What other people think (and how not to care)

Comparing yourself to other people and worrying about what others think of you can be very damaging to your mental health. It can destroy your self-worth, confidence, and your self-esteem. It is healthy to not think about other people’s thoughts and feelings about you and focus your attention on being the best version of yourself.


By focusing on other people’s thoughts, you are using your own energy up on what is essentially none of your business and wasting energy that could be far better spent on something that enriches your life. 

Embrace your authentic self and love you have for who you are and lead a healthy and happy life. 

By spending less time worrying about what others are thinking of you, the better chance you will have of achieving self-acceptance. Other people may be wealthier, brainier, or slimmer than you, but that will always be there. If you are poor or overweight, it doesn’t make you less of a person or devalue you in any way. You cannot be anyone else, but wishing you were will only leave you feeling less worthy of who you actually are. 

How do we stop worrying about what other people think?


When you are worrying about what others are thinking about you it can cause issues that not only affect you emotionally but physically as well. Take anxiety for example. You worry about what is being thought of you, the anxiety raises up and before you know it you feel low, your stomach is in knots, you feel sick and perhaps begin to go into panic mode. 

By taking control of your own thoughts, you can begin to reflect on what is really going on inside your head and begin to realise that your own thoughts are the only thoughts that matter and are important to you. 

For example...

You are running late for work, and you are never late. You may think 'my manager will think that I am useless, I’m unreliable and they are going to tell me off’. The reality of this situation is that there are many different ways that this could play out when you do arrive at work. The above is just one possibility of what could happen but there are other possibilities too. So, what are the other possibilities?

Maybe you will apologise you are late with a brief explanation and your manager will say ‘OK, not to worry’. Maybe they will ask you to make up the time or maybe they too are running late as these things happen and sometimes are completely out of our control - a puncture, for example. Whatever possibility you come up with, there are always alternatives.

Therapeutic journaling

Therapeutic journaling can be a really useful tool for all of us. Simply write down your thoughts or feelings about that day. Include the positive thoughts as well as the negative ones. Do this on a daily basis and every so often, take a look back at what you have written and recall all the good things that have happened and notice how the bad things don’t seem that bad right now. Include the possibilities that you may have thought of when worrying about what others are thinking. 

Self-love and acceptance

Accept yourself, love yourself and spend time on self-care. Whatever makes you happy, whether it’s a new venture or hobby, give it a go. Work towards your goals and put yourself first. Saying "no" is part of self-care and self-love. Do what makes you happy rather than spending time worrying about what others think. If we accept ourselves, then we get to live as our authentic selves and accept who we are. You are perfect just as you are, and you are you and nobody else. You are a special unique human being and that is perfect. 

We make mistakes, that’s normal and OK. Forgive yourself, you are human. The world right now is such a busy place, we dash from one place to the next and rarely relax, and I mean really relax. Do we even think about what we achieve each day? Why not begin each day by reminding yourself of the wonderful person that you are. Accept yourself and love yourself. 

Letting go

Letting go of other people’s potential thoughts is crucial to being your authentic self. It won’t be easy but as time passes, it gets easier. The first step is to realise that you cannot do anything about what other people think. It may seem obvious but just think about this for a little while. You cannot control other people’s thoughts or opinions.

The thoughts of others are grounded in their selves. Their experiences have paved a way for their thoughts that they have and, in turn, they have no clue what your own experience has paved for you. You can care less and less because their opinion has nothing to do with you and yours. And if someone doesn’t like you, who cares! You like you and that’s all that matters. You don’t have to be liked by everyone; in fact, nobody is liked by everyone. Let go of the negative people in your life and accept yourself and the positive people who surround you. 

As with anything in life, the more we practice the easier it becomes. Brush off the thoughts, make them small and insignificant. Embrace your authentic self and love you have for who you are and lead a healthy and happy life. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the author. All articles published on Counselling Directory are reviewed by our editorial team.

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Telford, Shropshire, TF2
Written by Nicki Cawley
Telford, Shropshire, TF2

As I counsellor and psychotherapist I understand the issues in the articles I write. I try my best to keep my writing as simple as possible to allow anyone to have a read. No jargon needed! I feel passionate about all of my articles and write them so that I can help as many people as possible. Thank you for reading.

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