How to Stop Caring What Other People Think
This is a post that I am excited to write but also a little hesitant. You see, I definitely don't have this 100% figured out but I am trying my best. And honestly, I think that is all any of us can really do!
So, a lot of my friends are super into the Enneagram Test which is a personality test but also goes a lot deeper. You are rated a number 1-9 and told that this is your baseline personality style. However, they also give you two other numbers, called wings and those are what you look like at your best and at your worst.
I share all of this to say first if you haven't taken it, you should (here), it's fascinating and scarily accurate. Secondly, to share that I am a 3, the achiever.
This is briefly what 3 means:
- Basic Fear: Of being worthless
- Basic Desire: To feel valuable and worthwhile
- Key Motivations: Want to be affirmed, to distinguish themselves from others, to have attention, to be admired, and to impress others.
I am constantly, whether I mean too or not, assessing my worthiness and how I present myself to the world. I see myself through others eyes and try to determine how they are perceiving me. This means, I naturally create thoughts and judgments about myself through the eyes of other people. I don't mean to do it, but in all realness, it's something I find myself doing a lot.
When I realized that this was my tendency, I started to see how I adapted as I interpreted myself through other's eyes. I would subtly change my behavior, my walk, my words, my actions...all to be perceived how I ASSUMED they wanted me too or expected me too. I would adapt myself so that I had the best chance of being liked by those around me.
The sacrifice of that was that I was not consistently myself. I cared so much about being worthy, about being loved and about being perceived a certain way that I lost touch with who I was at the core of myself. It's a weird feeling to look inside yourself and realize you're not really sure who you are without trying to be what other people expect you to be.
So slowly...I would practice just being myself (silly I know). If I had no idea what people were talking about, I owned up to it, if a certain restaurant or activity didn't sound good, I owned up to it, if I felt like wearing something but was worried people would think it was weird...I wore it anyway. I began having a genuine dialogue with myself that acknowledged what I wanted to do but then followed up and asked why. And if the "why" was more centered around the perception of others rather than what I truly wanted...I did my best to do what I really wanted instead.
Now, this might seem like a non-issue for you. And you might not be a 3 personality type but I think each of us desires in one way or another to be perceived well. To be loved, admired, and worthy.
But the truth is, you cannot please everyone. You can't really know what's going on inside the heads of everyone around you. You can't possibly be everything to everyone. Because if you give all of yourself, to everyone else, then you have no one left for you.
We are constantly chasing this desire to be better liked by others. Whether it's through our bodies, our jobs, or our social media following...all of it feels somewhat like a reflection of our own worthiness.
But what if we stopped measuring ourselves by other's standards? What if instead of trying to please those around us, we got in touch with our core and started pleasing ourselves. We started accepting what makes us unique both physically, mentally and emotionally. We stopped trying to fit into other's ideals and focused more on being at peace with this one life we have.
Not caring about what other people think can be hard. But it's easier when your worthiness is not defined by that. It's easier when your need to be validated no longer lies in the likes, looks, and glances. It's easier when you realize that you are the sum of all of your parts, not just the snippets that different people might see.
We are created with so much uniqueness, so much beauty and we are ALREADY worthy of all of that love and joy. We are already worthy of the things we desire. We just have to stop asking and start believing.
I loved this quote:
"You can be the ripest, juciest peach in the world, and there's still going to be someone who hates peaches." -Dita Von Tesse
Pleasing everyone is exhausting and impossible. And truthfully, it is easier for people to accept you when you finally accept yourself. We are drawn to confident people even if they are different, it's almost like we are drawn to them because they are different and they don't mind. When you give up pleasing people, you will finally begin to feel free to fully live your life.
Learning to love yourself and especially your body, when it feels like those around you don't, can be really hard. But if there are people who would rather have you in their lives miserable and small rather than joyful and bigger....start to ask if yourself if those people really deserve to have you in their lives at all.
People will judge you no matter what you do, no matter how you look and no matter who you are. That doesn't matter. What matters is, are you happy with yourself? Are you happy with your life? Are you surrounded by genuine people who love you for more than how you look in this world? If you can get those answers closer to a yes...I promise it will be easier than you think to stop caring what others think. When we are filled with joy and love, it crowds out the parts of us that no longer serve those things.
So in case you haven't heard this or felt this today I will "say" it to you now.
YOU are LOVED. YOU are WORTHY. YOU have ALL you need RIGHT NOW to start LOVING this life. YOU are BEAUTIFUL with or without makeup and fancy clothes. YOU are UNIQUE and that is what makes YOU WONDERFUL. YOU ARE ENOUGH.