9 Ways To Rewire Your Brain To Care Less About What Others Think

Don't spend your life concerned about the opinions of others.

Carefree woman enjoying her life, not caring what others think ROMAN ODINTSOV | Canva

I’ve spent most of my life caring far too much about the opinions of others. It made me nervous and avoidant and lost me opportunities. More than anything, these concerns sucked the joy out of what could have been a more peaceful and energized life. Many years spent learning how to solve this brought several insights that changed my life.

Here are 9 ways to rewire your brain to care less about what others think:

1. Understand the true nature of thoughts

So many of us see others as potential threats because we misinterpret our thoughts. We confuse the source of our stress. We think stress comes from external things and events, like a party of people. But actually, stress comes from within, depending on how we perceive the world. We can’t feel stress until we’ve made a judgment. The more we think we are at risk, the more we feel at risk. Simply understanding and absorbing this reality helped me significantly.


2. Ditch the need for ‘confidence’

An epiphany I had some years ago helped me feel more at ease in situations that previously caused me anxiety and panic. I realized confidence was a fabrication. When we see someone who is seemingly confident, we see two things:

  1. Experience.
  2. An absence of self-critical thoughts.

When I believed a feeling of confidence was necessary to take action, I experienced more pressure. When I dropped the need to feel good, I calmed down.

RELATED: Why You Shouldn't Be Afraid To Just Be Yourself

3. Drop the belief that others can influence our happiness

Thinking others have the power to affect our self-esteem or happiness is a powerful belief that has taken hold of many. We connect rejection to some kind of loss. But we have nothing to lose because self-esteem — like confidence — is a mental construction. No one has the power to decrease or increase our happiness because we can access happiness whenever we like.


4. Stop seeking approval from others

When we believe that we gain from external validation, our joy is now at the mercy of others. We’re a victim. One of the most empowering steps you can take is to see that the world doesn’t end when you stop molding your behaviors to please others. Everything gets better.

RELATED: How To Seek Validation From Within Instead Of Comparing Yourself To Others

5. Know that personality isn’t permanent

Another belief that gets in the way of our authentic joy is assuming the personality we developed in high school is unchanging. But our personality changes throughout the day depending on our state of mind. We can find peace in realizing we’re introverts or extroverts, but we’re multifaceted humans too. The state of your thoughts determines how you feel and, subsequently, how you behave. The only thing limiting you is how you think about yourself.


6. Develop keener awareness

We make false assumptions when we’re lost in the illusions of unhelpful thoughts. Someone said something that offended you. It made you angry until, a year later, you realized they were right, and you should have listened. Awareness takes us out of knee-jerk reactions. Awareness is the best form of thought management, freeing you from poor decision-making and unnecessary fear. Awareness is nurtured in the present moment.

RELATED: 4 Tiny Habits That Will Make You More Self-Aware Than 99% Of People

7. Rethink your insecurities

Insecurities are thoughts about ourselves that make us out to be ‘bad.’ They are always wrong. False beliefs like these can always be rethought. Say we believed: ‘I am lazy.’ When we find enough evidence to support the opposite of this belief that we can be motivated, the belief fizzles and dies. So does our insecurity. You will always find enough evidence to support the opposite of any insecurity you hold.

8. Forgive yourself

Many of us go through our entire lives carrying the burden of something we did that we judge ourselves for. We feel we have something to hide, and this is stunting. The solution is to find the compassionate part of you and spend time finding a good reason to forgive yourself. Everyone is doing the best they can given the thinking they have at any given moment. You are no different.


9. Forgive others

The same applies to any resentments you’ve developed over the injustices of others. You can forgive someone. At the very least, you can see their side of the story. This isn’t to condone the terrible actions of others. But not seeing a way to understand them separates you from a life where you can be more open and free of the weight of a grudge.

RELATED: Use This Simple Method To Forgive Someone (Even If They Don't Deserve It)

Alex Mathers is a writer and coach who helps you build a money-making personal brand with your knowledge and skills while staying mentally resilient