How to Stop Worrying What Other People Think
Do you have a fear of being judged? Most people do, at least a little bit, but people with social anxiety tend to have an overblown fear of other people thinking badly of them.
If this is you, it might feel like you are at the mercy of other people’s judgments. As those what they think of you defines your worth. But, nothing could be further from the truth! As long as you let that be your guidepost, your self-esteem will rise and fall with what you think other people are thinking about you (yes, that’s a bit circular and convoluted).
Instead, consider the ways in which you can start to distance yourself from the fear that other people are judging you. Yes, people do judge from time-to-time, but a) it’s far less than you probably think, and b) anyone who judges you instead of trying to get to know you or help you—doesn’t deserve to make you miserable.
Build Your Self Esteem
Say things to yourself daily that remind you of your unique qualities and that you deserve to be treated with love and respect.
It will be much harder to care what negative things people are thinking about you when you’re feeling good about yourself.
Be Less Judgmental
This might not be immediately obvious, but it deserves mention. Sometimes when I overhear people making disparaging comments about others or running them down, I wonder if this is a pattern of thinking and it’s also the way that they talk to themselves.
One of the most common comments I hear along these lines is.. “Who does she think she is?” Imagine saying that about someone else. Take a step back. What are you really saying to yourself? When you put on a new outfit or land a new job, will you be secretly saying to yourself, “Who do I think I am?” Instead, why not say, “Doesn’t she look fabulous?” or “Isn’t she amazing?” Just try it, you’d be surprised how much your outer criticisms match your inner ones.
Manage Negative Thinking
We all can fall victim to negative thinking patterns. An easy way to break free from these patterns is to use a CBT worksheet like the one available in my free resource library. You can sign up for this at the bottom of this post.
In simplest terms, the way to combat negative thoughts is to take a step back and really ask yourself whether you are being realistic. If you’re not, then you need to replace your irrational thought with something that’s closer to the truth.
For the fear of being judged, this probably means letting go of thoughts that other people are always evaluating you and deciding that you don’t measure up. More realistically, it’s probably the case that some people judge you negatively some of the time, but the majority of people do not.
(Watch the video below for more tips on how to manage the fear of being judged)
Let Go of Perfectionism
At the root of the fear of being judged is the fear that you won’t be perfect. But WHY do you need to be perfect in the first place? Wouldn’t the world be an awfully boring place if we were all without flaws?
So… let them judge you! If someone else doesn’t like something about you, could that in fact mean that you just aren’t really suited to be friends? Not everyone has to like you, but the people who do will like you for who you are. Don’t edit your personality to try and be perfect; then nobody can get to know the real you. Be yourself, and let things work themselves out.
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Live Your Best Life
Guess what? If you are doing amazing things that excite you, it’s going to be awfully hard to worry about other people’s judgments. And, if you are working hard to overcome any negative traits about yourself, then you should be doubly less concerned what other people think.
Really, truly, the best way to overcome the fear of being judged is to just be yourself and let things work themselves out from there. And if you’re not happy with some aspect of yourself, get working on it so that you feel more confident and less insecure the next time it comes up.
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5 Tips to Manage the Fear of Being Judged
Here are some of my favorite social anxiety tools
Thanks for reading! I hope you found some helpful tips. Since this site is about social anxiety, I wanted to also share some tools I use that I hope you’ll find helpful. Some of these are affiliate links, so if you decide to try them, I’ll earn a commission. However, I only recommend things I have used myself and would recommend to a friend or family member.
Online Therapy: For online therapy, I have personally used and like the service offered by Betterhelp. It's easy to get started from the comfort of your home. You'll even get a discount on your first month of therapy when you use my link.
Doctor Visits: For doctor visits, Web Doctors offers convenient online appointments.
Audible Subscription: I recommend a lot of self-help books on this site, but I actually prefer an audiobook subscription over print books! My favorite subscription service is Audible because it has all the best-sellers and they stay in your digital library forever (even if you end your subscription). You can sign up for a free trial and listen to your first two books for free.
Social Anxiety Masterclass: The Social Anxiety Masterclass is my signature course where I walk you through everything I know about how to manage social anxiety. If you're not ready to enroll in the course, be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter to hear about special deals!