How to Not Care What People Think (17 Tips)

Do you worry about what others think of you? You’re not alone.

Most of us have let the opinions of others dictate our actions or silence ourselves. But our happiness and peace of mind matter more than anyone’s opinion.

Let’s explore strategies to let go of these worries and not care about what people think. Are you ready to free yourself from the weight of others’ opinions and start living for yourself? Let’s begin.

Celebrate What Makes You Unique

We’ve all been down that road where we compare ourselves to others, right? And sometimes, it feels like we fall short.

But here’s the thing—the qualities that make you you are the exact things that make you stand out in a crowd. I mean, think about it: no one else has your unique blend of quirks, talents, and experiences. It’s like your own personal secret sauce. So let’s start celebrating that!

Here are a few ways:

  • Identify your quirks: What are those little things about you that people remember? Maybe you’ve got a laugh that fills up a room, or perhaps you’re the go-to person for the best book recommendations. Whatever it is, own it.
  • Acknowledge your skills: You’re good at things, and it’s not bragging to feel proud of them. Whether you’re a whiz with numbers or you have a knack for making people feel at ease, these are gifts worth celebrating.
  • Revel in your journey: Your life story is completely yours. From the challenges you’ve faced to the mountains you’ve climbed, every step has shaped who you are today.
"The less time you spend comparing yourself to others, the greater chance you will have the effect of increasing your self-acceptance. There is always someone richer, smarter, and thinner than you. There is always someone with less money, more fat, and not as intelligent as you too. Stop comparing yourself to others as it only detracts your practice of self-acceptance."

— Hope Mueller | Author, Hope(y) | Inspirational Speaker

Speak Kindly to Yourself

If a friend spoke to us the way we sometimes talk to ourselves, they wouldn’t be our friend for much longer, would they? Yet, we often let our inner critic run wild, especially when we worry about others’ opinions.

Part of not caring what people think involves turning that inner critic into a cheerleader. Start by catching those not-so-nice thoughts. Every time you catch yourself being a meanie, pause. Ask yourself, “Would I say this to a friend?” If the answer is a big NO, then it’s time to rethink that thought.

Here’s a simple swap trick. Every negative thought gets a positive counterpart. Think of it as a game. “I’m so awkward” becomes “I’m uniquely myself in social situations.” See? More playful, less pressure.

Build Your Inner Strength

Criticism can then be taken as either constructive feedback or just something that doesn’t align with your journey. But when you’re strong on the inside, you’re less likely to be shaken by external opinions.

You know who you are, what you stand for, and where you’re heading.

You can start building your inner strength by setting small, achievable goals for yourself. Maybe it’s speaking up more in meetings or trying something new every month. Celebrate your wins, learn from the losses, and remember, every step forward is progress — even if it feels tiny.

"Life is filled with ups and downs… Love from individuals to business will change us and challenge us… Haters will hate. Cheaters will cheat, but how you stand up and see it all will make you stronger."

Jason Pinchoff | Entrepreneur | Author | Creative Director | Author, LIVING WITH LIFE: the beginning

Make Your Joy a Priority

It’s easy to get caught up in the whirlwind of trying to measure up to other’s standards, but at the end of the day, whose life is it? Yours. So, what makes you crack up laughing, feel super excited, or totally at peace? Do more of that.

When you’re focused on what lights you up inside, you naturally start to care less about the opinions floating around you. 

Let Go of Perfection

Life is messy, unpredictable, and beautifully imperfect. When you chase perfection, you set yourself up for constant disappointment, and you’re always aiming for a moving target.

This pursuit can tie your self-worth to what others think because, let’s face it, seeking perfection is often about seeking approval. Letting go of this need can be super liberating.

How, you ask?

  • Recognize that mistakes are part of being human. They’re not just okay; they’re necessary for growth.
  • Celebrate progress, not perfection. Every small step forward is a victory.

Live in the Moment

Remember when you were a kid and the world was full of wonders? You could get lost in the simplest things because you were fully there, in the moment. Let’s bring that back.

