How to Care Less About What People Think of You

Drew Stetz
5 min readJul 7, 2020

Take the first steps in overcoming your fear of being judged.

Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels

As I was reading through quotes for inspiration, I stumbled across this one by David Icke.

The greatest prison people live in is the fear of what other people think. ~ David Icke.

After reading this I was taken back to an earlier time in my life. A time filled with anxiety, stress, constant worry, self-doubt, and even self-hatred.

Reading that quote might take you back to a similar place. Even though your experiences are different than mine, we’ve all dealt with worrying about what others thought.

Fear of judgment is indeed one of the greatest prisons that you can find yourself trapped in.

Growing up I was so concerned with not doing something wrong, that I rarely went out of my comfort zone.

I was walking on eggshells trying not to mess up everything. It prevented me from raising my hand in class to ask a question when I didn’t understand something. It prevented me from competing harder in sports because I didn’t want to get made fun of when I messed up. It prevented me from asking that girl out because I was afraid she’d say no.

Photo by Christian Erfurt on Unsplash

By not taking risks in life I wasn’t allowing myself to grow. The crazy thing is it felt like it was the other people around me keeping me locked in this “prison.”

In reality, I only had myself to blame.

Reducing your fear of what other people think of you is an internal battle, not an external one. Realizing that I had the power to fix myself was a huge first step in self-improvement.

I’ve by no means reached a state of enlightenment where I’m levitating above the floor sitting criss-cross applesauce while meditating. I do still get embarrassed and worry about what others think, but I’ve been able to significantly reduce the number of times that happens to me.

I know how hard it can be to stop worrying about other people’s opinions. Here are some techniques that helped me take that first step in the right direction.

Find a way to express yourself

A lot of people like to give the advice “don’t worry about it” or “just forget about it” when something humiliating happens to you. The problem is that you bottle up that embarrassing moment and don’t properly address it.

There’s a natural cycle to your emotional state and bottling them up will just cause that embarrassing moment to keep reappearing until you confront it.

Ever randomly cringe while lying in bed at 2 am because of something you did years ago? Yeah, that’s those embarrassing moments reminding you that they are still unresolved.

The next time something embarrassing happens to you or you are worried about something, find a way to let that energy out.

I’d bottle those embarrassing moments up inside and suppress them deep in the far corners of my mind. By hiding from those moments, I wasn’t able to properly understand my emotions.

Until one day after a particularly embarrassing moment at school, I just picked up a pen and started writing down my thoughts. Rereading what I wrote enabled me to better pinpoint what was making me upset.

After that I felt better and it gave me insight on how to handle this situation or one like it if it happened again in the future.

Find a way to express yourself. Whether that’s through writing, exercising, painting, singing, playing an instrument, crafting. Whatever it is have a method handy to help with those particularly stressful moments.

It will give you a healthy way to channel how you are feeling.

Start something new and stick with it

Much of my worry came from my fear of failure. I hated being bad because I didn’t want other people to make fun of me for it. It took time for me to allow myself to be bad at something without quitting.

It’s important to understand that you are going to suck at something you just started. That’s fine. In fact, that’s awesome because you are putting yourself out there and giving yourself the chance to learn something.

“Dude, suckin’ at something is the first step to being sorta good at something.” ― Jake the Dog. …

Starting something new and seeing yourself progressively get better at it helps give you perspective.

For one, it demonstrates you can get good at something if you apply yourself. Second, the more new things you try and learn, the less hard you’ll be on yourself for not being good right away.

A huge part of not worrying about what others think is to not be so hard on yourself when you don’t get something right the first time.

Doing the things you love gives you the ability to enjoy your life. You’ll start to feel proud of yourself for sticking with something and it’ll only build your confidence. You’ll continue to worry more about getting better at something and less about what people think of you.

Surround yourself with the right people

The people you chose to surround yourself with will have a great impact on how much you worry.

You want people around you that will help you develop and grow as a person. A friend will never tear you down and belittle you. Those types of people don’t deserve your attention.

I spent so much time in my adolescent life trying to win over people that didn’t even care about me in the first place. It’s just a waste of time and energy. They can’t be won over no matter what you do.

Remember that one genuine, real friend is worth a hundred fake “friends.”

Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

True friends will accept you for who you are. Find the people who make you laugh and make you feel good. If you focus on building these relationships then you will start to worry less about what others think.

In Conclusion

Worrying is something we all do. It is impossible to avoid completely. Just have a way to address your embarrassing moments when they happen.

Continue to work on yourself every day by doing the things you love and hanging out with the people who love you. If you focus on these factors, then you’ll start to see yourself worrying a little less every day.



Drew Stetz

I read and I write to gain a perspective of this amazing world and the people I share it with.