Do you usually worry about what others think of you? If you do, you are not the only one. Worrying about what others think of us is something many of us do to varying degrees. And it is not always a bad thing. There are times when caring about someone’s opinion of you is okay. But if you usually give TOO much importance to what other people think of you, it may affect your life negatively and hold you back from reaching your dreams.
You probably don’t even know why you worry about what others think of you so much. You just know you do. However, by giving so much importance to other people’s opinions of you, you give your power over to them and allow them to affect how you feel and view yourself. It is like letting someone else own your life and control your thoughts and actions.
Since you can’t control what people think, worrying about what others think of you is just a waste of your precious time. So, if you don’t know why you worry about what others think of you so much, this post will give you some ideas on what could be causing it. We shall also discuss how to stop worrying about what others think of you so you can be free and happier.
Why You Worry about What Others Think So Much
- You have a low sense of self-worth
How were you brought up? Were your parents overly critical of you? Did they reward, compliment, or show you affection only when you accomplished something? Your upbringing and other life experiences could affect your sense of self-worth. You might only feel valued or loved when others say so because you value their opinions over yours.
If you have a low sense of self-worth, you also may not believe you deserve the good things in life, such as success, respect, and love, and hence you will always seek validation and reassurance from others. For example, if you grew up poor and people told you that you will never amount to anything, you may still feel unworthy when you become rich and successful.
You could begin to worry about what people think and whether they assume you cheated your way to the top. Due to imposter syndrome, you may need someone to reassure you that you are deserving of your success. If your sense of self-worth depends on other people, it could be why you worry about what others think about you so much.
- You want to fit in
It is natural to want to be likable and feel like you belong somewhere. But, as you try to fit into various groups and communities, you may be anxious to know about other people’s opinions of you. Questions such as, ‘Do they like me?’ and ‘Are they okay with me joining their clique?’ will run through your mind as you interact with new people and try to find your place with them.
When you venture into the world trying to make friends, you want to be liked, respected, and accepted and to make a good impression on the people you meet. Fear of rejection and wanting to fit in are common reasons why people worry about what others think of them.
- Your past
If you did something embarrassing or bad in the past, it could be the reason why you worry about what others think about you so much now. You fear that whenever others see you, they are judging you based on your past or thinking about your embarrassing moment. Worrying about what people think of you because of your past could make you set out to do whatever you believe you need to do to try to change their opinion of you.
But even if you show others how much you have changed or rectified your wrongdoings, you will eventually have to accept the hard truth that you have no control over other people’s opinions. You may try to show them what they should think of you, but people will think whatever they want. And that is beyond your control.
READ ALSO: Is Cancel Culture Good or Bad for Society?
- Their opinions matter to you
Many of us would not want the people that matter to us to think badly of us. For example, you could often worry about what people like your parents, employers, significant others, kids, or church members think of you. You value their opinions about you; hence you may always go about your life worrying about what they might think of the things you do.
You will often wonder things like; What would my parents say or think if they saw me doing this?’ or “What if my church priest saw me acting in an ungodly way?’ Thus, one of the reasons why you worry about what others think about you so much could be that those opinions come from people who matter to you.
- You lack self-confidence
Lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities could be another reason why you worry about what others think of you. If you don’t believe in yourself, you cannot expect anyone else to have confidence in you. You may get wrapped up worrying about whether you can really accomplish your goals and what others will think about you if you fail.
If you want to learn how to stop worrying about what others think of you so much, you will need to build self-confidence and get rid of self-doubt. Start trusting your abilities and valuing your opinion of yourself more than what others think of you.
- You are comparing yourself with others
Comparison is one of the many reasons why you worry about what others think. No matter how well you are doing in life, there will always be someone whose life seems to be better than yours. Hence, comparing yourself with the people around you may make you feel like a failure or result in feelings of life dissatisfaction.
If these people who seem to have perfect lives are your age mates, friends, or colleagues, you may start to worry about what others think of you when they compare you to them. You could feel like your life is at a standstill while they are achieving their dreams. Seeing their progress may make you think you are behind on things and that everyone else views you the same way.
