3 Things That It Might Help Remembering, When Worrying What Other People Think.
I’ll holds my hands up straight away..
I am what you would call, a worrier.
Always have been, probably always will be.
What other people might be thinking definitely has its place at the top table when it comes to what those worries are.
Truth is, I care a lot about what other people think of me. I’d imagine since you’re already a few lines into this post, that there’s an element of that, that you can probably resonate with, even if just a little.
I do get it though. It can be tough.
It can follow us around like a bad smell. Playing on our minds for hours, or even days on end.
All the “what ifs”, all the scenarios playing out in our heads, causing us to feel every emotion that would occur should it ever happen to play out in reality.
Maybe it catches us a little earlier, and actually stop us from taking any action to begin with.
Maybe not so much worry about what others think, but more about what they could potentially think.
I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve found myself not saying something, or wearing something, or posting something on social media, due to my imagination running wild, and leading me to essentially forecast exactly how people would be viewing me afterwards.
Where I’ve Been Going Wrong.
For a long time, the fight I thought I had on my hands, was to stop caring about what other people thought. To convey a persona that ultimately didn’t give a flying F, what anyone else thought of me.
I tried this for a bit actually. Shockingly, it didn’t last.
And, believe it or not, all I really did was piss a few people off.
People that were actually pretty close to me at the time, and who I cared about a lot.
I put it down to an experiment gone bad.
It’s probably only really been the last couple of years that I’ve slowly began to understand what it really means to, for want of a better phrase, not care what other people think.
The first step for me personally, was to just accept that I do care what others think.
It seems pretty normal to do so, doesn’t it? We’re emotional beings. We carry empathy. So to completely shut down any regard for someone else’s opinion or perspective seems like a long shot to me.
So I had to stop trying.
Then it began to kinda make sense to me.
It wasn’t a case of stopping how much I care, it was that there was one set of opinions and thoughts that I had to care about just a little more.
I learned pretty quickly that when I’m willing to listen to my own opinions, thoughts and views on myself as well as everything else, it makes it so much easier to just simply be ok with what other people might think.
At the end of the day, from personal experience, I’d say that’s exactly what we’re aiming to do when we find ourselves trying to not care. We just want to be ok with it.
3 Things Worth Remembering That Might Help
I’m not perfect at this, and I do still find myself worrying to some extent.
But these, I guess you'd call them perspectives, have definitely helped me in pinpointing the areas in which those concerns are pretty needless.
So here’s 3 things that have helped me massively, and that I want to share in the hope it can help you too.
1. Is There Any Evidence?
One of the first things I ask myself when finding myself in that space of worry, is have I ever been in this position before?
Has there ever been any scenario that I’ve experienced that would suggest my concerns over what that other person is thinking, could be true?
I’m no stranger to choosing not to wear what I really wanted to wear on a night out, due to worries over what people in the bar might think.
So I’d ask myself, have I ever been witness to this playing out in the way I’d imagined it would? Have I ever personally made judgement on someone for their choice of clothing?
I was once called “f**king ugly” on a night out when I was 18, but, there was no digs aimed at my chosen outfit..
In all seriousness though, I’ve found this can be a very useful way to at least calm those worries, and make them less dictating in the grander scheme of things.
It only takes a minute or two, and can really help to be ok with what other people may or may not be thinking.
2. Our Motivations.
Let’s take the decisions to do, say or wear something, and figure out why we want to make those decisions in the first place.
What’s our motivation for doing so?
Is it to deliberately cause pain or sadness to someone else? I wouldn’t imagine so?
Is it so that we can feel good, be that through helping someone or simply just allowing ourselves to experience something joyful? I’d be willing to be this is more likely.
This comes back to stepping away from the fight to stop caring, and begin caring more about ourselves.
Prioritising our own thoughts, wants, feelings & needs. Not necessarily actioning them 100% of the time, but at least hearing them out to begin with.
Sticking with the example of wearing what you want to wear. Ask yourself why?
One of the biggest motivators behind me taking the step to finally start wearing “Medium” t-shirts and hoodies, was because it signalled my own personal progression.
Sure, I was worried about how tight some of it fitted, and how little I could hide the parts of my body that I dislike, but in the end it represented a feeling of pride in myself.
About 95% of people I meet will never have, or never will, get any sense of that progress, or understand the pride I feel, but I do.
And when I feel myself worrying about how I look to other people in those medium tops, I just remind myself I’m doing it for me and, said with the greatest respect to everyone else, not for someone else’s approval.
Next time you find yourself concerned enough to the point where it begins to influence your decision making, concentrate your attention towards the outcome you want from it, or even the joy that it might bring to you along the way.
3. We’re Just Guessing..
Ok, so this might deem the whole post pretty pointless.
That’s definitely not the intention, but it’s worth bringing up.
The intention is definitely to help you perhaps feel better, as much as it may seem on the surface that it wouldn’t.
This is all ways which have just helped me personally..
I remember being told for years that people were definitely not thinking about me in the way I thought they were.
I was told that nobody cares.
As much as that might be true, it presented an either/or situation.
I was almost trying too hard to convince myself that one of them had to be true.
People either were thinking about me or my actions negatively, or they weren’t.
They were judging my choice of clothing, or they weren’t.
They were ridiculing me because of things I’d said or done, or they weren’t.
What eventually helped me begin to overcome this, was to accept that I’ll never know for sure.
So instead of picking one of those options, I’d simply remind myself that well, it could go either way.
They might, the might not. I don’t have to choose one to believe. I can put my own mind at ease by just acknowledging that I’m only speculating.
Even if every instinct in your entire body is pointing you in one direction, I personally just find it helpful to remind myself that despite all of that, I am still guessing.
Even that 1% chance that my gut instinct is wrong, is enough to help me through any situation where the worries and concerns get to the point that affect me negatively for longer than they need too.
You can always try for yourself.
Remind yourself that you don’t have to hang your hat on whether or not your worries are true or false.
Just try to shrug it off and remember that you simply can’t know for sure.
This one is a long shot, I’ll admit.
But, like I said, it’s just a thought process that has personally helped me massively.
Even if this one doesn’t help you like it has with me, the first two points in this post hopefully will!