Worried about what people think of you? I used to obsess. And I wanted to stop obsessing. It never felt good to do so and it never helped me in anyway.
Here’s what I wish I had known earlier about other people’s opinions so that you can obsess less and actually feel positive about other people’s opinions. What? Yes, you can feel good about whatever feedback or criticism comes your way.
The biggest falsehood that we are taught, usually by our family and friends, is that we shouldn’t care about other people’s opinions. And while their advice is well intended, it 100% doesn’t work.
Why? Because we’re human. Humans have evolved to care about what other people think because it’s what allows for friendship and community. It’s human and trying not care goes against our natural instinct. So, you’re left with a strategy that will fail you all the time.
Accepting the fact that we care about what others think of us cuts the misery (and time obsessing about it) in half. It’s true. Think of the last feedback you received, good or bad, and admit you cared about what they said. And feel the tension automatically release from your body.
Feeling good about what other’s say about you requires establishing a mind boundary. And if you’ve never heard of one, you’re not alone. Again, we’re not taught how our minds work in relations to interacting with others. And then how to set boundaries around it.
A mind boundary is like lot a body boundary meaning your body is physically separate from another. The entity of our skin keeps us separate and the mind is even more protected by our skull, fluid and our skin. The physical separation denotes a real boundary.
But we can’t see a mind boundary like a body boundary. And when we don’t create one in our head, we can take what people say about us personally to the point that it dictates how we think and feel about ourselves.
When we establish a mind boundary we still understand that what someone says influences us (because we care) but it doesn’t erode our sense of self-worth. So, how do we establish this when we haven’t been taught this?
When someone tells you that they don’t agree with you, their opinion comes from the inner workings of their own mind and NOT from what you said. Their opinions are influenced by a lot of factors from their life that lead them to have that opinion, not from what you said.
When someone tells you that you look amazing today, their opinion also comes from the inner workings of their own mind. Not from how you look or act.
And how you think and what opinions you have come from the inner workings of your mind. They are not caused by how someone else looks, acts or speaks. You own your opinion just like the other person.
Knowing the other person owns their opinion helps take the sting out of criticism. And as you hear other people’s opinions practicing the mind boundary, you’ll feel better about them because you’ll begin to understand the person and where they’re coming from (literally their own mind).
Take a listen to episode 19: Other People’s Opinions where I talk about the mind boundary.