3 Perspectives that Help You Deal with Other People’s Opinions
Updated: Mar 16, 2022
Unfortunately, there are things in life that we cannot control. The things that happen to us, our past, and other people’s opinions. I’m not here today to tell you ‘fuck other people's opinions’ because we are made to care. Historically speaking we wanted to belong to a tribe because being kicked out would mean that our chances of survival were slim to none. But today the worst thing that can happen when we get rejected is a painful feeling. So let’s take a look at how we can change our perspective when it does occur and hopefully you can find some mental peace with it.
1. Other people’s opinions have nothing to do with you and all about them.
We have no control over how other people think about us. So often we try to behave in ways so others won’t judge us but the truth is they already do and they always will. They will always think something of you, good or bad. And this has nothing to do with you personally. People have their own perceptions, preferences, and thoughts. Maybe a person won’t like you because you remind them of someone who used to be mean to them. Maybe they love you because you remind them so much of their closest friend.
When someone doesn’t like us It affects us because we take it as an attack on our being. Making it mean something that makes us doubt our self-worth. If they don’t like cheese and you do you won’t take it personally. If I would tell you 'I don’t like the white shirt you're wearing' but your shirt is black you would look at me like I’m out of my mind. If I would say 'I don’t like your white shirt' and you are wearing a white shirt you can let it affect you because you could see it as true.
Being judged only hurts us because of what we are making it mean. We are letting their opinion mean something about us personally, it makes us insecure. If one person likes you and the other doesn’t, then who is right? Well, who’s opinion actually matters? And this will bring me to my second point.
2. If they don’t like who you are they are doing you a HUGE favor.
Let me tell you a secret. If they don’t like you, then they are doing you a huge favor. They are showing you that they are not your people. If you try to pretend to be someone you are not you will attract the people who won’t make you happy. The more authentically you are, the more that the right people will start to show up in your life and love you for the real you. Without you trying, without needing to change. They will love you effortlessly, unconditionally. You will be able to connect with those on a deeper level because you would feel seen and heard.
You can’t please everyone. You’ll just lose yourself in the process of trying to. When I was a teenager I was the “silly comedian type”. until I heard the words ‘you are too much, ‘you are doing this for attention’. And those words hit me so hard that I hid that part of me and became more serious because I became ashamed of that part of myself. It hurt me so much at the time because I took it as the truth. The right people thought I was hilarious. But trying to be approved by those few people whose friendship didn’t even last that very long anyway made me lose my spark. After a while of trying to play small, trying to not take up to much space, I lost sight of what it meant to be me and with that, I became unhappy and very self-conscious. So fuck that, I’m here to take some space, unapologetically.
If you work on the relationship you have with yourself. And you learn who you are and what you stand for. People can’t tell you shit, because you created that security within yourself. If you approve of who you are then you will seek less approval from others. This is what creates true confidence within yourself. Self-love comes from self-acceptance and self-acceptance is a journey, but, a journey worth pursuing. Be you, all the other people are taken.
You can always try finding some humor in some of this. Giggle while you whisper to yourself ‘well I’m not inviting them for dinner for sure they have poor taste. I’m freaking amazing. It helped me, for sure.
Ask yourself, what is it costing me holding on to other people’s opinions?
There is this hospice nurse who wrote a book that interviewed those who were terminally ill. She asked all those people what their biggest regret was in life. The most recurring answer was ‘I regret caring so much about other people’s opinion instead of staying true to myself'.
3. You are not as important as you think you are.
Human nature has an egocentric side. We might not like to admit it but it’s a part of being human. You are never as important as you think you are and the good thing about that is that the other person is probably not thinking about you as often as you think they are. They have their own problems and experiences to think and worry about. We are all guilty of switching into "mind reader" mode. Making up stories of what they must be thinking about us. So try to notice when you do so you can take a step back.
When I feel judged by someone I tell myself ‘other people’s opinions are not my business. They have the right to think whatever they want’. Remind yourself that people who judge others are often their own worst critics and judges themselves as well.
If you are working on accepting yourself for who you are and being yourself, unapologetically. I want to applaud you because that’s what I call being brave!