3 Mental Tricks to Stop Caring About What Other People Think

Kelsey Clark

Worrying too much about what other people think could be considered a high school rite of passage. But allowing this self-conscious mind-set to carry over into adulthood can cause some problems—both for your confidence and self-esteem. Although humans are hardwired to seek approval from others, there's a fine line between being conscientious and allowing other people's opinions of you to determine your self-worth. If you're struggling to kick the habit, never fear; users on Quora have already vetted some worthwhile solutions for you. As chronicled by Business Insider, these are the most effective mental tricks to test out when trying to care less about what others think of you:

Don't overestimate how much people care

Some believe that humans are naturally selfish creatures. Although this may sound harsh, think about it: How many minutes out of the day do you spend thinking about other people and the nuances of their day-to-day behaviour? Keep your answer in mind next time you feel self-conscious about your outfit—there's a good chance that no one even noticed it. This is substantiated by a 2000 study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, which accurately illustrates the Spotlight Effect. Researchers found that, when forced to wear an embarrassing outfit to a party, participants consistently overestimated how many people even noticed their ensemble.

Change the narrative

Unfortunately, self-consciousness is often accompanied by a self-deprecating narrative running on a loop through your head. This second mental trick lies in interrupting said narrative and rewriting the script for yourself. "No one can make you think or feel a certain way—it's all about the way you interpret their behaviour," explains BI. "So by changing that interpretation, you might be able to make yourself think and feel more positively."

Focus on what you can control

You only have control over what YOU say, feel, and do—concerning yourself with the thoughts and actions of others is simply a waste of time. Rather, you should try to manage your own thoughts and actions as related to a particular situation to ease feelings of anxiety or self-consciousness. Once you've done everything in your power to remedy or change a situation, it's in your best interest to move on. Don't get caught up in analysing the thoughts and opinions of others; it will only spiral into rumination or excessive worry.

Head over to Business Insider for the full list of mental tricks to test out, and share your personal tips below!

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