How to stop giving a sh*t what other people think of you

'I don't care what other people think about me' is the story I tell myself. But if I'm honest this isn't true.

May 1, 2022

'I don't care what other people think about me' is the story I tell myself.

But if I'm honest this isn't true.

While I can say 'I don't care' what people think of certain elements of my life, like the way I dress or what I do for a living, there are other areas where it affects me.

Most recently it's been filming videos in public.

Something about talking to a camera, or even just using my camera in public makes my palms a little sweaty.

It's irrational. I know I shouldn't care. But for some reason I do. So I did some digging and it turns out that 4 out of 5 processes going on in the background of our brains are about our relationships with others.

This is likely because a huge part of our happiness relies on our relationships with others.

We have a desire to fit in. One study found that every person in the happiest 10% of participants had at least 1 long-term intimate relationship.

Worrying about what others think of you might be rational, but it's not helpful. It causes unnecessary anxiety, eats up your attention, and stops you from doing things.

Knowing this I started looking back at all the times I used to care about what others thought of me and now I don't.

  • When did I stop giving a sh*t what clients thought of me and just started being myself?
  • When did I stop caring what other people thought about the way I look?
  • When did I stop being so bothered what people thought of me following an 'untraditional' career path?

Each time there seemed to be a 3 step process

1. Identify - Find the issue that is bothering me or holding me back.

2. Inspect - Write about the issue. What am I actually scared of? What's the worst that could happen? What are the potential benefits?

3. Initiate - Find a way to expose myself to that situation to help overcome the fear.

This process is about rewriting the default scripts you have in your head and then putting it into action.

It's no use understanding why you find it hard to talk to strangers then never putting it into action so you become comfortable.

Like most things in life, the way you stop giving a sh*t about what other people think of you is not just a switch you can turn on and off. It's a process, every situation is different and the only way to become comfortable is through exposure.

p.s this article is great extra reading on this.