Here’s how to start:

  • Notice the small things: the warmth of your coffee cup, the cool breeze, the smile from a stranger.
  • When your mind drifts to the “what ifs” and “should haves,” gently bring it back to now.
  • Do one thing daily just because it makes you happy. No other reason needed.
"Keep a journal. When good things happen to you, write them down. Every night, write down at least three good things that happened that day. Every couple of weeks, you will be able to go back and see all of the good things that happened to you while you were focusing on yourself and not worrying about how other people feel about you."

— Acacia Parks, Ph.D. | Chief Scientist, Happify Health

See Criticism as a Reflection of the Critic

You know, whenever I hear criticism, I remind myself of a little nugget of wisdom: what people say about me is more about them than it is about me.

That’s right. Often, people project their insecurities, expectations, and personal experiences onto others. It’s not always about you; sometimes, it’s just their stuff being reflected.

So, next time someone flings criticism your way, take a deep breath and consider the source. Ask yourself: Is there truth to it that can help me grow? Or is it just their own issues talking?

Learn What Sets Off Your Worries

Worries are sneaky. They creep up on you, and suddenly, you’re in a spiral, caring way too much about everyone’s opinions. Let’s cut that cycle short.

  • Know your worry triggers. It’s like being a detective in your own case.
  • Track the moments that spike your worries.
  • Are they linked to certain people, places, or situations?

By spotting these patterns, you’re setting up mental roadblocks for unnecessary worries. It’s a way of telling yourself, “Heads up, this might make me anxious, but here’s how I’ll deal with it.

Draw Your Personal Lines

Drawing your personal lines means knowing where your boundaries lie. They are the “no thank you” to demands that drain you and the “yes please” to what enriches your life.

So, take a few moments to think about what’s okay and what’s not okay for you. If saying yes to everything leaves you frazzled, it’s time to get comfy with the word “no.

Remember, it’s a complete sentence. It can be as straightforward as, “No, I can’t commit to that right now.” And believe me, the first time you stand up for your time and energy, you’ll feel like you’ve just won a medal.

Choose Positivity in Your Circle

Choosing positivity in your circle is about selecting friends who lift you up, who see the glass as half full, and who cheer you on. It doesn’t mean your friends can’t have a bad day, but overall, they should be people who radiate good vibes and encourage you to do the same.

The energy around us really does impact our own. So, if you find yourself constantly drained after hanging out with certain folks, it might be time to consider if they should be in your front-row seat. 

Grow Your Bounce-Back Power

Building resilience looks like this:

  • When faced with a challenge, look for a lesson or a silver lining.
  • Remind yourself of past hurdles you’ve overcome.
  • Build a support system that has your back.

The beauty of growing this resilience is that sooner or later, other people’s opinions begin to matter less. Why? Because you’ve proven to yourself time and again that you can handle whatever comes your way.

Risk Wisely

Life’s too short to spend it on the sidelines, watching others play the game. Taking risks, and trying new things—it’s what makes life spicy.

But here’s the kicker: do it wisely. It’s not about being reckless; it’s about calculated risks that push you out of your comfort zone and into new territories.

  1. What’s the worst that could happen? Really think about it. Could you handle it? If yes, maybe it’s a risk worth taking.
  2. Educate yourself. Jumping into something new? Learn all you can about it first. The knowledge you will gain will be your armor.
  3. Have a plan B. It’s not being pessimistic. It’s being smart.

Follow Your Gut

Have you ever had a “hunch” about something? That inner nudge that whispers, “Hey, this feels right,” or “Uh-oh, something’s off.” That’s your gut talking.

Tuning into this can be like having your own internal compass. It guides you, even when everyone else seems to be pointing in another direction.

And when you start making decisions based on your own insights and feelings, rather than constantly seeking approval or guidance from others, you naturally begin to become too focused on living your true life, guided by your own sense of right and wrong.

