Want to know how to care less and not care about what other people think?
I’ve always been a people pleaser. Nothing made me happier as a person than to keep everyone around me happy and having a good time. For a while, it worked. I had lots of friends and felt popular. But after a while, keeping everyone happy became a strain. People were used to me always being there and they didn’t offer much back in return. I was just this person in their lives that always did stuff for them. I didn’t know how to break this cycle because I didn’t know how to care less or how to not care what other people think of me.
My biggest strength and weakness is my empathy. On one hand, it’s really helpful and great that I can understand how people are feeling and relate to them. On the other hand, I can literally feel myself defending other people, even when they’re in the wrong! I hate confrontation because in the back of my mind I’m a slave to, “but what are they going to think?”
It’s like, why can’t I just turn it off and stop caring? Other people do it so easily.
Well, over time I became a bit more selfish, a little more calloused and a little smarter.
The reality is that caring less can be a tool to get things done, otherwise you’re just doing things to fit other people’s agendas and needs.
How To Stop Caring:
1 . Ignore that little voice in your head that says “You’re not good enough.”
That self critic, or whatever you want to call it, that’s always trying to keep you down. It’s really hard not to listen to this voice because it’s coming from deep within you.
I don’t think I’ve ever truly gotten rid of that negative voice in my head but I’ve learned to ignore it.
I used to feel guilty if I left someone out or didn’t put someone else before myself because I felt like I was denying them something that was owed to them. Only later in life did I realize that those thoughts came from the low self-esteem I had when I was younger. There’s a part of me that still views life from that place of low self esteem. But now instead of listening to that voice, I just ignore it and remind myself that I’m a person of high self esteem, repeat my motivational mantras and look to God.
2 . Create a pro and con list- what has this person done for you recently?
I’m the type of person that literally makes stuff up in my head and, like I said, I tend to think I owe people things.
How do I get out of this mindset and learn to care less?
I like to make a pro and con list if I feel really stuck on doing something for someone else when it inconveniences me. What HAVE they done for me recently? Which I know sounds really terrible and selfish but it kind of helps balance me when I’m being such a doormat and people pleaser.
If, after some reflection, I realize I’m always at this persons beck and call and they’ve never even offered to help me out, well then, it’s time to start saying no.
3 . Put yourself first
This one kind of ties everything together. You need to put yourself first and not care what other people think. It’s more important than you know.
I just had a baby and felt enormous pressure to keep everything going as it was before. I was carrying on pregnant like I wasn’t even pregnant! Walking everywhere and taking stairs. What I really needed to do was take a break!
Let me tell you firsthand that giving more of yourself away than you have to offer doesn’t work. Eventually your relationships will fall apart as well as your mental health.
Putting yourself first means that you put your own needs above everyone else’s. That doesn’t mean you neglect your family, work and friends, but it does mean that you schedule a day for yourself to do nothing or something that you can look forward to. So definitely no errands or doctor appointments!
For me, that’s a blowout at my favorite salon, a nail appointment or a day to just write and get my thoughts out.
Taking care of yourself and getting used to doing that on a regular basis will help you be less of a doormat and actually have energy for yourself and others.
4 . Create boundaries
We all have that friend or family member that just likes to push, push, push on getting one of their agenda’s done. They’re good at corralling everyone but at what point does it get to be too much?
I’ve always been bad at creating boundaries. There’s a part of me that associates creating boundaries with being mean or withholding from other people. And looking at it like that is like looking at a glass as half empty. At the end of the day, creating boundaries is more like keeping your glass full.
Metaphors aside, I do believe that boundaries are necessary in life otherwise you lose yourself. Who cares if someone doesn’t like your boundary, who cares if someone’s feelings gets hurt because you established a limitation that makes you feel more comfortable. Over time, this was one of the main things that I had to learn in order to care less about what people think.
5 . Be stone cold, don’t let them guilt you
Some people are so good at guilting. “But..but..but..what about me and my needs.”
I always caved when someone presented me with a reason to do something because “they needed me to.” But over time I learned that these were just tools of manipulation. Learning to be stone cold wasn’t easy but I needed to care less about what people think. For me, I constantly reminded myself that whoever was guilting me was being selfish and manipulative.
Gaslighting is real people! And when you push back from people who are taking advantage of you, the first thing that person is going to do is try to manipulate you emotionally. This is why caring less comes in handy.
For those of you who are super empathetic like me, the best thing you can do is shove away those guilty, emotional thoughts about how you’re doing that person a disservice and just try to look at the situation super logically.
6 . Cut off the toxic ones
Easier said than done, especially when that person is a close friend or family member, but sometimes it needs to be done. I’ve cut off my own sister when I was 14 because I felt like she was a manipulative person trying to take advantage of me. (And she was). We lived in the same house and I was like IDGAF! I just ignored her while we shared the same dinner table and crossed paths in the hallway. (We’re cool now).
But this is absolutely necessary. Maybe not permanently but until that person learns how to respect you as a person and your boundaries.
Learning to care less about the toxic people takes time but the sooner you separate yourself from them, the easier it will be to move on and care even less about what they think.
7 . Speak up and speak your mind
Last but not least, speak up!
The worst thing you can do is not stand up for yourself when someone is trying to manipulate or bully you. I’ve always cared too much about whether I was being friendly enough or whatnot.
But the reality is that the more you speak up, the easier it gets. Even if nothing changes, you’ve at least made it known that you’re not someone who’s going to let others take advantage of you.
And there you have it, that’s how you become a person who cares less and doesn’t care what people think of them. It’s a pretty awesome and totally freeing way to live. Best of all caring less frees you from the obligations other people impose on you, either intentionally or unintentionally.
Of course you need to use these tips ethically, there’s a difference between being a callous asshole and being someone who stands up for themselves. We don’t want to be an asshole, we want to protect ourselves emotionally and keep from over extending our time and abilities.
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