Do you find that you change your behaviors based on what other people think? Do you worry that you said the wrong thing? Do you worry how people will react to the choices you make? Do you hope that you make a good impression on others and that you look and sound intelligent? Do you hope that people like you? Do you rush off to put make up on just because someone is coming over to visit you? Do you agree with everyone else’s opinion?
While it is healthy normal behavior to adapt our behaviors to certain situations, sometimes we can get so caught up in worrying what people think of us that we literally lose who we are. It is almost as if we become chameleons – changing our whole personality just to please someone else. It is like being back at school where we are desperately trying so hard to fit in!
We may not be smoking or wearing the latest fashion clothes in order to hang out with the ‘in-crowd’ but we are still trying so hard to conform. We constantly worry about what others think of us and we find our behavior is governed by what we imagine other people believe about us.
It is important to recognize that most of the people we know really do not spend much time thinking about us anyway! Really, it’s true; people do not spend hours each day thinking about us!
Think of the words of Olin Miller:
“We probably wouldn’t worry about what people think of us if we could know how seldom they do.”
Other people really are too busy thinking about themselves and their own lives to be thinking about ours! If you spend your time worrying about what other people think, how do you know they are not doing exactly the same thing and worrying what YOU think of them? Remember, everyone else (even if it does not look like it) is just as self conscious as you are!
Ellen DeGeneres put it best when she said, “…we spend our time thinking about what other people are thinking about us…when all they’re really thinking about is what we’re thinking about them.”
Even if others do think about us occasionally, how do we really know what they are thinking? How can we be 100% sure? The fact is, we usually assume that it is something negative. We actually have no control over other people’s thoughts of us and they may not be thinking about us at all. They may be caught up in their own lives and worries. Realize that you can not control what others think of you. You only have control over what you think of yourself.
If we really could accept how seldom people think of us, and how caught up they are in themselves, we could slash our worry time by 100% and get a lot more fun out of life!
Wayne Dyer said ‘What you think of me is none of my business’
This is so true, the key is to be true to yourself and your own feelings and stop living to try and please other people.
You are setting yourself up lose if you are constantly striving for approval based on other peoples standards and expectations. Yes, of course it feels good to get validation and approval from others, but the problem comes when this is the motivating force in your life.
What is more important is to have the approval of yourself!
“Don’t worry about what other people think of you’ by Nick Rallis
I realize that reading the minds of others can often give me grief and pain… ultimately what anybody thinks of me is none of my business. It is all about them, and not about me!
ONE of the ways we give ourselves such a hard time is to MIND READ.
We think we know what people are thinking about us. More often than not, we will be totally and utterly wrong in our thinking.
When somebody is silent or somber we think we have done something to upset them.
When somebody does not return our call or reply to our text message we think we have said or done something to offend them.
When we do not hear from someone for a while we assume they are tired of us.
The truth is that what goes on for another person is seldom about us… usually all about the other person.
We think somebody is being cool towards us when in reality their mind is on something that has happened in their life.
We think somebody does not like us any more but in reality they are just too absorbed in their own life to give us the attention we seek from them… It is never ever about you…It is only ever about them.
If you love yourself enough, you would see that what anybody else thinks of you is none of your business anyway. You are just mirroring someone else who has been in their life, a behavior or someone else or an aspect of themselves. And you know you are doing your best that you are a friendly person that you are loving and giving person. So why worry? Because whatever their mood is like it is not about you. Of course, if someone is continually not being responsive to you and not being much of a friend, then it might be time to find people in your life who are!
There are six billion people on this planet, and no one can really say there are not enough people to strike up relationships with. Trouble is we often home in on people who by their nature or their circumstances will give us the feeling that they are rejecting us even if that is not their real intention. We believe, deep down, that we are likely to be rejected so we create situations and choose people who will make these experiences seem true for us.
So it may be time to make different choices… to choose people in our life who will support and cherish us and will not give us the feeling of being rejected, not good enough or unimportant.
Time to hit the road and meet up with some better travelers and to let others go who pull your energy down or are so self focused that they will never make you feel wanted or needed. So how about not reading the minds of others…just accept them for who they are? And realize just because they are having a bad day does not mean we are going to have a bad day too.
So dear and special friend… do realize that there is nothing wrong with you…be kind and loving to others but do not take it personally when they do not give you the support and love you need…Do open your heart and share what is going on for you…
article written by Lisa Phillips
- Give up Worry by Recognizing it as a Bad Habit (psychologytoday.com)
- Success and Victim Thinking (actioncoachatlanta.wordpress.com)