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how to stop worrying about what others are thinking

Worried About What Others Think of You? Here are 6 Ways to Stop it

Do you often worry about what people think of you? It’s like a mental minefield where opinions sneak in like nosy neighbors peering over the fence. This common concern can seriously affect our self-image and stifle personal growth. But this concern can sometimes spiral into a never-ending cycle that keeps us from being authentic.

When we place too much importance on the opinions of others, we risk losing touch with who we truly are. Our perception of reality becomes distorted, and we start living our lives based on external expectations. It’s a vicious cycle that can hinder personal growth and happiness.

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But worry not! Our blog is here to throw you a lifeline and share practical tips and strategies to help you conquer these pesky worries. We’re all about helping you reclaim control over your feelings and boost your self-confidence.
Ready to break free and live an empowered, anxiety-free life? Let’s dive into this self-discovery adventure!

Key Takeaways

  • The need for social approval is natural, but when it rules our lives, we may fear what people think of us and not show our true selves.

  • Constantly worrying about others' opinions can harm our mental and emotional well-being, causing stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

  • To overcome the worry of what others think, we can change our mindset by accepting that people will always have opinions of us, taking control over our own feelings, building confidence and self-awareness, and avoiding mind reading.

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The Need for Social Approval

A study by Professor Alice Moon from Wharton found that when people do things in front of others, they often think they’re being judged critically for how well they do. However, the truth is that those doing the task are usually much more critical of themselves than the people watching them. People also fear being judged unfairly for their entire performance based on just one part of it.

We all want others to like us. This need is part of being human. We are social animals who care about fitting in. In the past, being liked helped people stay safe and find food. Today, we still seek approval from others around us.

But sometimes, this need for approval rules our lives. We fear what people might think of us. This fear is called the “craving for social approval.” It makes you do things just to please others, not because you want or believe in doing them.

Being afraid of what others think can stop us from taking risks or trying new things. This fear can make life dull and boring. It stops you from showing your true self to the world.

Knowing your core values helps fight this fear. Your values guide you in making choices that feel right for you, not just pleasing to others.

worrying what others think

The Detrimental Effects of Worrying About Others’ Opinions

Constantly worrying about what others think of you can harm your mental and emotional well-being, leading to increased stress, anxiety, and low self-esteem.

Signs That You’re Overly Concerned With Others’ Perceptions

You might worry too much about what others think of you. Here are some signs:

  1. You feel stressed a lot. This can be because you’re trying hard to please other people.
  2. You change how you act based on who is around. This means you’re not being your true self.
  3. You’re scared of making mistakes. This fear stops you from trying new things.
  4. You think much about what others say about you, even after the talk stops.
  5. You’re very upset if someone does not like something you did or said.
  6. If people say bad things about you, it hurts your feelings for a long time.
  7. It’s hard for you to be alone with your thoughts because they are full of worrying about what others think.

Changing Your Mindset to Overcome Worry

Shift your mindset by accepting that people will always have opinions of you, taking control over your feelings, building confidence and self-awareness, and avoiding the trap of mind reading.

According to a study, when students work together in small groups, it can be helpful in many ways. However, some students might feel nervous about performing in front of their peers. The study shows that teachers and program organizers can do simple things to help students who feel this way. One of the things they can do is to talk to students about how everyone can improve their intelligence and that struggling with academic work is common. This helps students worry less about comparing themselves to others.

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1. Accepting That People Will Have Opinions of You

People will always have thoughts about you. These ideas come from their own lives and views. You cannot control what they think. It’s okay that people see things in different ways.

What matters most is how you feel about yourself! Make sure to live by your core values. Let this guide your actions, not other’s opinions.

2. Taking Control Over Your Feelings

You have power over how you feel. This is called taking control of your feelings. It might sound hard, but it’s a step to stop worrying about what others think. Let’s say someone says something mean to you.

Your first feeling might be upset or sad. But remember, you choose how you react to such words. You can let them hurt you or decide they don’t matter and move on. The more you practice this control, the less other people’s words will bother you.

Doing this strengthens our self-love than any bad thought someone else could have about us.

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3. Building Confidence and Developing Self-Awareness

Building confidence and developing self-awareness are essential in overcoming the worry of what others think. Here are some ways you can work on these:

  1. Accept yourself as you are – Remember that you are unique and have strengths and weaknesses. Embrace who you are without seeking validation from others.
  2. Practicing self-compassion – Treat yourself with kindness and understanding like a friend. Acknowledge your mistakes and learn from them instead of beating yourself up.
  3. Setting goals – Identify what is important to you and set achievable goals that align with your values. This will give you a sense of purpose and direction, boosting your confidence.
  4. Reflecting on your strengths – Take time to acknowledge your accomplishments and recognize your abilities. Celebrate small victories to build self-esteem.
  5. Surrounding yourself with supportive people – Surround yourself with friends who uplift and encourage you rather than bring you down. Positive social connections can greatly impact your self-confidence.
  6. Challenging negative thoughts – Notice when negative thoughts arise about what others might think, and consciously challenge them by asking yourself if they are based on reality or just assumptions.

