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How not to worry about what others say? This question is asked by many people who are convinced that the opinion of others is at least equivalent to the opinion of themselves. It is often accompanied by the need to be liked by everyone, resulting from low self-confidence. How do you change it and not worry about what others say? Get to know the advice of a psychologist - Patrycja Szeląg-Jarosz.


  1. Why do we care about what other people say?
  2. How not to worry about what other people say?
    • Take a look at the reasons why you care about others
    • Try assertiveness training
    • Start with small steps
    • Use your imagination
    • Try not to judge others for a few days
    • Start naming and expressing your emotions and needs
    • Get specialist support

How not to worry about what other people say?People, whether we like it or not, are very social animals. We create extensive multi-level relationships by treating social contacts as a resource. The community in which we live - starting from the immediate family or friends, ending with society - determines many areas of our life, and learning by imitation, using the community as a reference point, source of information or a way to increase our own statute is only part of the functions they perform interpersonal relations.

The role they play in everyday life is difficult to underestimate, which is why people naturally develop a need for belonging and acceptance. It's nice to be liked, appreciated or noticed, but if the only source of information about ourselves, and consequently self-esteem, is only social approval, then things start to get complicated.

In such a situation, attention is often redirected to collecting feedback from others. Constantly wondering "What are others going to say?", "How will they judge us?" etc. not only has a negative impact on many areas of life, but is also a signal that should encourage you to work on yourself, your needs and self-esteem.

When there is a compulsion to adjust to the rest of the community, to meet their expectations, or at least our imaginationsregarding these expectations, it is worth trying to change it.

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Why do we care about what other people say?

Excessive focus on the opinions of others, their expectations and judgments, while ignoring their own needs, a low level of self-acceptance usually has its roots in childhood.

The relationship with the caregiver based on conditionality, frequent comparison, overstated and often unrealistic standards are just some of the factors influencing the great need for external acceptance. Attention focused on other people's opinions, needs and emotions takes a lot of time, energy and strength, and at the same time distances you from your own needs, emotions and opinions.

Regardless of the reasons for excessive "worrying about what other people say", if it is accompanied by the feeling that the costs it entails are too high, that it begins to dominate in everyday life, it is worth working on it.

I encourage you to start worrying about what other people say by trying to answer the questions: "Why am I doing this?", "What does it give me?". It may turn out that the reason for this compulsion has nothing to do with the results of this action. It is worth writing down the answers to the question: "Why am I doing this?" and compare them with the answers to the question: "What does it give me?"

It's worth the effort and write as many answers as possible.

Sample answers to the question: "Why am I doing this?":

  • Because I want to be accepted by everyone
  • Because I want to be part of the group
  • Because I don't want them to have a bad opinion about me
  • Because I want to know how to behave
  • Because then I have a control post, etc.

Sample answers to the question: "What does it give me?":

  • Gives me the impression that they accept me (in fact, they accept a version that adapts, not authentic)
  • Gives me a lot of tension
  • Gives me the impression that I have control over what they say about me
  • He gives me a break because he doesn't get involved in confrontation, etc.

How not to worry about what other people say?

Take a look at the reasons why you care about the opinion of others.What is the emotion behind the phrase: worry? This taking over can be an expression of fear, anger, sadness related to rejection, and a sense of inadequacy. Taking a closer look at it will reveal the deficit that is to be compensated by the acceptance of others. This again opens the door to looking for others, more soconstructive methods to fill this deficiency.

Try assertiveness training- learning to set your own boundaries and respect others helps to organize social relations, reduce the habit of guessing other people's expectations, opinions and thoughts. Over-caring about the opinions of others over time blurs the line between what is mine and what is others. Giving yourself and others the right to have and express opinions in respect of the designated boundaries helps not to give excessive importance to other people's opinions, while playing down your own.Start with small steps- designate 3 people from your environment, whom opinions, judgments you will not worry about. Make it a planned activity that you take as an experiment. It is worth choosing people with whom you do not have strong ties, but let them not be completely indifferent people. Observe the consequences it brings, look at what made this task easier for you, and what was helpful in ignoring them. This experiment will provide information to help you organize the relationships that are more important to you.

Use your imagination- imagine that for one day you don't care about what other people say. Make sure that the scenario of that day has as many details as possible. Take a look at what emotions, thoughts and behaviors would accompany you when you do not care about the opinion of others. Check what would make this day different from the others? It is important to turn off the self-censor during the exercise and let your imagination run wild. Sometimes the first step to real change is to think about what it will be like when the change takes place.

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Try not to judge others for a few days- whenever you find yourself harsh on others, try to reformulate this thought into a positive message.

For example:

- instead of "How did he dress for work?" say: "He dressed as he wanted, how he could. He has the right to do so"; - instead of "How can you have such a mess in your apartment" say: "Order is not important to everyone" or "He probably feels comfortable with me" etc.

People who care excessively about what others will say are often critical of their surroundings themselves. Working to moderate your criticism makes it easier to distance yourself from someone else.

Start naming and expressing your emotions and needs.The attention directed inside takes you away from focusing on other people's thoughts and expectations. Make a "stop" during the dayframes "during which try to check what emotion is dominating in you now and what need is behind it. Over time, the need to listen to your own emotions, expectations and satisfy them in a constructive way will reduce the need to satisfy it through the approval of others.

Take advantage of the support of a specialist.Sometimes worrying about someone else's opinions requires the support of a psychologist or psychotherapist. When everyday functioning and the general psychophysical state are disturbed and self-made attempts to change this state of affairs do not bring sufficient results, work in a psychologist's office may turn out to be effective. With the support of a specialist, you will work through the causes of this problem, expand your insight and perspective on the whole situation, and develop methods to introduce changes.

It is worth remembering that everyone sometimes cares about what others think, but they will say, if this behavior begins to affect most of their actions and overwhelm them, it is worth trying to change.

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