Should You Care What Other People Think of You?

Posted: October 2, 2009 in I Don't Know
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Even the introverts amongst us – myself included! – are social beings. It’s natural for us to pay attention to what other people might be thinking. The problem is, worrying about what other people think can lead us to take on too many commitments, deny our true goals and passions, settle for a life of “people-pleasing”.

On the other hand, paying no heed at all to how others might be thinking of us can lead to professional and personal relationships turning sour.

Here are some steps that’ll help you find a healthy balance.

Step 1: Pay Attention – But Don’t Worry
Worrying rarely gets you anywhere in life. Don’t spend time feeling unhappy or anxious about how others might be thinking of you. Try not to let your emotions cloud the issue here, and don’t spend time trying to “mind-read” other people.

You’re often your own worst critic – and frankly, most people have far too much on your minds to care whether you’re slightly over/under-dressed for a situation, for instance.

Step 2: Does Their Opinion Matter?
Stop caring what random strangers think of you. If you like to sing as you walk round your local park, and someone passing gives you a weird look – it really doesn’t matter. Their opinion isn’t going to affect you in any way.

The same goes for all sorts of situations. For example, a problem that many overweight people have when they’re trying to get in shape is that they’d like to go to the gym or to an exercise class, but they’re worried what people will think of them. Ask yourself “can what they think hurt me?” or “does their opinion matter?” until you feel confident enough to go ahead with what you want.

Step 3: Use the Feedback

If you get a negative reaction from a key figure in your life, like your boss, then pay attention. [read]

  1. Scott K says:

    Good article. I think I fall into this trap fairly often.

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