4. Avoiding the Trap of Mind Reading

It’s easy to fall into the trap of mind reading, assuming we know what others are thinking about us. But the truth is, we can never really know for sure. Instead of wasting valuable time and energy worrying about other people’s opinions, focus on your own thoughts and actions.

Remember that opinions are subjective and vary from person to person. By letting go of the need for approval from others and embracing your own values, you can break free from the cycle of mind reading and live a more authentic life.

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Practical Tips to Stop Worrying About What Others Think

Gain control over your worries by evaluating the source of criticism, surrounding yourself with supportive people, considering therapy for persistent worries, and keeping your judgments in check.

Discover how these practical tips can help you live authentically and confidently.

1. Evaluating the Source of Criticism

When someone criticizes you, it’s important to consider who the criticism is coming from. Not all opinions are valuable or helpful. Instead of taking every criticism to heart, take a moment to evaluate the source.

  • Evaluate the feedback provider: Ask if you trust and respect the person giving feedback.
  • Consider their expertise: Consider their knowledge in the specific area they’re criticizing you in.
  • Not all opinions matter: Remember that not everyone’s opinion is valuable; you can ignore criticism from those without your best interests or knowledge.
  • Your perspective matters: Understand that others’ opinions are often shaped by their beliefs and experiences. Live life from your viewpoint.
  • Avoid seeking validation: Don’t dwell on opinions, especially from critical or unhappy individuals.
  • Seek feedback from trusted sources: Get opinions from trusted individuals who offer constructive and specific feedback for significant decisions.
  • Find a role model: Look up to someone with self-assurance and self-respect to boost your self-confidence and envision your ideal future.
  • Trust yourself: Have confidence in your judgment and surround yourself with supportive people who uplift and encourage you.
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2. Focus on What Truly Matters

When you shift your focus to what genuinely matters to you, you begin to see the bigger picture. The spotlight on your individual actions starts to dim as you prioritize what’s important in your life.

  • People’s opinions are fleeting: Consider that most people are preoccupied with their own lives, and the opinions they express about your life are often passing thoughts.
  • Don’t Try to Please Everyone: It’s impossible to meet everyone’s expectations. Focus on pleasing yourself and accept that not everyone will like you – and that’s perfectly okay.
  • Develop resilience: To handle others’ comments better, work on developing a thicker skin, and recognize that not every remark deserves your attention or reaction.
  • Overthinking and imagined judgments: Be aware that overthinking can lead you to imagine judgments that may not exist, and aim to replace overthinking with positive thoughts.
  • Life Is Too Short: Our time on this planet is limited. Do you want to spend precious moments worrying about what others think or trying to meet their expectations? Decide who you are and what you want, and do it with determination.
  • Remind Yourself That No One Cares: People think about you and your actions much less than you imagine. Most individuals are preoccupied with their own lives and concerns. Next time you feel self-conscious, remember that everyone around you is doing the same.
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3. Surrounding Yourself With Supportive People

Surrounding yourself with supportive people is important for your well-being and can help reduce worry about what others think. Having friends and family to lean on can reduce the impact of genetics and life experiences on mental health issues. This support might work by helping people develop better ways to cope with challenges and influencing various brain factors. Here are some reasons why:

  1. Positive impact on well-being: Supportive people can positively impact your mental and emotional health. They can provide comfort, understanding, and encouragement when needed.
  2. Clearer perspective: Having supportive people around you can provide a clearer perspective on situations. They can offer different viewpoints and help you see things from a more balanced and objective point of view.
  3. Alignment with values: Supportive people can help you make decisions that align with your values. They can remind you of what truly matters and support you in staying true to yourself, regardless of others’ opinions.
  4. Focus on your own business: Supportive people can remind you to focus on your own business and not worry too much about what others think. They encourage self-acceptance and celebrate your unique qualities and achievements.
  5. Self-compassion: Surrounding yourself with supportive people helps you develop self-compassion. They remind you that it’s okay to make mistakes or have shortcomings because everyone does. They encourage learning, growth, and self-improvement without harsh self-judgment. Studies show that being kind and understanding to yourself is connected to feeling better mentally. When you have more self-compassion, you are happier, more optimistic, curious, and connected to others. 
  6. Fulfilling life: Having supportive people allows you to let go of worrying about what others think and live a more fulfilling life. You feel accepted, valued, and empowered to pursue your dreams and passions without fear of judgment or rejection. At the same time, you experience less anxiety, depression, overthinking, and fear of making mistakes.

