Can’t stop thinking about other people’s opinions? Me too! I used to obsess over what people said to me about me. No matter if it was positive or negative.
And is it really possible to stop worrying? Yes! And I’ve got a mind recipe that makes it possible to not only deal with other people’s feedback and criticism but also not let it affect you. You’ll shrug it off and actually might even feel good about other people’s opinions.
The first thing to realise is that humans are wired to inherently care about other people’s opinions. It’s what helps build friendships and community. What this mind recipe allows you do is not take someone’s opinion and let it spiral in your head.
The Mind Recipe is much like baking a cake, you need to mix the ingredients all together in the bowl to have it bake properly in the oven or in this case your mind.
Ingredient 1: Establish a mind boundary.
This is the foundational ingredient, like flour in a cake recipe. A mind boundary is understanding that a person’s opinion originates in his/her/their own mind. That means when someone says to you “you’re not that good looking” – that opinion comes from them, not from how you look, what you’re wearing or how you behave.
The same is true when someone says to you “you’re beautiful”. It has nothing to do with you.
Ingredient 2: No one’s opinion is the absolute truth.
My opinion isn’t the truth. That last article you read on mental health is not the absolute truth on mental health. Why? We love patterns, the brain loves patterns and once we see a small pattern we tend to take it on as the truth.
We seek out things we see in the world that fit what we believe to be true. And the same is true when even someone is considered an authority gives us information, especially when it comes to anything to do with our body and mind.
Ingredient 3: Find an element of truth in the other person’s opinion.
This is the secret ingredient to really not caring about what people think of you. It’s based on Miller’s law (from psychologist George Miller1 ) which states:
As in ingredient #2, no one’s opinion is the whole truth just like our opinions of ourselves isn’t the absolute truth. There are multiple viewpoints to anything or anyone. Essentially you’re seeing things from someone else’s perspective.
Now, you don’t have to 100% agree with someone’s perspective of you, it’s finding the element truth in it. So, if someone says to you: “I didn’t like your presentation”. You could probably find one aspect of your presentation that could use improvement. Knowing that no one’s opinion is the truth can allow you see that someone’s perspective is neither right or wrong.
This secret ingredient is by far what will set you free from having people’s opinions affect you. Because we tend to resist what people say about us when it isn’t in line with how we see things which is why we tend to hold on to them longer than we need.
I talk more about this amazing mind recipe in podcast episode 21: How to really not care about other people’s opinions.
1Elgin, Suzette Haden. You Can’t Say That To Me. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1995.