It seems to go against the norm to tell you that it is fantastic that you caring what people think (and say)!! Most would tell you not to. However people who truly don’t care about others or their opinions are typically narcisstic or sociopathic, so yeah for caring!!
However it is important to note that there is a difference between caring about what people think verses taking it on board.
Unless you fall under those two categories I believe it is impossible to not be caring about what others think. Because as humans we give meaning to things. Our brains are wired to perceive, in prehistoric times this is what kept us alive. However it is important to note that meaning doesn’t necessary equate to truth.
What you perceive someone else to be thinking about you, may not actually be true. If fact the opposite actually may be. Yet whether a person has said or thought something, or you have perceived them too, what matters more so is the weight and importance you give to it.
When you don’t have a sound sense of your own identity, then you won’t be able to love or accept yourself. And when you don’t love (or accept) yourself you are more susceptible to what others think. Therefore one of the keys to not taking on board what others think (or having perceptions of what they think) is knowing, loving and accepting yourself. It creates an armour to, and makes you less susceptible, to taking on board what others think.
Here are four principles to help protect you from onboarding:
Projection Defense Mechanism
In psychology there is a concept called “projection”. It is where a person unconsciously attributes their unwanted feelings, emotions and/or traits onto another person. It is easier for them to not like in you, what they don’t like in themselves, than to acknowledge or deal with it.
What this means is that when someone thinks (or says) something about you, they are really saying it about themselves.
Values are basically beliefs that guide your behaviours and attitudes. Your values influence how you view the world and what you consider as right or wrong. It is the gauge by which you determine the best action to take or best thing to do.
This means that when others give you their opinion of what is “right or wrong” or what action you should take, they have used the gauge they use for their own life, for you.
Life is not an “one size, fits all”. What works for one person, doesn’t necessarily work for another. What is right for one person, is not right for the next. When you are aware of this you can understand you simply have differing priorities and standards than someone else. Not right or wrong, not good or bad – just different.
There is a wonderful saying by Madhu Vamsi, “You will never be criticized by someone who is doing more than you, you will only be criticised by someone doing less.” This was one of my most popular posts on social media, because of the truth in the words.
People who are succeeding want others to also. They feel good and solid within themselves and thus are not threatened by what someone else is doing (or wants to do). They have an abundance mindset and understand there is plenty for everyone and are happy to share. They work on the preface that everyone is equal and love seeing others elevated to feeling good about themselves.
On the other hand when someone wants to bring you down it is so they can feel good about themselves and what they aren’t doing. Because you succeeding or taking action highlights to them what they are not.
Opinions are Judgements
Bill Bullard said “Opinion is really the lowest form of human knowledge. It requires no accountability, no understanding.”
Most people who have an opinion on someone else typically never expect that person to hear what they have said, or they don’t expect the person to stand up for themselves. Nor has the opinionated person typically asked questions to gain understanding or knowledge. They have passed judgement based on what they believe to be fact, typically refuting facts.
Caring about what others think means that you are a considerate and kind person. The relationships you have with others is important to you. It is also an indicator that you need to nurture the relationship you have with yourself and to bring the focus back to yourself to build your own self love and esteem.
If you are struggling and need additional help please consider having a one on one session. Visit www.theinnersageaustralia.com