Truthfully, I don’t believe we can “stop caring what people think of us” or that we even should. Instead, we need to do something slightly different:
Stop giving so much power to what people think of you
So, here’s how to do that…
See from their P.O.V.
It is important to view life (or yourself) from other people’s point of view at times. If someone you care about is sharing their opinion, or giving advice, or criticism, or judgement, then before reacting emotionally, take a breath. Step back.
Then, ask yourself what they see about you, your life, or your choices from their POV.
Say it’s your mom who upset you with a comment about your lack of money. Take a step back and see from her eyes. She probably cares about you, right? Or maybe she’s making a judgement with little evidence. After all, she’s not living your life, you are, so she doesn’t have that insider scope to view through.
Now, with this view, we can react with a calmer response or not react at all because we realise that it’s not a personal attack, per se, but a comment with good intentions; or at least a lack of information about the truth of your situation. It’s up to you whether you then want to give more info or not.
Remember, we all see life differently through our own unique lens. We don’t always mean to hurt people or upset them with our words or actions; it’s sometimes down to a perspective that we have that the other doesn’t.
With this view, their comments and actions hold less weight and in turn have less power over us.
Assume Positive Intentions
As I briefly said, it can do us so much good to view interactions with others as being said or done with the best of intentions. Even if it’s really hard, try to think of what that person might be really saying and how it’s positive. Maybe your aunt saying you’ve put on weight isn’t a dig or judgement or anything else.
Maybe she just loves you and wants to ensure you’re healthy. Or maybe she is worried about her own weight gain and so she witnessed yours and spoke out about it without thinking.
Not everyone is out to get you, and even if they are, it could be due to something they need to fix inside of themselves.
With this view, we realise people can say things wrong at times, or mean something different than what we interpreted. We can realise that people are flawed, which takes the weight away, and has less power over us.
Critique yourself with kindness
With a gentle hand, it may be a good idea to take what others say and see if there is any truth in it. Try to sidestep the emotions attached to a comment or action, and then think about it logically.
Have I gained weight unexpectedly?
Have I been bad with my money/work?
Ask yourself hard questions and if there’s any truth, deal with it. Don’t blame yourself or beat yourself up, just hold yourself accountable and make a plan to make a change.
All with kindness, wholeheartedness, authenticity, and honesty.
Remember, the only real reason that we have a deeply emotional reaction to what someone has said about us is because we fear that it’s true.
With this view, we take emotions out of it, take the person out of it, and just look at the problem honestly and find a fix where necessary. This takes the weight away and the power it had over us.
Self-worth and self-power
At the end of the day, if you ensure that you have a sense of self-worth, then you won’t let others determine your worth for you. You won’t put your worthiness up for debate or trial in front of others.
The same goes for your power. It should always be in your hands. With self-worth and self-confidence, you know who you are and you’re stable in that belief. Words and actions may shake you, but they never take all your power away.
Practice self-worth and you won’t give power to what others think too often. You are the sole authority when it comes to who you are.
If you want to be someone who doesn’t care what others think, then you need to practice taking their power over you away. That’s the key. All of us care what others think, which stops us from being reckless or lazy or whatever else, and this is good. But caring too much can paralyse you.
Instead, we must learn to think objectively, change points of view, find any truths, and dismiss the rest. All while holding onto our self-worth and never giving anyone else the power to determine who we are.
*Note down what things make you feel a negative emotional reaction. This is a key indicator of insecurities within you and emotional wounds that you can work on for yourself.
If you need any help in bettering your mental health, or better coping with anxiety, depression, and stress, then my book “You’re As Mad As I Am” may be for you. Check it out here, and download a free sample to see what it’s all about.
If you want to hire me to write about mental health (or other), then don’t hesitate to get in touch!