Stop Worrying About What People Think of You

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We are social creatures, so it’s natural to care what others think of us. Having strong relationships helps us feel fulfilled, connected and supported.

But obsessing over what others think just makes us feel judged, disconnected and resentful. It’s hard to be vulnerable and open up to family members and friends when we’re scared of the reaction we’ll get when we’re honest and forthright.

And it’s not just the people close to us, either. How often do you worry about what everyone thinks of you, including every coworker, the other people at the gym, even random strangers on the street?

Being on high alert like this drains our energy, revs up anxiety and makes it harder to connect with other people. These tips will help you stop caring so much about what others think of you and feel more engaged and aligned.

Watch the video or keep reading:

Step 1: Realize everyone is thinking about themselves
The first step in not caring what other people think about you is to realize that everyone’s really just thinking about themselves! Everyone around you is walking around thinking about their own personal needs and desires and worrying about others judging them.

We’re all just trying to feel good and be happy. So just remember that we’re all in this together. Take that struggle and discomfort off yourself and realize we’re all doing this all the time.

Step 2: Take the pressure off by asking questions
Another great way to get your attention off of what you think others are thinking and onto just being more casual and feeling more centered is to ask people more sincere, curious questions about themselves.

In your conversations, let go of your judgment (of yourself and them) and simply inquire about them. As you ask them questions you’ll discover things you have in common and reasons to feel connected.

Connection is all we really want! By showing that you’re interested in the other person, you’ll begin to feel a greater sense of presence within the relationship. You’ll be able to let go of inadequacy and stop caring about what they think of you, and you’ll feel more engaged and aligned.

These are two very simple steps. I hope this practice goes well for you. Go out and try it and let me know your experiences in the comments below!

Do you have other ways of putting yourself at ease and connecting with others? How do you stop worrying what other people think of you? Leave a comment and let me know!

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31 COMMENTS

  1. Your words in this blog”Connection is all we really want! “-
    Really resonates with me deeply
    And i acknowledge i am resisting this resonating desire in the intention of protecting myself from getting hurt .
    but im opening up to healing and it is clear to me this is not a healthy way to live its not healing me its inducing and regenerating fear and manifesting pain that is blocking my way to inner peace a state where i dont need to find a place to hide and feel safe a state where i have become my very own safe place .
    .im \comming to recognize ” my need for space and privacy” is that hiding place i go to when i am afraid and seeking a feeling of containment and inner safety,when i cannot hide my pain that makes panic when i think of people wittnessing it and i go into hiding. I feel alone but less vulnerable to the panic of feeling uncontained and exposed .
    I am protecting myself from my greatest need and desire which is positive connection with others because of trauma fear, doubt ,deep confusion
    But faith is stronger than fear so it still lingers.it has kept me persevearing for years and years when i had no rational reason to … It burst and leaks at times but its faith that perseveres in me.
    i know this because i am still breathing, im still trying ,i still believe in peace on a microcosmic and macrocismic plane. i was born both lacking and seeking peace and it is real to me when im not at peace im in a state if terror or filled anxioty.

    I give up when i stop believing but time and again i get up and try find peace again.

    Right now i can own my freedom i am free because i know what i desire what i intend what i choose and no one can make me desire fear pain and doubt over healing over empathy , compassionate integrity filled love and peace that is intrinsically intrinsic to one and all alike.
    Others can say im living in a fantasy world and i can still acknowledge even if the notion of healing through love rather choosing defense from hurt and pain through fear is a fantasy then i choose to live in a peacefull fantasy rather than a fearful reality that feels like a nightmare . i choose to put my faith in joy freedom and i believe it is one and the same with agendaless love , compassion ,integrity, truth ,goodness that is available constantly and for the sake of the highest good for one and all…
    And i intend to be patient and allow the rays of guides and guidense to be just that.

  2. I often find myself worrying what other people think about me when I’m not actually in their presence. When I’m alone, or home, or otherwise not in a situation to engage them immediately. That’s when the anxiety really kicks in, the cyclical worry mind kicks in, and shame rains down.

