In the last few weeks, I have had quite a few people saying to me, “I am always worried about what others think of me.”
Are you one of those individuals who are worried about what other people think of you?
I would like to divide this feeling into 2 categories
1. Worrying and being anxious about it all the time 2. Healthy expectations of what others’ perceptions of you should be
Let us discuss the first category of What do others think of me. Worrying and being anxious!
It is only natural to wonder about what other people think of us. It is also quite natural to want others to like and respect us. This is because we are social animals and we need other people for stimulation and companionship.
But worrying about that too much could stress us and affect our well-being. Here are some tips on how to avoid getting stressed about other people’s opinions
Surround yourself with supporting and accepting people. Solicit feedback from only such people. They will have an understanding of who you are as a person and what you are working towards. Such people always have your well-being and progress in mind and their feedback will be invaluable. They would also be able to give you constructive criticism when it is required.
Try to stay away from individuals who find pleasure in criticizing people. I have come across such individuals and have opted to stay away from them for a brief periods of time. This brings the criticism to a natural close. On other occasions, I have also openly stated to some of them that their criticism affects me negatively and requested them to refrain from doing it.
Remember that perfection is impossible with respect to behaviors. We may never reach the perfection standards that others set for us. Accept this truth. Set your own bar and aim to consistently perform at that level.
This fourth tip is an important one. The fact is that most people are more worried about their own life and problems than yours. You may feel that they are thinking about you, but they might be worried about what others are thinking about them!! They have their own insecurities and uncertainties to worry about.
Discover your values and accept your self-worth. Believe in yourself. You have done amazing things to reach where you are today. There are always opportunities to unleash your potential even further. That is natural for every human being. We want to perform better than we did yesterday and better ourselves. But accepting who we are and acknowledging what we have already achieved will help us overcome the anxiety that comes with obsessing about what others think about us.
It may also be worthwhile to have an open or heart to heart conversation with a completely neutral or objective person who can listen to you without judgement. When you share your worries, it might help to ease the pressure and anxiety that you experience.
Personal Branding – healthy thoughts about others’ perceptions
The second category of what do other think of me includes healthy thoughts about what perceptions others should have about us. We may want them to think of us as a caring, considerate and helpful person. In an organizational context, we may want others to think of us as a leader who values ethics, well-being of others or as an expert in a particular area etc. This is about building your personal brand in such a way that others can recognize and appreciate. You can work towards building that perception by executing some personal branding strategies (which is a must for professional growth)
Author: Johncey George is an International Coaching Federation accredited Leadership and Life Coach. He is ICF PCC.
Johncey focuses on working with Introvert Professionals, helping them grow as leaders by unleashing their potential. He helps introverts celebrate their strengths and become successful as leaders. Being an introvert himself, he understands their thinking process. He combines this knowledge, his corporate leadership experience and his coaching experience to help create more leaders among the Introverts.
Johncey has 23 years of corporate leadership experience and done his BE and Management Education from IIM Bangalore, Harvard Business School, ISB Hyderabad.