When you compare yourself with others, you are being unfair to yourself as you may fail to notice your growth and the good things in your life. It is time you realized that everyone has their own time zone and purpose in life. So, stop worrying about other people’s opinions and go at your own pace. If you continue working on your goals, your time will come, no matter what age you may be by then.
- You are insecure about something
Having insecurities can be one of the reasons why you worry about what others think of you so much. When you are insecure about something, for example, your appearance, personality, accent, race, or abilities, you may worry that your insecurities are the only things people see and that they will probably judge you based on them alone.
You may even beat yourself up and blame the parts of you that make you feel insecure and self-conscious whenever things don’t go right for you. If you want to learn how to stop worrying about what others think of you, start practicing self-love and embrace your imperfections and flaws as part of what makes you who you are.
READ ALSO: 10 Reasons to Learn How to Love Your Body
- You depend on the other person for something
Although you may want to stop worrying about what others think of you, there are times you may be forced to care about people’s opinions. One of the reasons why you worry about what others think so much could be that you have to depend on them for something. For example, you may have to care about the opinion of people like your employers, parents, or even friends if you are relying on them for something or other.
When depending on someone for things such as a job, money, housing, or sustenance, many people often have to put up a front and be nice in order to not lose such things by seeming to be ‘bad’. You may have to continue worrying about what others think of you until you can be self-sufficient and in a position to take your power back.
- You have anxiety
Mental health issues such as anxiety can also be the reason why you worry about what others think of you so much. As an anxious person, you may often overthink things and create exaggerated scenarios in your head that only make you spiral further.
Having anxiety and worrying about other people’s opinions and approval can impact your everyday life adversely to the point where you may be unable to make simple decisions or interact with others. Learning how to stop worrying about what others think of you and finding effective ways to manage your anxiety is crucial.
- You want to open up
When someone isn’t close to you, there may be no reason for you to worry about what they think of you because they don’t know much about you. But if you are considering being vulnerable and opening up to people about yourself, your dreams, achievements, and struggles, that could be the reason why you are worrying about what others think of you.
You know that if people know the real you, details of your personal life, and your innermost thoughts and desires, their perception of you may change, and they could judge you. You worry about what they will think about your aspirations, achievements, and where you are in life. You may ask yourself questions like, ‘Are my achievements or dreams big enough?’ or ‘What will they think of my struggles and how I’m handling them? ‘
How to Stop Worrying about What Others Think of You
Now that you know the reasons why you worry about what others think of you so much, you may wonder how you can stop giving such importance to other people’s opinions. You understand that even though this doesn’t mean you should never consider someone else’s opinion, in most instances, the tendency to worry too much about what others think impacts your life negatively. Here is how to stop worrying about what others think of you so much.
- Increase your self-awareness so you can know when and why you are doing it
- Embrace your authentic self, unapologetically
- Realize that only a few people actually care and give you much thought
- Focus on your personal growth, happiness, and living a fulfilling life
- Stop chasing perfection and comparing yourself to others
- Change your way of thinking and focus on what you can control, your opinion of yourself
- Create your own story instead of living by the one others have written and expected you to follow
- Build a support system to get a sense of belonging with the people who matter
- Increase your self-confidence and self-esteem
- Know your worth and stop waiting for external validation
If you usually give a lot of importance to other people’s opinions, you must know how exhausting and miserable that can make you. So, now that you are aware of the likely reasons why you worry about what others think of you so much, you can try to stop doing that. You also have to accept that you can’t control what other people think; worrying about their opinions will only waste your time.
Life is too short for you to spend it on things that don’t add value or meaning to your existence. So, starting today, use the points discussed above to identify the reasons why you worry about what others think about you so much. If you catch yourself doing it, you have also learned how to stop worrying about what others think of you.
All in all, your opinion of yourself is what matters most. You are the one who knows yourself best, what you have been through, your abilities, and what you hope to achieve in life.
Read more articles from Aisles of Life here.