“Care about people’s approval, and you will always be their prisoner”

Everyone wants to be liked and accepted. There’s nothing wrong about it. We are human beings and desire social connection. Being part of a community and being accepted is basic human instinct.

However, it often seems like we care too much about things and opinions we shouldn’t. Worrying about others’ opinion can causes only unnecessary stress.

Trust me, I know it from personal experience.

I’ve always cared how people perceive me and what they think about me. As one might guess, this has made me very vulnerable. My main desire was to be liked by everyone which is impossible. Thinking this way I’ve found mysef worrying about everything almost all the time.

How Social Media it worse

How other people see us play an important role in our perception about ourselves.

Social Media is the one to blame here.

We are trying to look good and show off with seemingly perfect life, only because we want to be liked and loved.

As much as we don’t want, we are going to be judged by everyone no matter what. Too many people believe that if they are kind to others, they’ll never be criticized.

And this is far from the truth.

If you are constantly being nice to people in order to be liked you will inevitably become people-pleaser, which will make you worry even more about every opinion.

Because the only thing you will be focused on is whether they see you as a nice person.

Fortunately, we can control our thoughts (or at least we try) and decide what to worry about and what not to.

Why do we care what think about us?

Before you start solving the problem, you have to find out what are the problem’s origins. Why do you care so much about what people think of you?

Since you were little, everybody expected you to fit in the social perception and be accepted. We are expected to socialize, find friends and create relations with others. Moreover, people perceive us by our behaviour and responses to the situation.

Inevitably this creates a lot of stress, which helps to develop a desire to be perfect per se, because you think that this is the only way to be liked and accepted.

And when the social pressure is combined with the idea that you want to be perfect, this can make you very dependent on people’s opinion. When you want to be perfect in the eyes of others, you start to care about everything that may show you in a negative way.

This make you worry every time when you make decision or behave in some way. No matter what you think the right decision is, you act in a way that you will be liked.

Striving to be perfect doesn’t mean you will be liked or less judged.

Perfectionism is deceitful.

People who want to be perfect don’t actually strive to give their best to make things flawless. What they desire is to be liked. And how will they be perceived by the others is the only thing that matters.

It’s damaging to think this way.

There is no such this as being perfect. Nobody is perfect and that’s the beauty of life.

Instead, focus on achieving your goals and satisfying yourself. If you understand this, it will change the perspective, from which you look at yourself and the world. And the bonus is, you wouldn’t even care about people think of you.

Here are the things I’ve learned that helped me surpass my problems:

  • Establish values

If you concentrate your time and energy to worry about opinions, you are people-centered.

Everything you do and all decisions you make are built around the opinion of others respectively what they think.

For example, if you are people-centered, you go out with your family not because you want to spend more time with them, but because others will assume that you have great united family.

You choose to buy an expensive car not because you need it, but because others will think that you’re succesful.

People who are centered around others opinions act and think drived by their concern about what the rest think of them, instead of their own motives, established by their values.

That’s why it’s very important to build up your principles the right way.

First you have to find out what’s truly important to you.

You should cross people’s opinion out of that list. Building the right principles means that they are certain and won’t change no matter what.

They won’t be influenced or altered by any other’s opinion.  This means that the things you do or the decisions you make, you make them because you are guided by your own wisdom and desire, not because somebody will assume something.

Because your principles are resistant and you don’t care what others think.

You may receive advices from your family or friends, which is not bad at all. But if you follow them only because they will like you more this way, then you’re dependable on their opinion instead of your own values.

  • Accept you’ll be criticized

I don’t know anyone who wants to be criticized and judged. As much as we want to, we can’t control people’s thoughts.

We also judge others for their decisions or reactions. It’s natural for people to have different perspectives and respectively different opinions. There are always different perspectives and different opinions because we are different people.

That’s the beauty of life.

You won’t be bothered anyways if you learn to accept that there are people who don’t agree with things you do. Just as you don’t agree with others’ decisions.

There are people who don’t like you. And you can’t do much to change their opinion.

You can accept it and be okay with it. Only then you will stop to worry.

Sometimes there must be a reason to be judged.

Maybe you’ve done something wrong and people criticized you rightly. This will also teach you to swallow your pride and learn from your mistakes.

  • Focus your attention elsewhere

How much time do you spend worrying why people talk about you and judge you?

Don’t you think you can use this time in your favor of your productivity and self-love?

First, you have to learn to accept yourself.

Accept that you are not perfect and you will never be.

When you accept and love yourself with your imperfections you won’t even care if there are people who don’t like you or comment on you.

Because the single most important thing to you is how you see yourself.

What I find really helpful to clear the unnecessary thoughts is meditation. Meditation teaches you to direct your attention and focus, and clear away thoughts you don’t want in your head.

In order to let go your worry you have to practice mediation every day. Hereby this will turn into a habit and you will be able clear easier the unwanted thoughts like caring about what others think.

In Conclusion

I’d lie if I say it is easy to surpass this. I used to worry a lot. It only caused me a lot of stress.

But:

  • if you establish your principles and do things guided from your personal desire;
  • if you accept that you’re not perfect and despite this you love yourself;
  • if you are okay being criticized by the others and your ego is not hurt because of this;
  • if you learn to redirect your thoughts and energy to something productive

…only then you will achieve a complete balance and harmony with yourself and nobody’s judgment or comment will affect you in any way.