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How To Stop Caring About What Others Think?

Written by: Justine Hebert Dinesen, Executive Contributor

Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.


What if what other people think is no longer important? Wouldn’t it be relieving? We all pretty much care about what other people think of us. It is a natural instinct we have as we are social animals whose survival depends on whether or not we are part of a group. Therefore, we all seek and work to maintain interpersonal relationships. We need the acceptance, presence and comfort of others to feel at peace psychologically. However, this need is higher for some than for others. When it becomes an obsession, and has a negative impact on our lives, it is important to address the problem. So, how can we stop caring about what others think?

1. Stop overthinking

Do you have a tendency to compare yourself to others and put yourself down? Or overthink about what others would say if you did something? Then, ask yourself, “what do I gain from spending time thinking these thoughts”? You cannot master the thoughts that pop up in your mind but you can control what you think about and how much time you spend thinking about a particular thought. So try to let go of the thoughts that do not benefit you by just letting them be, without going into depth. It’s kind of like if you were in a sushi bar and you would see some sushi that you don’t like passing by without taking them. If you let them be, they will eventually come back until they disappear, eaten by someone else. Our thoughts are self-regulating, if you leave them alone they will pop up less and less. I know it may seem difficult at first, but it is possible to just observe a thought without analyzing it. You can control what you spend time thinking about; it only requires awareness and training.

2. Don’t be too hard on yourself

We often have a tendency to be much harder on ourselves than on people around us, meaning that we often have difficulties forgiving ourselves for something we would easily forgive others for. But why should it be different for ourselves? We are all human beings that make mistakes after all.

3. Acknowledge that nobody is perfect

Look around you, do you know someone who is perfect? Maybe you think you do, but it is probably because you don’t know that person behind closed doors. We are all dealing with something. We all have our strengths and weaknesses, our own temper and limits. I often notice that although everything can seem perfect on the outside, people can be suffering on the inside. The question is, is it worth showing the world a perfect picture from the outside if it makes us sad on the inside? We are all different and imperfectly perfect. There is no reason to hide our defects, they are a part of making the world so interesting and beautiful.

4. Recenter on yourself; on what makes sense for you and gives you energy

When you find yourself caring about what other people think of you, try to recenter yourself on your values and on what makes you happy. If you value family, then you will feel unhappy if you focus all your energy on your career to please others. So when you start caring too much about what others think then try to take your values into consideration and ask yourself what you would like to do instead. Ask yourself “what do I feel like doing now?” Try to move away from others' opinions and focus on your values and needs. Do the things you want to do. Think about whether doing what you think you should do to be liked by others would make you happy. Wouldn’t it be sad if you didn’t live your life because you always focused on doing the things that maybe would make you liked by others?

5. Acknowledge how much it actually takes to change your opinion about someone you love

Would it really have an impact if you would do the things you wanted to do without caring about what others would say? Try to think about the things your friends and family do that you don’t necessarily agree with. Does it make you love them less? If you really think about it, it actually takes a lot for us to change our opinion of the people we love and care for. Of course, we should always be careful that by doing what we want to do we don't harm others. But as long as we don’t hurt anyone, we should go ahead and be ourselves.

I hope this helps you to stop caring about what others think and stay true to yourself. We are all different and that makes it an amazing world to live in. If we were all the same and behaving in the same way, it would be boring. So come on, show your true self and be faithful to you. There will always be people who love you for it.

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Justine Hebert Dinesen, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine

Justine Hebert Dinesen is a certified and experienced Life and Stress Coach, speaker, and wellbeing consultant. Besides conducting one-on-one coaching online and in-person in Copenhagen, over the past several years, she has held numerous workshops and courses both inside and outside of Denmark. Justine herself experienced an extreme period of stress while working as a Bid Manager for a large renewable energy company, a personal experience that ultimately led Justine down a new and highly rewarding career path, informing and helping others to prevent or alleviate stress and its symptoms and consequences in their lives. Thanks to her English, French, and Danish fluency, she can reach a wide audience across borders, helping them attain goals, shift into new career paths, navigate difficult decisions, improve their self-esteem, and generally renew their spark for life.


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