Do you know the best way to get exhausted? Then ask yourself what others (of you) think:
Fantasize very intensely what they feel, think or want. Try to fill in all their thoughts, try to guess their opinion, try to take it into account.
Do that for a week and I’ll bet you’ll be dead …
Not a good idea!
Does this work?
Yet this is exactly what many people do. And it never works. That is not possible at all.
Short question: To what extent do you have your own thoughts under control? Do you determine exactly what you think? Is there never something unexpected or negative? Do you know exactly what your next thought will be?
No of course not…
A Gorilla in an astronaut suit
If you already have little control over your own thoughts, how much control do you have over what another person thinks?
Try to guess what I think now … (think carefully) …
I thought of a Gorilla in an astronaut suit!
Even if I had thought of something simpler, you would not have guessed it yet. Come on, see the reality: You have no control over what another person thinks!
Why are we so concerned about what others think? Why are we busy talking to others in our heads?
Oh yes, you do too: You see in your thoughts how someone else says something. You hear yourself respond. You feel the negative emotion.
And do you know what’s funny? Many of these conversations never took place! Not in reality, only in our fantasy …
Why do we fill in what others think?
Because we want to take this into account. We do not want them to say something bad. We worry what they think of us. We prefer to make a good impression. We want positive and healthy relationships with others. We want to be liked. We do not want a fight.
Because we are still nice?
All beautiful motives, but worrying about what someone else thinks, does not help you any further. Unless you have supernatural abilities. I do not have them and therefore prefer to do what someone else does or says.
What they think is entirely up to them. But what they do or say, I can respond to that.
Why are you responsible for the opinion of someone else?
Everyone has an opinion – about everything. But why are you responsible for that?
If I disapprove you because you (in my eyes) wear the wrong shoes, where is that the problem? The problem lies with my opinion about your shoes, not with you or the shoes themselves.
Do you see the difference?
Now you can worry about my mistaken opinion, but maybe I’m allergic to that kind of shoes. Maybe I knew someone who stood on my toes with that kind of shoes – and I had a lifelong trauma.
Maybe it all has little to do with you and therefore more with myself – and that is usually the case!
Can we change someone else’s opinion?
We often try to do it. We explain what we mean, we try to be extra nice, we do our best a bit more.
But why should we?
If someone else realizes that you are nice (and I assume that you are nice), then they will not see it later either.
Sometimes you can stand on your head, but the opinion of someone else just stands. Whatever you do, it does not change.
Suppose it would be the other way around: Would you appreciate it if the other person tried to change your opinion? Of course not. Everyone is entitled to an opinion …
This costs a lot of energy:
- Try to fill in what others think.
You have no control over my thoughts – nor do I have your own.
- You feel responsible for their opinion.
The opinion of another is only his or her responsibility.
- Try to change that opinion.
Everyone is entitled to an opinion.
Let it go…
Here is a healthier and relaxed alternative: Just let go of what another person thinks.
Sticking your energy only in people who give you energy is one of the secrets of healthy relationships.
Of course you take account of others, of course you are social. That will not change. You only let go of what you do not have control over.
Three healthy alternatives:
- Only fill in what you think yourself. That is the only thing that you have control over.
- When in doubt about the opinion of another person: Just ask. Stop every fantasy and check reality. Then you do not have to doubt it either.
- Give someone an opinion that is not yours. You do not have to walk around all day, so why can not someone have another opinion?
Letting go of what another person thinks will give you a lot of positive energy and relaxation.
Moreover; it gives you a tremendous liberation!
How do you let go of what others think?
How do you stop worrying about others and pay more attention to what YOU think?
Work on your Self-Confidence This is a good starting point. This gives you a healthy self-respect so that you take more account of your own wishes and your own feeling.
Work on better relationships, teach yourself to find the right balance between yourself and others. With this you learn to determine your own limits and to stay more with yourself.
Whatever you choose, do not stay busy with what others think, you (fortunately) do nothing about it!
I would like to hear your experience or question(s) about this subject
On your success! … IT IS NOT AN EASY ROAD !!
I am also a professional ZENKAI Lifestyle Coach, specializing in my personal growth who also gladly assist others in their personal growth. So I try to help people like you and me find more self-confidence, less stress, better relationships, more fun work and more happiness in their lives.