A positive environment can play a significant role in helping you stop worrying about what other people think of you

Strategy Description
A positive environment boosts your self-esteem and self-worth, making you less dependent on external validation for your self-esteem.
Supportive Relationships
Positive relationships make you feel accepted and valued, reducing your need for approval from others.
A positive environment helps you be yourself without worrying about being judged.
Constructive Feedback
A positive environment provides constructive feedback and criticism when necessary, allowing you to grow without feeling attacked or anxious.
Emotional Resilience
It helps build emotional resilience, so you can handle criticism or disapproval more effectively without letting it affect your self-worth.
Promotes authenticity by valuing your true self, which reduces the inclination to conform to external expectations.
Peace of Mind
A positive environment fosters a sense of security and peace, making you less preoccupied with what others think of you.
A positive environment empowers you to choose according to your values and goals, not societal pressure.

4. Opinions Are Fluid

People’s opinions can change over time. Investing too deeply in one person’s viewpoint can be problematic when they change their mind.

  • Sow What You Want to Reap: Your thoughts and actions directly impact your life. Worrying too much about what others think can become a self-fulfilling prophecy that dictates your behavior and thoughts.
  • Rebel Against Your Shame: Confront your feelings of shame directly. Rid yourself of useless shame by acknowledging and facing what you’ve been embarrassed about.

5. Considering Therapy for Persistent Worries

If your worries are persistent and affecting your daily life, therapy can be helpful. Therapy involves talking to a mental health professional who can provide support, guidance, and strategies for managing worry.

They can help you understand the root causes of your worries and work with you to develop coping mechanisms. Remember, seeking therapy is not a sign of weakness; it’s a proactive step toward taking care of your mental well-being.

6. Keeping Your Own Judgments in Check

One important aspect of not worrying about what other people think is to keep your own judgments in check. It’s easy to fall into the trap of judging others based on their opinions or actions, but it’s essential to remember that everyone has their own unique perspectives and experiences.

Instead of focusing on criticizing or forming negative judgments, try to practice empathy and understanding towards others. Remember that your judgments also reflect your past experiences and beliefs, so staying open-minded can lead to better relationships and a positive mindset overall. Visualize positivity.

Consider your social media use mindfully and prioritize your mental and physical well-being. It may be helpful to assess your Facebook activity and adjust to maintain a healthier balance in your life. 

A study in the Harvard Business Review discovered that using Facebook in one year led to lower mental health in the following year. They also found that liking others’ posts and clicking on links were connected to declines in physical health, mental health, and life satisfaction.

Take a moment to reflect on why you might be quick to judge someone and challenge those assumptions by seeking different perspectives. By keeping your own judgments in check, you’ll create a more accepting and inclusive environment for yourself and those around you.


Stop worrying about what others think of you. Seriously, their opinions are like those unread text messages that have been sitting in your inbox for ages – completely unnecessary. Their opinions don’t define your worth or determine your happiness. Focus on being true to yourself, living according to your core values, and taking ownership of your own feelings.

Breaking free from the shackles of others’ opinions is a skill that requires practice. It’s like meditation for the mind. But your world will transform once you truly understand how to let go. People will love you, some may not, and a few might even offer you a sprinkle of drama – but hey, that’s just the spicy seasoning of life. You will gain the self-esteem needed to pursue your desires and take full responsibility for your actions without blaming anyone for your mistakes.

Let go of the need for approval and embrace the freedom that comes with self-acceptance. You deserve to live a life as genuine as those “I woke up like this” selfies – unfiltered, unpretentious, and oh-so-beautiful, free from the heavy backpack of other people’s opinions.

So be bold, be brave, and be unapologetically you!

Frequently Asked Questions

What does 'stop worrying what other people think of you' mean?

It means finding inner peace and being true, or showing authenticity, to yourself without fear of social disapproval.

How can I learn to stop worrying about others' judgment?

You can do this through emotional support like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), taking deep breaths for stress responses, and making mental shifts.

Can my self-esteem improve when I stop caring about what others think?

Yes! Owning your feelings and emotions helps build high self-esteem, making you less likely to bully yourself due to fear of ridicule or rejection.

Why should we not base our actions on other's opinions?

Living according to your personal philosophy based on basic beliefs makes you more likely to perform at a higher level instead of just playing it safe.

Does worry over what others think lead to anxiety?

Yes, constantly seeking approval from others leads up an “Anxiety Mountain.” Using techniques such as meditation and yoga help manage this worry by bringing mindfulness.

Can change in career or lifestyle ease worries about people's thoughts?

Moving from being overwhelmed into flow with a freedom lifestyle may ease these worries. But for some big changes like a new job or business, private coaching sessions may be needed.

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