  3. This is great! Here’s my question! When someone absolutely pushes your buttons due to their behavior, a n excersize instructor, though could be anyone, other than avoiding, what’s the best way to deal with this, I have had some success sending love , though today all that kept coming up was would you just shut up… sigh. Thanks

    1. Hi Moonstar- my recommendation when someone is really pushing my buttons is to turn it around and ask where am I guilty of this same behavior? The things that annoy us most about another are often the things we ourselves are guilty of but have hidden from ourselves. It may not be in exactly the same form, but I’ve yet to find an example where it wasn’t true. Like if you are sooo annoyed with someone for being arrogant, and you want to wipe that smug little smile right off their face, turn it around and go “Ok but where am **I** being arrogant? And where have I been arrogant in the past? Oh wow, maybe if i hate arrogance, I should work on not being arrogant first. Maybe I should be the energetic leader. What was I feeling when I acted arrogant? Maybe that person is feeling that way right now? Maybe I can be compassionate and loving instead responding with my own negativity.” etc. Or if you are upset with someone for being too loud, where are you too loud? If you’re upset with someone for not taking care of their health, where do you not take care of your health? Maybe you take care of your physical health but not your mental health. If you look hard enough, you will always find where you are equal. And then you can focus on clearing that in yourself and feeling compassion for the other person and even an understanding like “yup! I do the same thing!”

      Hope that helps!

  4. Gabby,
    I have had this question stirring in my soul and brain for a while now. And here you are giving me guidance! I love these synchronicity moments! I’m going to try these steps and see how it works. I have a question if you wouldn’t mind answering: how do I stop getting aggravated and riled up when I’m driving and other cars are being aggressive, such as riding on top of my car?
    Thanks again for your help!
    Traci XO

  5. Thank you for sharing this message. While taking your digital master class this year I discovered that I did care too much about what other people think about me, which was preventing me from going into a teaching career. I was too afraid to be a teacher because I was too worried about what the students would think of me. I’m so happy that I am working past this limiting belief, because now I have started teaching and I am loving it! I still have to remind myself frequently to not worry about what the students think of me, because I know that they have a lot of things going on in their lives right now and they are not just sitting there to judge me, they are there to learn. Thanks for the encouragement to keep my focus on how I can best serve others!

  6. Thanks so much for this beautiful advice! I sometimes struggle with being stuck in my head about how other people might perceive me – but it helps to realize I’m the only one in control of how I present myself and other people’s reaction to that is based on their own perceptions, that I have no control over! It’s liberating in an odd way <3

    1. It is so liberating! Accepting what you can’t control lets you off the hook. You’re no longer channeling energy toward a brick wall. 🙂

  7. Gabby, People judge me because of a past mistake. I isolate myself because I dont want to feel bad energys in my life, when people judge you because I am not perfect, but also it diminish my quality of life. I’ve lost connection.Though I am an introvert but i believe I dont deserve just to stay in the four corners of my home. Please inspire me to go out.

    1. My new book will be a great help to you – it includes meditations for judgment as well as feeling judged, both of which I know will serve you greatly. (You can preorder it here: https://gabbybernstein.com/bookgift/). It can be very difficult to deal with the feeling of being judged and the shame that can bring on. If you struggle to forgive yourself and feel worthy, practice self-compassion. Here is a blog of mine that can help you, as well as a helpful article from Psychology Today.

      You can begin a compassion practice that also includes releasing your victim story and cutting the energetic cord that ties you to others, even to people who are no longer in your life.

      Please know I am holding you in my prayers as you heal. If you cannot do it on your own, I recommend seeking the help of a qualified therapist. EMDRIA therapy may be incredibly beneficial to you.

  8. I tend to internalize too much. I am very much aware of what is happening around me. I also tend to care about what others think of me which prevents me from being who I am supposed to be. God works through all of us so I know I need to move past this. Prayers and affirmations definitely shine light on these hindering beliefs. I also find that physiological aspects play a role as well. A healthier lifestyle, especially staying hydrated, helps me to keep repetitive thoughts or feelings at bay. Active listening is a skill that I am still trying to master! I wear a specific bracelet or ring as a symbol to remind me to actively listen. When the intended behavior becomes a habit, I no longer need to wear it. Thanks for your suggestions. I never made the connection between listening intently and being judgemental about myself or others 🙂

