How to not care what people think? I will start by telling you it is hard.
Before, I used to think I didn’t care what people thought of me, but it was more of a façade than anything else. People’s words, actions and opinions can start grinding you down. They really begin to hammer at you when you’re fighting depression. Below you will find my techniques for not caring and letting it go.
Other people’s opinions
This should be something we are taught. We should be taught to love ourselves, and we should be taught that the only validation we need in life is our own. Fuck the people who say ‘You need to be thinner’ or ‘You need to be fatter’ or ‘You’re too loud’ or ‘You’re too opinionated’. Don’t listen to the people who knock you. If they are trying to cut you down instead of helping you grow and change, then they are not worth listening to.
However, ignoring these people doesn’t work. If you’re like me you will still remember their words. You have to confront them. This shit can be hard if you struggle with depression or anxiety, so I’ll give you some tips. I am currently confronting the opinions that hurt me, both in my mind and out loud. You will see what mean below!
Is it true?
Now, naturally we can all exaggerate. We can all forget bits of information or see things that aren’t there. Have you ever felt someone watching you or felt unwanted in a social situation? Those feelings can consume you. They become the evidence you need to back up thoughts like, ‘No one likes me’, or ‘I am worthless.’ Sometimes the things we think or feel are really just a trick our minds play to intensify the fear of a situation.
However, people can also be nasty. For example, you may be feeling left out because you genuinely are being left out. It’s hard to know exactly which of these is true. That’s why I either write down or try to work out in my head which is correct.
Write it down
For example, draw two columns on a piece of paper and title one column ‘Reality’ and the other column ‘Fiction’. In these separate columns, write down all the real evidence you have for feeling a certain way. In the next column, write down all the things you are unsure about or that have been blown out of proportion in your mind.
I’m not saying it’s easy. It’s really fucking hard. Trying to identify which of your beliefs aren’t quite right or aren’t really justifiable is difficult, but it helps. Doing this, you will hopefully realise that most of the thoughts and opinions that are getting you down are actually thoughts you have exaggerated without realising.
Once you have your columns and you have a rough idea of how the situation truly looks, you need to find a way of tackling your problem. If it’s a specific person causing the problem, you can message them. You don’t need to get angry; you can say how you feel, and have a true sense of letting go.
I’ve tried this before but I did it too soon. I forgave but I didn’t forget, and now this one situation, this one person affects me every day, probably without realising. If this is like you and you’re getting mad at the situation, then you are not ready to let it go yet. Sometimes, even though we know it will benefit us, we just cannot seem to forgive and forget.
Let it go
So, if you’re reading this, nodding your head, and wanting to forget and let that shit go, grab yourself a pen and paper. This is some advice I got from my counsellor, and it has helped me let my anger go without even having to really confront a situation. Start by writing a letter. Address it to the people/person/opinion or even the place that has impacted your self-love. Begin writing down everything you feel.
For the first letter, get all your anger and frustration out. Get mad, swear, cry, and rip the letter up after your finished. Then, when the emotions resurface again, write another letter. Make this one slightly more polite but still show the anger you feel. Eventually you will notice your anger subside with each passing letter.
You’re forgetting and you’re forgiving. It’s an amazing feeling. That opinion, thought or feeling doesn’t affect you anymore and you are free to get on with your life. You are free to love yourself and you are free to now turn round to people when they are nasty and say, ‘Your opinion does not matter to me. I love myself and I am the only one whose opinions of me matter.’
Let that shit go and be happy.
Jess | @walkwith_jess
Reproduced with permission, originally posted on walkwithjess