4 Ways to Stop Caring What People Think About You
Proven strategies for drastically enhancing your ability to flourish in social situations.
It’s in our nature as human beings to seek approval and acceptance from our friends, family, and even strangers — but basing your happiness on this consistent struggle for validation is a recipe for disaster.
With the advent of the internet and social media, it’s now more apparent than ever that our modern society has what I like to call an ‘approval addiction’. In fact, I struggled for years with various forms of social anxiety and a deep desire for approval in my own life, and have spent a significant number of hours deconstructing the issue to its source.
That’s why I decided to share with you my 4 key ways to break the addiction and stop caring so much about what people think of you..
1 . Controlling Your Constant Worry
You can use up a large percentage of your cognitive energy if you’re constantly worrying over what other people are thinking of you (and whether or not you have approval from friends and family). In reality, however, most of this ‘judgement concern’ is completely made up by our brain’s social fear centers.
The truth is, the majority of other people are already wrapped up in their own minds with their own problems, and can’t even be bothered to judge you in the first place. In fact, by tricking yourself into thinking that everyone is judging you all the time, you’re actually triggering the very awkward behavior you want to avoid! Remember: it’s virtually 100% in your head.
2. Social Weight Training (Do Something Radical)
The second technique you should be using could be dubbed ‘social weight training’. This is a strategy to overcome approval addiction whereby you enter into a public situation with the GOAL of being judged by strangers.
For example, you could go downtown wearing a ridiculous costume, or a silly t-shirt: all with the very intention that people will look at you strangely. What will happen as a result of this exercise is you will build up your ‘social immune system’ to a whole new level, and you will realize that judgement doesn’t even affect your daily life! Try it.
3. Stop Giving Fear Permission to Rule Your Life
We tend to stop ourselves from enjoying so many things in life thanks to our internal fear response. People are deathly afraid to dance in public settings for fear of humiliation, for example, or even to express their true opinions to a close friend.
On a much larger scale, fear oftentimes cripples people from making fulfilling life decisions due to the horrifying possibility that their dreams could someday ‘fail’. Let’s break this cycle.
First, consider all of the things that fear is holding you back from doing. Write it down, and really contemplate just how much your fear response is affecting your life. Is it stopping you from quitting a job that you hate, or telling your significant other the truth about something that has been bothering you? Is it stopping you from enjoying yourself in public settings?
One of the best motivators for solid (and sustainable) change is realizing how much you’re losing out on in your life due to a negative behavioral pattern. Start working towards following the other steps outlined in this article and overcoming your fear response.
4. Choosing Purpose
This is by far the most important step to overcoming fear and drastically enhancing your life in general. When I say ‘choosing purpose’, I mean choosing something that you believe in to align yourself with in your daily life. And don’t worry, it’s actually very easy.
When people do not have a purpose-driven passion in their lives, it becomes very difficult to shed all forms of social anxiety and approval seeking behavior. It’s like there is a vast black hole in their life that has to be filled with the validation of others. Thankfully, it doesn’t have to take a tragic event or years of spiritual study to ascribe purpose to your daily life.
Instead, you simply have to spend 30 seconds each morning determining just one thing that you will do that day to add purpose to your life. Start small: maybe sharing this article with a friend, or donating an old shirt to your local charity. Each day, progressively increase the purpose. In several months month or so, maybe you are writing your own articles or recording your own videos. Watch as your daily life feels more fulfilling and you gain new value in your routine activities.
Follow these 4 strategies, and I know that you will start seeing noticeable changes in your life. I have worked with many people with a deeply-rooted fear of judgement by using these techniques, and I myself have used these techniques in my original quest to overcome social anxiety.
Thanks for reading! Be sure to leave a comment below with your thoughts on these tips.