Never Stop Learning

Whether it’s picking up a new hobby, diving into books, or even listening to someone’s story, every bit adds to your personal growth pot. And the more you know, the less you worry about fitting into someone else’s box. You’re too busy expanding your own.

Here’s how you can do this:

  • Set a goal to learn something new every month. It could be as simple as a cooking recipe or as complex as a new language.
  • Share what you learn. Teaching is learning twice.
  • Embrace curiosity. Ask questions, seek out answers, and keep that spirit of wonder alive.

Embrace Your Own Story

Embracing your story, with all its twists, turns, triumphs, and trials, means accepting yourself fully. This includes the parts you’re proud of and the bits you might wish were written differently. 

When you truly embrace your story, you naturally start to care less about fitting into anyone else’s narrative. You’re too engaged in writing your own next chapters to worry about what anyone else thinks should come next.

Dream About What You Want

Dreaming about what you want pushes you through tough times and gives you a reason to smile on the not-so-great days.

But here’s the thing: not everyone will get your dream. Some might even try to tell you it’s too much, too big, or too out there.

But remember, they’re not the ones living your life. You are. Keep your eyes on your prize. Write your dreams down. Make a vision board. Whatever keeps that dream alive and in front of your mind, do it. Your dreams are about you, not about what others think.

"We must give up approval-seeking and people-pleasing and value our own thoughts and feelings above those of others."

Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, M.Ed. | Author | Psychotherapist

Remember That Life Is Short

Ever had one of those moments when you realize just how quickly time is flying by? Maybe it’s at a birthday, the start of a new year, or when you catch yourself saying, “Wow, has it been that long?” These moments are little wake-up calls, nudges to remind us that our time here isn’t endless.

And if we spend too much of it worrying about what others think, well, that’s time we’re not getting back.

So, let’s make a pact to not give away our precious moments to needless worries. Let’s use our time to live fully, laugh often, and move forward with the courage to be unapologetically ourselves. 

Takeaways From the Experts

“The only people you have to impress are those you deem worthy. Yourself, perhaps a loved one, perhaps a child, or a pet. That’s IT.”

Peter Shankman | Founder, Haro | Author, Faster Than Normal: Turbocharge Your Focus, Productivity, and Success with the Secrets of the ADHD Brain

“When we focus our energy worrying about how people perceive us or will receive us, we rob them of experiencing who we truly are, and we also steal from our own selves.”

— Angel J. Storm, Ph.D. | Life Coach | Founder & Director, Ashes to Beauty Ministries

“Another mantra I use is ‘My self-worth is not dependent on your opinion of me’ or ‘Your opinion of me doesn’t pay my rent.’ These are different ways that I refocus my energy to block out the haters.”

— Dr. Cali Estes, Ph.D. | Psychologist | Cognitive Behavioral Therapist | Celebrity Addiction Specialist | Founder, The Addictions Coach

“Being clear on our values and practicing using them as the frame for our feeling and choices takes our power back into our own hands.”

— Pamela Palladino Gold | Author | Speaker | Entrepreneur | Mind-Body-Spirit Strength Expert | Founder, Peace Power Parenting

“When others realize that you are good-natured and open to whatever happens, you create more bonds with people instead of being repellent. You also help give others permission to be imperfect themselves.”

— Bobbe White | Speaker | Author | Certified Laughter Leader Expert, Try Laughter! Inc.

Final Thoughts

Remember that freeing yourself from the concern over what others think is a journey. It takes practice, patience, and a little bit of courage every day.

So, step out there with your head held high, knowing that the only opinion that truly defines your path is your own. Let others own their thoughts while you take charge of yours.

How useful was this post?

Click on a star to rate it!

As you found this post useful...

Share it on social media!

We are sorry that this post was not useful for you!

Let us improve this post!

Tell us how we can improve this post?

Photo of author

Bea is an editor and writer with a passion for literature and self-improvement. Her ability to combine these two interests enables her to write informative and thought-provoking articles that positively impact society. She enjoys reading stories and listening to music in her spare time.