What Others Think of You Is None of Your Business This Emotional Life - PBS

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Happiness / Blog

Dr. Paula Bloom

Dr. Paula Bloom's Bio

Dr. Bloom is a practicing psychologist, speaker, and frequent CNN contributor.

What Others Think of You Is None of Your Business


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How much time have you spent wondering, or even worrying, what others think of you? What else could you be doing with that mental energy and space? Focusing on your work. Playing with your kids. Cleaning up the spare bedroom. Writing that book you've been talking about for years?

Doesn’t it make you selfish to not care what others think and feel? I am not suggesting you be an insensitive jerk who doesn't consider the feelings of others. But there is a difference between being a respectful member of society/attending to others' needs and obsessing about what others think of you. Am I smart enough? Am I pretty enough? Do they think I look fat in these pants (this is in the front of my mind right now because as I walked across the office I wondering just that!) When we feel insecure we are more likely to act in ways that don't align with our values. We may do too much, not set appropriate boundaries which inevitably build up huge resentments or even just not be very nice because we are irritated. We tend to create in others what we feel inside. If you are feeling small, you may try to make someone else feel small.

Next time you catch yourself thinking about what someone else is thinking about you remind yourself "it is none of my business." Focus on doing your best rather than if others think you are good enough.