Why we are concerned about embarrassment?
We have all faced an embarrassing moment probably when we violate some expected standards or morals. When we perform badly in an exam, we get embarrassed. When we slip and fall in public, we get embarrassed. When people make bad comments about us on social media, we get embarrassed. Shame and embarrassment aren’t pleasant experiences. Most of us try to avoid situations that will cause these emotions as much as possible.
The unfortunate thing is that most of us spend a lot of time thinking of what others think of us. In fact, we consistently overestimate how badly and how much other people think of our failing. This causes us to spend so much time worrying about the consequences and we become less joyful and less spontaneous in our daily lives.
There is a good reason why we are very concerned about what other people think of us. We all want to be highly regarded by the people who are close to us so that we don’t spoil our relationship with them. This means that the only reason why we are worried about what others think of us is because we are afraid of losing intimacy or friendship.
Psychology experts say that there are instances when this kind of fear is helpful. This is particularly the case when shame and embarrassment causes us to behave in a better way or to be more considerate to the people around us. However, when we make this fear to become too much, it can prove to be counter-productive. When we are constantly thinking of how to be in the good books of others, this can cause anxiety leading to insecurity and neediness. This serves to drive us from those people.
If you are wondering whether it is possible to stop worrying about what other people think of you, there are several tips that you can use. When you try them, you will realize that being other-centered will not only boosts your happiness but it can also serve to increase your chances of success.
1. Become other-centered instead of self-centered
According to psychology experts, one of the best ways to avoid this vicious cycle is by being other-centered instead of self-centered. When you become consistently considerate and kind to others, you will not care much about what other people think of you.
The reason for this is that you will easily be liked by other people when they see you as considerate and kind. On the other hand, when your actions are misinterpreted or cause negative outcomes, you will easily know that you had benign intentions. It will be possible for you not to care much about what other people think of you. You will not have a reason to try to be in their good books.
2. Realize that when you hurt people, they hurt others
Psychology experts say that no matter how considerate and kind you are to people, there are some who will still judge you in a negative way. This isn’t as a result of the bad things you have done but it is a reflection of what other people are going through. Most people will behave in the way they know. When you are able to recognize that, you can be more compassionate to other people. This will help you not to care much about what they think of you.
However, you will need to be cautious when discounting people’s negative judgment. This is because it is easy to pass blame to other when you fail. Therefore, you want to be sure that you aren’t just ignoring your own shortcomings in order to feel better. Consider whether you have acted in a considerate and kind way towards the other people or you are just being delusional.
3. Attention control will help you
There are times when you realize that the other people’s negative judgments are justified. But this doesn’t to mean that you should remain in shame and embarrassment for the rest of your live. Attention control is the ability to control what you focus on. You will ignore the things that you do not want to focus on.
Mindfulness can help you to be good in attention control. While this is not everyone’s cup of tea, it is still a great way of having attention control. Another great method is to get into action. Action will help you to focus on your goals instead of what people think of you. A good idea would be to engage in actions that will help you to be other-centered. This way, you will stop trying to be in people’s good books.
4. Negative comment is about other people
In this internet era, people tend to post false and cruel things about others on the internet. They will harass others for the way they look, dress or even do their things. One thing you will realize that the people who make such hateful comments are under pseudo accounts. Why would someone who is busy building their lives get time to make hateful comments?
This means that the hateful comments you get will be a reflection of the commenter rather than you. The sad thing is that such people will have little to do rather than make hateful comments.
5. Don’t care; remain true to self
According to psychology experts, you should always have a goal of being honest, transparent and unrestrained. This is the only way you will be able to connect well with people. After you stop to care what people think and follow your heart, you will have a significantly better life.
6. Remove the negativity source
Psychology experts say that you will need to remove all toxic and negative people from your life if you are to stop trying to be in people’s good books. If you have a coworker, who is a drama queen, you will need to ignore them. When you have a circle of friends who like tearing you down, you will need to separate yourself and instead search elsewhere.
7. Do not care much, trust only a few
When you are true to yourself, you will enjoy freedom and will not care of what other people think of you. You should have a clique of few friends who you can share your opinion on. These should be the people you know and who have your interest at heart.
8. There are people who will dislike you
A common mistake that most people do is that they spend a lot of time trying to make others like them. Rather than worrying about what others think of you, you can learn to focus on becoming a better person. You can spend your time living a great life and using your gifts, talents and abilities to ensure that the people around you better.
9. Realize that no one really care
Psychology experts say that most of us spend our days trying to think of what other people think of us. We care about others judging us and try to be in their good books. But the truth of the matter is that they are also caring about what others think of them. In the fast-paced world we live in, nobody has the ability to take their time off their schedule and consider how you dress. If you don’t want to care anymore about what people think about you, you need to realize that these people seldom think about you.
