Just stop caring what everyone else thinks of you. It’s easier said than done. I’m a hypocrite who literally cares what everyone thinks. I can be absurdly self-conscious to a fault — because I love to be loved, and hate to be hated. It’s natural to want everyone to accept you, but at some point we have to realize that it’s impossible to please the entire world. Someone out there despises your personality, and that’s completely okay. There are people out there who will search for specific reasons to dislike you, because of hearsay, gossip or even based off of nothing at all. After acknowledging and accepting these facts, it’s time for us to firmly stop giving a damn.
Not only do we try to please other people, but we do so because we’re far too concerned with their perception of us. Do they think I’m cool? Do they find me interesting? Oh, God — what if they hate my jokes? What if they don’t like my face? Should I have worn this shirt? I shouldn’t have worn this shirt! Caring about the opinions of everyone we come in contact with is a nerve-racking struggle. Consider how hard it is to walk on eggshells around one person. Now realize that you tip toe on them every time you try to act within a mold, that you reckon fits whoever you’re with at any given time. We aren’t Visa — so let’s stop trying to be accepted everywhere. The misconception that it’s possible to be everyone’s favorite person is sadly false, so let’s not strive for unattainable goals.
When we adapt this overly self-aware mindset, we become less enjoyable people. For example, maybe you go to club and don’t dance, because you fear that onlookers will be amused by your lack of rhythm. So when the crew you’re with heads out to the dance floor, you refrain from joining and play the role of party-pooper. But who really cares if you aren’t capable of moving like Usher or Justin Timberlake; 99% of the club isn’t professional dancers. Even if they were, who cares? You and I do, but we shouldn’t. We should put our uncoordinated asses on full display and dance like we’ve been doing it for years. Even if it looks like a heavily medicated fish out of water, pop and lock it like there’s no tomorrow.
Aside from dancing, this applies to other aspects of life. Anytime you’d like to do something, but refrain in fear of the public’s perception, you’re caring too much. We know in advance that overcoming shyness and fear is beyond challenging, so a concentrated effort will need to be in order. We must force ourselves to take long, confident strides outside of our comfort zone — and most importantly, enjoy doing so. Have fun with it. Force yourself to assertively perform actions that you’re typically uncomfortable doing, with as much poise as possible. I’ve come to find that confidence is somewhat like a muscle. A person can exercise and test their confidence until it grows into a powerful bicep-esque muscle, that we can boldly flex to the rest of the world.
Along with increasing our self-belief, we’ll realize that we’re caring less about how we are perceived — which is the goal here. We want to be as we naturally, instinctively are. In addition, we’d want everyone to embrace us. Here’s the thing; it may sound rude, but you’re not that important to every person in your presence. That’s not a bad thing; it should be comforting in a way. It’s easy to overthink and feel as if all eyes are on you, when in reality they’re everywhere else. Others aren’t fixated on your every move, so that should provide you with some peace of mind.
If you fear that others don’t approve of you, or talk sh-t as soon as you exit the room, you may be right. Perhaps people aren’t gigantic fans of yours, and are badmouthing you right this very moment — but there’s nothing you can do. Focus that energy that used to be spent creating a façade that others like, on embracing the individual that you are. If you’re satisfied it’ll probably show tenfold.
We must make the firm choice to stop caring. No — that doesn’t mean treat others like crap; it just means value one opinion — your own. No holding back, no playing it safe, no desperately seeking approval. We are too dependent on other folks’ opinions. It’s become a drug that we’re unhealthily addicted to. Treat this as a diet. Follow it strictly though, like it’s a fresh new year’s resolution. Be authentic, be true to yourself, and be happy to do so.