This is a Premium feature
To use this feature subscribe to Mumsnet Premium - get first access to new features see fewer ads, and support Mumsnet.Start using Mumsnet Premium
To ask how you stopped caring what other people think(82 Posts)
I find I spend a lot of my time thinking about decisions (big or small) based on what others will think - friends, family, even colleagues. It’s exhausting ! Has anyone got any tips on how to train your brain not to do this?
Could you give us an example? Tell us about a small decision you're thinking about right now, and who you think will care about the decision and why?
Sometimes it helps just to pick things apart.
I find as I get older I get more and more into the 'I don't give a fuck what other people think' camp.
I think it's becoming more confident in myself and my judgement.
Exhausting I bet it is !
What sort of decisions do you mean like a outfit / job / house ?
These things are what you like enjoy, you must know what you enjoy?
Well tbh you have to think why do you care what others think ?
People have all kinds of opinions on things some you agree some you don't but what do you think? . Honestly you'd be a lot happier if you think for yourself .
As with Arietty, mine came with age and confidence.
Why do you care?
Do you believe that they know better than you about the 'thing'? If so why? For example if you have a mate who is a fashion designer I can understand why you might care what she would think about your outfit, however if she was just a 'shop at H&M' type person what makes you think she would know better than you? Much of the time confidence is the aura you give off. E.g if I had a horrendous haircut and went to work all 'OMG isn't it awful' people would agree. If I went in 'OMG I love it' people are unlikely to say it's awful (even though they may think it).
@imsooverthisdrama you’re absolutely correct about thinking for myself. I’ve always sought approval for choices all through my life, I have a huge fear of hearing ‘ I told you so’s’. In my work life I am very confident with decision making and standing by those decisions , it’s more in other aspects of my life. Small things such as if i spent all day reading for example, I wouldn’t tell anyone if they asked what I had done today as I’d think they would judge that negatively.
I have suffered badly from this in my life, too. It can feel crippling, so I do sympathise, OP.
I found that as I aged it began to dawn on me that most people simply don't care one way or the other about what I do or say. Not because they're horrible or anything but because they have their own shit going on.
There may be a few people in life who seem to enjoy judging others, but actually if you look at these people, they're generally pretty unhappy or powerless-feeling or unfulfilled themselves and that's why they try to strike out at others.
My friend does this. I find it sounds exhausting. I don't know why she cares and nor does she so I always remind her that it really does not matter. I honestly live my life for me and not others. Anyones opinion positive or negative does not impact my actions in the slightest. It's so freeing.
What I have noticed is honesty encourage honesty. If my kids are being a pain then I be honest with my struggles and you often find others are in the same boat!
I found age and being pushed to break point where I realised I just wouldnt when it came to living by committee. I subsequently had a lot of therapy and found that not caring what others think goes hand in hand with good boundaries and self esteem. I had a horribly traumatic birth, nearly losing DD and actually moving into the special care baby unit to help care for her. I was doing all the nights myself whilst recovering from a c section and learning to care for a poorly baby. I was exhausted and terrified, and whilst everyone seemed to have an opinion but very few actually offered any sort of help , support or even a listening ear. Even close family and in laws would turn up and move about the drive or how tired they are. I would go back to my windowless room with a tiny hard single bed and cry and with my baby ready for another night of no sleep. I was alone but I survived and realised that I really dont need anyone else (except my fantastic DD who is fine now. It's me and her against the world). I got through that, I can get through anyway. Have you had therapy? Could you take some risks to challenge yourself to get outside your comfort zone and do some things you really want to do?
Oh good question. My oh drummed it out of me when we first met. A lot of "what if it all goes right" "what if it turns out no one cares" and "what if you spent your energy on something more productive like making a great cake or reading an interesting article". Also lots of affirming things like "you've been friends for 15 years isn't it likely that this tiny thing you're obsessing about now won't matter one jot in a months time?"
@blackcat86 I’m glad to hear you and your DD are well and happy. Writing this down and thinking about it makes it all seem so ridiculous! I just wish I could get to the stage where I don’t care or can pick and choose the advice I listen to. Around 18 months ago I moved in with my boyfriend and almost didn’t because of one friends opinion on the matter! I remember feeling so torn and looking back it was really unhealthy to have put that much weight on a single opinion.
Yep age with me. I used to be self conscious about my appearance. Now I just don't care.
Have you ever talked to someone properly about it? It's not a great way to live life.
Don't waste your life on could'ves and should'ves, what if and if only. We all make decision every day which are the best we can think of at that time - some may be better it eorse. But no one makes perfect decisions it gets things right all the time. It's how you cope when things go wrong that matter not getting a right. Learn if there is a lesson to learn and move on. No one else knows your life better than you - no one knows what will work for you and your life better than you. Sure ask advice if you want to but make your own decisions. You are your own expert. And ignore busy bodies who think they can advise you - they know what's best for them, not you.
Do you know what I think it's a positive step that you want to change things most don't .
So many people want to seek approval from others and don't know how to decide and think for themselves.
It's difficult for someone to tell you how to do this as it's part of your personality but you can absolutely change this .
Like someone else said as you get older you stop caring so much what others think and try and put yourself first . It's a confidence thing I think so many people lacking in confidence and self esteem.
I spent years being denigrated for suffering sexual abuse as a child, including being forced into constructive dismissal due to bullying when working for the employer of the year.
Now, I couldn't give a toss
Age. I am too tired to be bothered anymore mid 40s. I did care a lot in my 30s and it caused me no end of grief.
Why not be the protagonist/actor in your own life rather than a bit part player making others happy/look good.
I think as I got older I became more comfortable being me. I don't do social media anymore as I really don't give a shit about what is supposedly popular or what the latest something/must have is. I felt that some people show off on facebook, other post fake lives. Some think they have to post about their 'interesting' story to show what a fulfilling life they have. It's just bullshit crap. Sadly some people feel they have to keep up with the crap posted. It's like social media stresses people to compete to get the likes and approval of false friends. It's crazy. I care about my family, real friends and am happy. Be true to yourself, follow your own hopes and dreams and you wont go far wrong. Better to be you, than strive to be something you're not, with no guarantee that it will make you happy anyway. Good luck.
As others have said, age. Although I’ve never really given two shits what others think of me ( well not since my early 20s at least). I’m 50 now and really don’t give a damn what anyone thinks of me, my loved ones know me and love me anyway.
I did it the hard way realising life is genuinely far too short to worry about that kind of Crap after burying two close friends before I was 21.
It's not something I'd at all recommend but it certainly puts things in perspective.
By putting myself (and DS) first. I never normally cared and now I don't care even more!
Yes there are some things I might want to talk over with certain grounded family and friends to get opinions but not EVERYONE. I couldn't care less about what distant relatives/acquaintances think of me and my choices.
Join the discussion
Please login first.