10. It is not possible to please every person
You will never be able to live up to the expectations of other people. There are some people who will always be there to judge us no matter what we say, do or treat them. Whether you are on the train, in the gym or online, it will never be possible for you to stop people from judging you. Consider the worst case scenario when another person is judging you. You will realize that there is absolutely nothing bad that will happen.
Nobody will get out of their busy schedule to confront you or even react in a certain way. These people will actually respect you for standing your ground rather than trying to be in their good book. Even when they disagree with you, they will have to appreciate the fact that you have a stand.
Therefore, you got a good reason to stand for what you believe in whether that is an opinion, cause or anything else. At times, some people will disagree with you. Therefore, just express yourself without a care of what people think of you. When you have eyes, it is an indication that you have stood for something in life.
In fact it is better to have a small clique of people who love you that to have everyone like you-friends, family members or spouse. These should be people who love you for who you are and are always willing to be there during your worst moment. It is these people who you should focus on.
11. You become a product of your thoughts
When you care a lot of what other people think of you, this can end up happening. This is because our behaviors are the products of our thoughts. This means that when you become a people pleaser, you are likely to be overly accommodative to other people in a bid to please them and stop them from judging you.
The truth of the matter is that majority of people don’t like people who are a push-over. This can turn people off. This means that the behaviors we use when trying to please other people can have an entirely opposite effect. If the way we think is affected by our behaviors, it means that the way we think affect the kind of people we attract.
If you become a push-over, you are likely to attract other people in life who are also pushovers and vice versa. This can prove to be a dangerous path if you do not realize the consequences.
A common saying states that we are the average of the 5 people that we hang out with. When we start to hang-out with the people who share our weaknesses, this is the point where we will get stuck. We will no longer grow as there will be no one to challenge us to be a better person. We consider this to be the norm and we stay comfortable. This isn’t where you will want to be.
12. Let people think; understand your value
You will need to understand the important things in your life. What is it that you truly value and is your ultimate aim? When you understand who you are and the thing that matters to you, you will no longer care about what others think of you. The moment you understand your value, you will have something to care about. This should be something that you really care about.
You will no longer say yes to everything in a bid to be in people’s good book. When friends pressure you into the wrong thing, you will able to say no. Once you have straight values, you will have everything straight.
13. Put yourself out there
After understanding your value, you will need to be out there. You can do this through public, speaking, blogging, flirting etc. You will need to remember that even as you engage in these activities you will need to speak your mind. Ensure that you remain honest with yourself and everything that you share. The world is not after people who avoid conflict or who does according to the needs of other people.
14. Let professionals surround you
Ensure that the people who surround you are self-assured and can live without having to compromise on their core values. For instance, you can surround yourself with people who constantly voice opinions that others have in their heads but are afraid of voicing.
15. Don’t care about people; keep growing
Perhaps you are wondering what a growth list is. This is simply a list that contains things that you are uncomfortable with. It consists of your insecurities, fears and all other things that give you jitters. Begin by creating a list of things that makes you uncomfortable. You should then begin doing them one by one. After completing one task, it is time to move to the next one. Keep repeating this process.
You growth list may consist of a simple task like taking a cold shower. If this is among your fear, make it happen. Make sure that you turn the cold shower on. Your body may start shaking even before the water touches you. But remember that this is the voice in your mind speaking.
During your first try, it will prove challenging. On the second time, you will find it easier. By the third time, you will already be used. Before you know it, your body will no longer shake. You will no longer be uncomfortable and you will have conquered one of your fears.
I can assure that this is one of the exercises that will work wonders in helping you come out of your comfort zone. Reading books about confidence or overcoming your fears is alright. However, if you don’t take action, you can be assured that all that knowledge will be in vain. You will be like a person who read about how to ride a bicycle without ever sitting on one.
16. Travel alone
In case you are searching for a transformative method that combines all the above points, one thing that you should try is to travel alone. A group travel always has enough fun. It’s only limitation it that it will not help you to come out of that comfort zone. Traveling alone on the other hand will expose you to different cultures, help to break the social norms and help you out of that bubble.
Ensure that you carry the smallest load possible. In fact you should have everything fitting in a backpack. Ensure that the only thing you plan for is a one way ticket to the destination. Once you get there, you will figure out everything. One thing I can assure you is that everything will just be fine.
When trying to overcome what people think of you, one thing that you need to realize is that it will not be easy. With time, you will start getting comfortable with what you considered to be uncomfortable. While you may continue struggling with it for some time, the most important thing is to ensure that you get started.
Already we have enough people in the world who subscribe to the status quo. But it is the people who don’t subscribe to the norm that are able to change the world. This is why you need to be among the latter. You can do that by living the way you have always wanted, become fearless like you were in your young age and always stand for what you believe in. Use the above tips to enable you stop worrying of what people think of you and to live a fulfilled life.
The more you understand yourself, the more silence there is, the healthier you are. —Maxime Lagacé