    1. I want to honor you for taking these actions to shift your mindset and your actions. I’m so happy this serves you. xo

  9. I can attest to the power of these two points you mention, yet it’s still a daily practice for me!! Have you read “Untethered Soul”? Last night I read ch. 13 where he writes, ” When you truly awake spiritually, you realize you are caged. You wake up and realize that you can hardly move in there. You’re constantly hitting the limits of your comfort zone. You see that you’re afraid to tell people what you really think. You see that you’re too self-conscious to freely express yourself…..Why? There’s really no reason. You have set these limits on yourself. If you don’t stay within them, you get scared, you feel hurt, and you feel threatened. That’s your cage.”

    I spent so much of my life obsessing over others’ perception and acceptance of “me”, ironically I lacked any REAL sense of connection! As you would say, I was choosing fear over Love. Realizing that I/we are are one–of the same consciousness with the same desire for connection that you mention–has been very powerful for me. Sat Nam. xo

  10. Also, want to share that I’m going to a “Giving Thanks” meditation with Guru Singh on Thanksgiving! I have you/UHYB to thank for the re-introduction to kundalini. I’ve been doing the Sat Nam meditation nearly every morning, and it’s so grounding. I’m really curious and excited to practice with Guru Singh in person!! P.S. Wishing you a wonderful Thanksgiving too btw!

  11. Hi Gabby,
    Great post, I love it! I have been following you for a while now and I have purchased one of your books. I would love some clarity on one issue please…I am not sure what I should be thinking in regard to some circumstances…for instance I am trying to sell my house and I am following your views on have no expectations – leave it up to the universe – but then this means that I have to stop thinking my house will sell and I can’t visualise my house being sold because that would be an expectation?? Which way do you go? I having been wishing for the higher good for all and we are on a timeline to sell for personal reasons and if we don’t sell within the time frame the outcome will not be a good one for our family. I appreciate your feedback.
    Kind Regards
    DMaree

  12. I totally agree with your tips. However, it is still so hard sometimes! I’m a sensitive person and “feel” energies constantly. For example with colleagues, I can have this close bond and we talk about everything and I feel really connected. Then all of a sudden, there can be a couple of my colleagues who I just feel and see in their eyes how they judge me or think I’m a nut for some of my opinions when we discuss during lunch break. These looks and energies can follow me a whole day until I go to bed. Thanks for your work! Loved your workshop in Stockholm <3

  13. OMGSH! I am so grateful to see these tips and to hear others as I can very much resonate! I have realized how much I am stuck in my head, and have created stories! It is a daily practice to be present and sometimes “check out” those stories with close friends and family. I have put myself out there more each day to practice and overcome this fear!! I feel some self compassion when I read that it is a real struggle out there and I am not alone.

  14. Dear Gabby, my 13 year old son came home from school and told me that he was asked by class mates to go bowling next Friday evening. The thing is that he is not really friends with these class mates, but he was afraid to say no and said yes. But now he doesn’t want to go. I have told him that he could tell them that he changed his mind, but he said that is not possible. He thinks that they will say to him that he is letting them down. I have also suggested to talk with them and to get to know them better, but he said that is not a good idea. I don’t know what advice to give him, he needs (to learn) to stay true to himself in this teenage world, but how?

    1. Does he struggle with social anxiety or a fear of not fitting in, or does he truly not like them? I suggest talking with some friends who have similarly aged sons — your son may not be alone in this. It is important for him to find his own voice and learn his own way. He may go and end up having a blast, or he might learn to simply say no thanks to invitations he doesn’t want in the future. Support him but give him the chance and freedom to figure things out for himself. You may also want to check out some books on parenting teens (and teen boys). 🙂 Here are some books to check out.

      1. Dear Gabby, thank you for your reply. Today he came home from school and said that he is going. He wants to give it a try and get to know them better. I am happy that he has decided to go and hopefully he will have a great time. And yes, it is important that he finds his own voice and learn his own way. I hope he will find it sooner than I ;-). Thank you again for taking the time to reply and for the book suggestions. And also a big thank you that you share your joy, wisdom and inspiration. You help me grow and finding my own voice and purpose.

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