The only people who don’t seek out the approval of others are psychopaths. Seeking social approval is the natural way we make sure we are conforming to the norms of a society. What society approves of evolves just as animals evolve. There’s a lot of experimentation, and the dead ends become extinct.
When you are paranoid about seeking social approval you hide your real personality behind a boring shell. It leads to giving up on many opportunities to develop and grow. You end up feeling insecure in many more situations than necessary. You probably know the paranoia of constantly seeking validation is irrational. That’s why you are here.
You know it doesn’t make sense, but somehow your worries of what others think of you prevent you from expressing your real opinions, and feelings. It leaves you lonely and disconnected from the few people you allow yourself to meet. Maybe you wish you had cooler hobbies to impress people with. Or maybe you are embarrassed by a boring, soul crushing career that isn’t what you are passionate about. Keep reading to find out how to stop caring about all these things you waste too much mental energy on.
#1 Build a Life you are Passionate about
You may have heard people saying you can mind over matter your way into believing you love yourself and your life even when it’s shit. It’s a beautiful theory. I also think it’s possible for a highly enlightened or psychopathic person. But based on what I’ve seen, most people just can’t relate to that idea. They would need to actually be living a life they are proud of to improve their self-esteem.
If you want to stop being embarrassed about yourself and your life then improve your life. If you aren’t sure where to start, check out my free book on Goal Setting:
An effective goal setting strategy is essential to improving your life.
Look at today’s date.
I hope one year from today, you don’t suddenly remember reading this article and regret not getting my free book on Goal Setting. Setting goals isn’t always as simple as writing it down and trying really hard to make it happen. It has great advice that’s helped both me and my clients so I really hope you don’t miss out.
Be more Proud of the Life you Already Have. I recently met a guy who was embarrassed because he was serious about his video game hobby. Nearly every weekend he competes in fighting game competitions. I actually think it’s pretty cool. Most people’s hobby is just watching TV and wasting their prime years at jobs they hate. But he thought it wasn’t cool enough to impress the interesting people he meets.
If that sounds like you, then don’t worry about what people think about your hobbies. What’s important is you have something you are passionate about! People don’t even care what your hobbies are! They care about the feelings you give them when interacting!
If you can talk about your love of fighting games with passion, people should be happy to hang out with you. But if you mention your video game hobby while avoiding eye contact, stuttering and feeling like a lame nerd, then it just makes people uncomfortable.
Be proud of the hobbies you already have that you love. And find start new hobbies you’ve always wanted to try. Change careers if it will help you wake up each morning more excited to be living your life.
Reprogram Yourself with New Habits
Another important step is to reprogram yourself with new habits. Imagine the person you want to become. What are his daily habits? What daily routines make make him exactly what he is?
Gradually incorporate these new routines into your life. For me it’s going to the gym, meditating, taking as many martial arts classes as possible, reading, writing, and working on several different business projects. I like doing all these things. They are part of what make me who I am.
One reason I don’t care at all what people think of me is that I’m happily living a lifestyle I’m proud of. When I encounter trolls or rude people it doesn’t bother me at all. I’m not constantly searching for happiness through the approval of others because I’m already happy with my life.
Many men who constantly seek validation and are paranoid about what people think of them don’t like themselves. They aren’t happy. The few times they feel happy are when a girl smiles at them, or someone is nice enough to acknowledge them for any reason. They place such high value on the approval of others that they are terrified of losing it. As a result, the slightest hint of rejection devastates their self-esteem.
However, when you are actually proud of your life, your positive emotions will no longer depend on approval from others.
It’s much easier to feel internally validated when you are less stressed and unsatisfied with everything.
#2 Decide to Stop Caring What Other People Think
The next step is to pay attention to when seek approval. When do you hope people watch you do something cool or difficult? When do you worry about being embarrassed. In either of those scenarios, remind yourself to stop caring.
Maybe you worry about dressing cool in front of people you want to meet, or worry someone won’t like you. Or maybe you hope people see you lifting heavy weights, or want your boss to see you perfectly executing your job. Whatever it is, remind yourself you don’t need everyone to think you are awesome.
This one habit helps you start to build internal validation rather than external validation!
Recognize the things you hope people approve of and remind yourself to change this habit. Don’t pretend you didn’t want their approval. That’s just lying to yourself. You only need to remind yourself that you don’t need their approval, and let it go. Take a deep breathe and think about something else.
At first, you may not even realize how many times a day you hope to win the approval of people you know and complete strangers. Pay attention to your daily behavior and work on making this new habit part of your daily routine. With time, this gets much easier. Especially in combination with building a life you are proud of.
A huge bonus of this habit is eventually, you will stop waisting so much energy on worries of approval, that you will have more energy and enthusiasm to focus on things you should actually care about. Such as your hobbies and goals. People with severe anxiety may care what other people think so much that they feel exhausted after each day. Worry is a big contributer to fatigue. The less you have to worry about during the day, the more energy available for important things.
Make Your own Decisions in LifeMost people are boring losers with few hobbies beyond consuming media simply because it’s socially acceptable to be that kind of person. I really don’t mind the fact that these boring people exist. They are essential to a functioning society. Some people even enjoy the simplicity of conforming to all the norms expected of them and never question it at all.
That’s fine for those people. But if you know you want to start your own online business and travel the world having adventures instead of becoming a doctor or lawyer like your parents want, then you are betraying yourself. So many people make career and other choices depending on what will gain them social approval, not what will actually make them happy.
Some guys date lots of women more to impress their friends rather than to actually enjoy the process of building a connection with each woman. Some guys commit to monogamous relationships to conform to mainstream norms, but daydream about dating different women every day.
The choices you make should be your own decision. The more decisions you make on your OWN, the more internally validated you will become!
The more life decisions you allow be dictated by people around you, the more you will depend on others for approval and positive emotions!
You don’t need to satisfy everyone’s expectations.
I will however give one caveat to this. Just because you don’t give a fuck what other people think doesn’t mean nobody has valuable advice to offer you.
For example, maybe there is a university major you are really interested in, but the truth is, it’s a worthless degree that doesn’t teach you any high value skills. It’s your interest, but it might not improve your life as much as some kind of real skill. Maybe it would be helpful to explore the career paths of other people who had similar worthless degrees and see how their life has been since graduating.
Also ask for advice from more experienced people. Look for as much good advice as possible to make informed decisions. This will help you make a much better decision. Because if your decision is 100% your choice, sometimes you risk making a mistake if you aren’t aware of lessons other people have already learned. And if your decision is 100% not your choice, then you risk being seriously unhappy with the results and it will hurt your self-esteem.
Stop Caring What People ThinkFollow these 2 steps and it will be much easier to stop caring what people think. Do you have any more suggestions on this topic or any stories about your own experiences? Please share in the comments! Thanks for reading! 🙂
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