looked into myself and found my god – it was just the faith in myself.
    I learnt that to have faith in what you know is right is the most important thing. At high school I spoke out against the popular kids, and srarted literally a school war. All of the year above hated me, and it was horrid at the time, but it was worth it.
    Even at uni there has been cyber bullying! And I spoke out against friendships between boys and girls that are always sexualised. I was the first person to cut everyone down, and for that I dont think im liked. Ive been worrying about it for a while but realised its silly. As long as you speak truth, stand up for people who cant, then morally and spiritually you will always win, and deep down the bullies know that too. Words are power!

    1. Wow Kitty, it sounds like you have been through a lot but have managed to draw incredible strength from it. To make that kind of decision at the tender age of seven shows a strength many adults would not been capable of. You’re right, words are power… and all the power to you!

  24. i had been caring about what other people were saying about me and it was destructing my life balance.no body can be like what every body wants.i was admired by my teachers at school about being so polite and smart(i was the best student at highschool)but i was always graudged by my friends.they were leaving me alone and where telling me we don’t want you in the class.i was feeling lonely at school while being with my classmates.i had lost all my fast friends because of changing my school and they were mostly in other classes.i was having problems about what they were telling about me.any nuhappy word of my classmates was a big shock to my heart.i was losing my success and then i decided to be careless about them.i’ve dicided to go in another class to get away from some of my classmates the next year.there were lots of excessive extroverts in my class and i ‘m an introvert(we couldn’t get along).they constantly graudged at my success and tried to fight me by reminding me my silence and loneliness in the class(i had a different culture.they were grown in underclass families.unfortunately my school is located in a very…area!!!).but i’ve recently learned to be what i want to be.no matter what others are thinking or telling about me.the most successful persons in history had enemies that were trying to disrespect them by telling bad things about them.and i know there are lots of people trying to tell bad thing behid my back.but i won’t let anyone cause me to fail.my life got happier since i got careless about negative words of people around me.you’re right who cares?
    and i read a text in a blog these kinds of thoughts cause you to turn into a pessimist and that’s too bad!!!

    1. Sounds like you have the spirit that will help you do great things in the world. You’re right, some of the greatest people in the world have had to fight adversity. I’m sorry to hear what you have had to endure but so glad to hear that you aren’t letting anyone break your stride. Good for you!

    2. Hey dear..quite inspiring for me..as I am almost facing the same thing.. I am doing PGDM and as others have friends..I also had..but now I talk to everyone at college expect those who pass by me n dnt look at me (unfortunately they were my friends)..
      The moment I get up in the morning, my day starts by seeing them.. I have lost my confidence and that is being shown in my performance.. My inner piece is lost.. I study but the moment I open fb n see their posts thn I feel irritated as I dnt knw why they have stopped talking to me and they show that they really dnt care whtever I am going through.. The placement process has just begun and I failed to perform in one of the biggest opportunity that I had..
      And my failure somehow leads to their happy faces.. If I cry they feel happy..
      I am trying hard to come out of it.. Once in a while when they utter my word I feel good and I regret later..
      I hope some of your suggestions cn help me though..
      thanks for reading this..

  25. My mother blames me for my brother’s death and her husband’s death which happened 6 months apart. She told me that she believes I prayed for them to die, which I can assure you I did NOT. She talks to me very harshly and even my talents she has denounced. She has told me that my paintings are junk because I haven’t sold any paintings in a year. It’s very hard as an artist these days unless you’ve got a great agent. Anyways, I find myself not painting anymore and most of the time I try to make her happy…and then I get fed up with the harsh tone in which she speaks to me and I blow up which starts the “you killed your brother” speech all over again. Lately, I just find myself going to work and coming home. Nothing really excites me anymore. It’s even a struggle to go to dance rehearsal because I am not motivated or inspired anymore. I don’t want to move out because I have been here since their deaths and she is prone to long waves of crying and depression. However, I don’t know how to turn off the constant inner dialogue of all her judgments and critisms. I haven’t killed anyone. It’s not my fault they died. But, I feel like I have to earn her love or something and that makes me feel like everyday I have to please her. It’s really getting to me. Thanks for listening. I don’t expect anyone to solve my problems. I just wanted to tell someone what I was going through. Thanks for listening. Nicole

    1. The troubles you are going through are terrible Nicole, and without knowing the ins and outs of your story it seems that you are being treated really unfairly. I strongly urge you to get someone professional to talk about this as clearly it is a lot for one person to go through. My sincere, heartfelt best wishes for you.

  26. The trouble is, I *have* been judged harshly. And not just for a 10-minute point in time, but long-term. The thing that many of us go through: bullying in high school. Now, almost 5 years later, I still have nightmares that no matter where I go, there they are, ready to make my life miserable. I’d like to think that what my bullies thought didn’t matter, but it did.
    People who put their time into talking bad about you can deprive you of your friends, your results, your physical safety, and even from the help of authorities. How can anyone not be affected by that?

    1. Syliva, sorry to hear about your experiences. Certainly, there are times when its not so easy to stop worrying about what others think, especially when you have been subjected to such cruel treatment. My ultimate point is that, despite this, their behaviour is because of their flaws, and not due to something innately wrong with you. Bullying is a terrible thing to have to go through. With professional help though, their opinions can occupy a much smaller place in your memory. Hope that helps.

    1. Thanks David, it was certainly one of the most important things that I’ve learned over the years. The next step was not caring even if they did notice… but that took a little longer!

  27. I really liked this article. Coming from a childhood where I would hardly leave the house for fear of being judged(all in my messed up head) to the point in my life where I can go most anywhere and do anything mainly because I just don’t care what others think. I’m not exactly a rebel or a stand out from the crowd type of person anyhow but inside my head was always the worry of a hundred different things people were thinking negatively about me.
    My win in this whole type of situation is that we have raised a daughter who is outgoing and free. She has her own style her own likes and dislikes and isn’t afraid to show the world who she is. That to me is true happiness cause I wish I could have been that type of kid and hopefully this world doesn’t change her spirit cause I love it.

    1. Hi Travis, I can totally relate to everything you’ve said. The most wonderful thing about having children for me is to see how free, authentic and naturally comfortable they are in their own skin. Their young still, but my biggest hope is that the world doesn’t take that freedom away from them and I will do everything I can to preserve it. My thoughts are that you’ve found your confidence enough to teach it to your kids, and sometimes the lessons we need to learn don’t manifest in ours but the next generation. Thank you so much for sharing your perspective on this really important topic.

  28. A dear friend once said to me in regards to how much I worry about what others think,” Isn’t that a bit self centered of you to think that the whole world would stop just to draw attention to what your doing or wearing?”. I thought this remark was brilliant! It’s so true; why would someone actually stop what they are doing just to laugh at what I’m doing? And why do I think I’m so important that I would take up a considerable amount of space in someone else’s mind, especially when they are just supposedly thinking about what a fool I look like when I’m rollerblading? Do I give that much thought to what anybody else is wearing or doing? Maybe a split second and then I’m off to another thought. I have reminded myself of her comment hundreds of times since she said it to me and it has truly given me confidence to not worry so much about what others are thinking.

    1. Hey Rikki – most of us have had those exact same worries in our lives. They’re tiring and the worst part is you can never totally prove to yourself that their wrong because you can’t get inside other people’s heads. And who’d want to!? Thanks for sharing.

    2. I really like your friend’s take on it. I’m going to remind myself that whenever I start worrying about what other people think of me, as I try to tell myself as if they have the time to think about me at all.

  29. I always worry what others do think of me. It is hard not to but can’t let go of it.This helps me out in some way.

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