For years I suffered from the way others thought, the way they judged me.
I wanted to feel accepted; after all, it makes sense as a human being to want to be in a group. It’s in our natural evolution. Our relationship with others is essential for our psychic and emotional balance, yet sometimes we feel stuck in our relationship with others.
The problem is that this fear deprived me of many good moments with those around me. So, I preferred to stay in my corner so as not to disturb or disappoint anyone.
Sometimes the fear of the opinion of others completely inhibits us and prevents us from being ourselves.
It also prevents us from showing our good sides for fear of being rejected, we prefer to be smooth and keep a low profile to avoid hurting others, but ultimately we are hurting ourselves. This can lead to high anxiety in some individuals because we don’t want to get into an unpleasant situation, and each new encounter could be a source of problems.
In some cases, this fear leads to a condition called blemmophobia or social anxiety.
In short, maybe like me, you always feel judged, even criticized by others, and that rots your life. In this article, I wish to bring you answers that will help you finally free yourself and make you want to take action.
Why are we afraid of the opinion and judgment of others?
1. We think we are the heart of the world
Due to his nature, the human being is a little self-centered, even a lot in some people. We are mostly interested in ourselves first. Therefore, we may think that others will continuously judge our actions, criticize our mistakes, or point out our faults.
However, the reality is that our egocentricity leads us to believe that we are the center of others’ interests while they are only interested in their person.
Finally, it is quite ironic that everyone is the center of their own attention. It is our self-judgment of ourselves that we see, not the judgment of others.
2. Wanting to please everyone
It’s a syndrome that I’ve known well, the feeling of wanting to be appreciated to be accepted. This includes fears behind it, such as the fear of displeasing or being criticized or rejected.
At this point, one seeks validation at all costs, at the risk of smoothing out one’s personality, not saying what one thinks, and affirming oneself.
The major problem with this approach is to let others define us, and we lack authenticity, and our relationship with those around us is false. Sign of bad self-esteem is dangerous and destructive way on the long run.
As they say, to want to please everyone is to want to please anyone.
3. Confusing the individual and behaviors
It is a fairly common mistake when one receives a judgment or criticism to take it too personally.
Because we tend to believe that others judge us as human beings and question our existence; however, the reality is that others estimate our behaviors, actions, and not our person.
It is interesting to note that we do precisely the same thing about the people around us. If we start judging a colleague, it is indeed his or her behavior being questioned and not the person himself or herself.
It is essential to make a clear distinction between the person and the behavior.
4. Others send us back our own insecurities
It is somewhat paradoxical to note that the more people are afraid of others’ gaze, the more they judge others, but mostly about themselves.
We are a reflection of our thoughts; if we spend our days judging what others are doing, we believe that others are doing the same thing.
It is also the consequence of low self-esteem. One does not accept oneself; one does not value oneself nor estimate oneself with rightness.
People with good self-esteem do not care about others’ opinions because they know what they are worth.
How can we free ourselves from the judgment of others?
Why do you do what you do?
When we embark on a project, we sometimes tend to forget why we started. One of the most effective ways to stop being affected by what others think is to focus on the why, the original intention.
What was your intention when you decided to take on a new goal or task? What were your real motivations?
The opinion of others will be significantly mitigated if you agree with yourself because you know what you are doing and especially why you are investing yourself. Stay in your bubble and move towards your dreams.
HATERS GONNA HATE hate hate, shake it off
The democratization of the internet has brought to the forefront a new group of people who have always existed: the haters.
In short, no matter what you do, sometimes people will come and comment on what you do in an extremely toxic or even mean way for no apparent reason. Physical attacks, insults with the sole purpose of harming and injuring you. Yet behind their comments lies a reality. It is not about you; they are criticizing themselves.
In an ideal world, everyone would be happy and fulfilled, but in reality, we know that this is not the case.
