Three ways to stop caring about what people think

Photo courtesy of Scoopnest.comStaff Writer Emily Price gives advice on how to avoid letting other people’s opinions affect you.

The goal of not caring what people think of you is one that people often fail to achieve. Even those of us who pride ourselves in being self-governing and nonchalant can hear a tiny voice saying, “What will they think?”

Granted, it is easy to craft our words and behaviors by how they will make us look. Will they think I’m weird if I do this? Will they still like me if I say that? These are common questions in my mind daily, and I am not alone.

In striving to achieve this goal, an epic battle emerges, one that is won when you say what you want and do what you want, one that is lost when you resign yourself to perpetually trying to be what everyone expects you to be. We spend our whole lives fighting this fight, stuck somewhere in the middle.

This is a call to fight harder, to care about others but not about how they see you. If you are among the majority of people who struggle in this fight, here are some ways to strengthen yourself and get closer to victory.

Distract Yourself

The easiest way to care less about these things is to distract yourself. When something causes you to question what someone thinks about something you said or did, don’t think about it. The more you think about it, the more you let it control you.

If a friend makes a comment that could be taken as judgment and you find yourself unable to stop worrying about it, make yourself busy. Read a good book, listen to some upbeat music or go for a long run. Do any activity to stop obsessing over it.

Seek Another Perspective

It often helps to have another opinion. One thing you can do is to tell someone else what is bugging you.

Describe to a trusted friend or family member what happened and see what they say. If they say that it doesn’t sound like a big deal, there’s a good chance that it isn’t. If they say that something doesn’t feel right about it, maybe you should talk to the person involved.

A lot of the time, something that causes stress about what someone thinks is insignificant. An outside perspective may help shed some light on it if that is the case.

Think About Your Positive Qualities

Focusing on what you think makes you a good person and your good qualities instead of the qualities that you consider negative can transform the way you see situations.

One way to do this is simply making a list of all the things you like about who you are. As you make the list, it will help you to see that you are a good person despite what someone may think of you.

If you aren’t a list person, try looking at pictures of yourself that you feel represent who you are and imagine all the things that contribute to that feeling.

These aren’t the only ways to go about caring less about what people think of you, and they certainly aren’t going to win the fight for you. However, they can be a good start. They have the potential to help you automatically think about small things less, be more reasonable about what they mean and be nicer to yourself.

Emily Price is a first-year psychology major and staff writer for the Newswire from Miamisburg, Ohio.