For the upcoming 75th episode, I will be answering questions from listeners. If you would like to submit a question and be featured on the podcast, please leave your recording here. (Feel free to share as much background information as you want so I can give you as much help as possible.)
As humans we have an instinctive need to fit in and be liked. But when we don’t question this instinct, we can end up spending lots of time worrying about what other people think and people pleasing just so other people will like us.
In this episode I’m talking about what other people think of us, why they like us, why they don’t, and how to think about what other people think in a way that will serve you and help you get the most out of your experience here on earth.
You are sharing this planet with other humans and those other humans won’t always like you. They will think all kinds of thoughts about you, and they are allowed to. What we have to figure out is how to not use their thoughts against ourselves by thinking thoughts that make us feel bad. Other people’s thoughts and opinions about us don’t have to hurt us.
The good news is that while every person you interact with has thoughts, your life experience is 100% created by the thoughts that you think and not the thoughts that they think.
For more information, show notes, a transcript, or to leave a question for Episode 75, go to: https://www.aprilpricecoaching.com/70
As a human you are programmed to care what other people think about you. But this instinct can keep us from really living the life we want to live when we are constantly worried about what other people think. Here are five tools that can help you think differently about what other people think.
1. Caring what other people think of you is not a bad thing – It’s not bad or wrong that you care what other people think. You are a human being. Evolutionarily, you are a tribal animal. Humans survived by gathering groups and tribes and hunting and gathering and farming together. Your human brain, the natural part of you, is specifically programmed to care what the other members of your tribe think. That is one of the ways the brain keeps you alive. It makes sure that you fit in a tribe so that you have access to shelter and food and companionship and protection. It is not a problem that you have this part of you.
2. You can learn to question the instinct of needing to be liked – While it’s not a problem that our instinct to be liked and fit in is there, it also doesn’t have to go unquestioned. Because, it turns out that if you don’t fit in, you aren’t going to die. We are just kind of fulfilling this instinct and trying to be liked on autopilot. Without questioning it. And when we do that automatically, without questioning it, it can turn us into people pleasers, where we are just doing things to influence what other people think or where we are sacrificing what we really want for what we think other people want. We just need to make sure we are acting on purpose and creating the life we want, being who we want to be, instead of just doing what our brain thinks is safe and appropriate and likable without question.
3. “What other people think of us” is really just “what we think of us” – What is always affecting us is what we think, not what other people think. It’s not their thoughts that are the problem. It’s our thoughts about their thoughts and whatever we think their thoughts are, it’s all a projection. Whatever we think other people think, they are the thoughts that we already have about ourselves. The thoughts that you think other people think, are just your own thoughts about you, projected onto other people.
Make a list of all the thoughts that other people have about you. Write them down. And notice how they have nothing to do with other people. They’re just your own thoughts. When you write them down, you know what the thoughts you have about you are, and then you can work on them: question them, neutralize them, and decide to believe entirely new thoughts about yourself.
4. Other people will have thoughts about us and that’s okay – Other people are allowed to use their agency to think whatever they want about us. But no matter what they think, no matter what their opinion is of us, it’s not a problem for us. They are totally allowed to think whatever thoughts their brain creates for them and it only becomes a problem when our brain instinctively says that’s dangerous. But is it? What really happens if they think something negative about us?
Other people might not like you, but that tells us about them and not you. Their opinion is just created by their thoughts, that they have the right to choose. But that’s all it is. Their opinion tells us about them, about what they like, about what they prefer. It doesn’t tell us about you.
5. When other people don’t like us, it doesn’t have to hurt us – No one can break your heart or hurt you without your own thoughts creating the feeling of hurt or heartbroken. The risk of feel bad or getting our hearts broken because other people don’t say or act or like us like we think we should, is always just the risk of choosing thoughts that hurt us when they do.
What we get to control is what we think. That will create what we feel. And that will create our experience while we are here on earth. And if we feel hurt or broken hearted or mistreated, we feel that way because of the thoughts we are thinking, not because of the thoughts they are thinking.
What am I making it mean that they don’t like me or that they said this about me? What am I making their opinion mean about me?
How am I using their words or their thoughts or actions against myself?
What’s going on for me? (Not what’s going on for them.)
Every person we interact with while we’re here on earth has thoughts, but your experience is 100% created by the thoughts that you think not the thoughts that they think….and that my friends is 100% awesome.