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Why and how to stop worrying about other people's opinions

Kim Peterson

"Other people’s opinions are none of your business.” - @msrachelhollis 

I wholeheartedly agree. Other people's opinions are NOT about you! 

Since love and connection with others is one of our basic human needs – we all care about other people’s opinions to some degree. For example, at 30%, love and belonging is at the top of the chart of most common TED talk topics. In fact, if you didn’t care at all – you might be sociopath!

So, how do we know if we are caring too much? Some signs include not putting yourself out there for fear of rejecting, wanting others to like you even if you don’t like them, or taking constructive feedback too personally. And the problem with caring too much about other people’s opinions can be that it can lead us to put others values first and neglect our own desires and needs.

So what can we do about it? One thing you can do is to get to know yourself better and become your own best friend. Ask yourself, what would I enjoy if I wasn’t worried about being judged? Then, cheer yourself on just like you would if your best friend told about a new passion they wanted to pursue. Also, question your impressions about the implications of other people’s opinions.

For example, just last summer when I shared aloud for the first time to some humans other than my husband that I was thinking about writing a self-help book, one of them actually responded sarcastically with, “Yeah, that’s what the world needs – another self-help book.” And this was a person that was sort of a family friend! At first I felt a little shame. Maybe he is right? What was I thinking? Maybe it is a stupid idea. And even if do write it, maybe it will be bad and no one will want it and then I will REALLY feel stupid. But, then, I reminded myself that I wouldn’t talk to my best friend that way, so why was I talking to myself that way and considering this guy’s apparent negative opinion about self-help books in general to be about my dreams at all?!? My book may in fact turn out bad and maybe no one will want it. But, that has nothing to do with what this guy thinks about self-help books, which has more to do with him than with me. Hopefully one day I'll have the book sales to come back to this guy and say well, I guess the world in fact did need another self-help book and my take on it matters and was an idea worth spreading! 

So, I’m focusing on keeping on keeping on and I hope you will too! Drop a comment if you are trying to work on worrying less about other people’s opinions! What are some of your tips and tricks?


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