Unfortunately, some people do not accept that others can try to succeed and undertake projects they do not dare. And their only way to react to this is to criticize and judge.
Take a step back and tell yourself that it is not you that they are aiming at behind these negative comments, but that they are talking to themselves.
Track sources of negativity and remove them.
Our world and our surroundings affect us particularly. Clean up the various sources of distraction and toxicity around you.
Pay attention to the people you associate with the most; do your colleagues spend their time criticizing management or other colleagues? Do your friends create drama all the time? Does your partner tend to disrespect you or make you cry?
Identify and purge from your life the toxic people who are dragging you down and remove anything that makes you feel bad, such as news on TV and social networks.
I don’t hesitate to unfollow people on Instagram that generates feelings of frustration, doubt, or negativity.
Also, watch your habits. I tend to read many comments under youtube videos or various articles, yet I know how toxic it can be, so I force myself not to read them anymore.
It may seem anecdotal, but it’s all those little details that allow you to free yourself. Do you have any routines that bring you negativity? You should remove them quickly for your well-being.
Some people are going to dislike you, and that’s perfect in that way.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. Eleanor Roosevelt
It’s just impossible to please everyone, so whatever you will do, there will be some people who don’t like you or what you did.
Instead of worrying about what other people will think, it is crucial to stay focused on what matters to you and put strategies to achieve your goals and dreams. It’s even worse to be criticized for things you don’t like, so if you’re going to be attacked, you might as well do something that inspires you.
Practice Self Love And Acceptance
“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” Albert Camus
We tend to forget that the best way to protect ourselves from others is to take care of ourselves, both physically and mentally.
The more vulnerable we are on the inside, the harder it will be to counter outside attacks. Our internal well-being acts as a protective shield against criticism.
Create wellness routines that improve your self-esteem. Take time for yourself and, above all, listen to your needs, listen to what your body and emotions are telling you.
You can choose to meditate, read a good book or eat healthily. The important thing is to regularly take time for yourself, fall in love with yourself every day.
One day you will be gone
One thing is sure, life is too short to worry about other people’s criticisms. The health crisis shows everyone how unstable and unpredictable times can be.
You may be scared to take on new projects; I am too; it’s natural and probably healthy, but you only live once, so try to stay focused on goals that matter to you and go for what you’re afraid of. So I know it’s always easy to say, yet I notice that everything that really matters to us is beyond our fears.
Don’t have regrets, don’t stop yourself from acting under the pretext that others won’t approve, do what you think is right and never give up.
Make your life a source of inspiration for yourself and others.
When I chose my previous job, I didn’t consider what was important to me, and I found myself in a situation where my job was boring and unfulfilling.
To change jobs and retrain, I began to ask myself what made sense to me and what values I want to integrate into my daily life. This is what allowed me to face criticism and doubts about my change of professional orientation.
When I started this blog, I knew that my need to share and help others would be fulfilled. Therefore it was easy for me to continue writing articles even if I had doubts about my ability to do so. I just wanted to go for it.
To become authentic and live a fulfilling life, we need to be connected to ourselves and our values. In other words, to everything that matters to us. Getting to know ourselves also means learning to accept and value ourselves. That’s why I encourage self-knowledge.
Knowing what matters to you allows you to highlight the really important choices and, consequently, decide to live following yourself.
We are all affected by the opinions we receive and the criticisms we receive, but that should not become a reason to stop us from living.
I have often deprived myself of doing something for fear of disappointing my parents, sometimes to the point of forgetting to just live my life.
It’s perfectly normal to make
a mistake, to turn back when you’ve ventured in the wrong direction. That’s how you learn and progress.
When I look at my past mistakes, I notice that I was often judged or criticized for things that didn’t matter to me. It may seem ironic, but it made me understand that I will be attacked whatever I do.
That’s why today, I prefer to live by what matters to me. It’s not always easy, but at least I have the satisfaction of having the feeling of doing something useful, and that fills me with joy.