“Preeti, I really like this floral dress, but do you think it is too loud in color? Oh will it suit me? I hope Priyanka and group will not criticize me on this dress! Will they? Will I look beautiful or nerd in this?........... Oh! It’s so confusing”_ a common girl in a shopping mall of Mumbai.
Most of us are often confused regarding various things- about what we wear, what we eat, how we eat, and how we look. We are extra-cautious when we go out into a public place. It’s a common thing, that we want the opinion of some of our friends when we buy some clothes or accessories.
why is it so?
I am spending my money, so the items I buy, should be of my choice, not of others! However, we end up enquiring on every small detail before we take a step. This is because most of us bother too much about what people will think of us. The reason is that we resent the shame or embarrassment that we may have to go through if we do not conform to the expectations of the society.
Most of the times, this embarrassment can come, if we do something, which is apart from normal or what should be. For e.g. If we trip over a banana skin and fall, people will laugh at us, and we don’t like it that they are considering us stupid. However, people laugh because the incidence is a deviation from normal, I was supposed to walk straight, but I fell down.
Another reason why we bother about others’ opinion is because as a social being, we want to be appreciated by everyone and be in their good books. However, too much worry or anticipation on what others think of you, can cause panic attacks in you, and affect your mental health and well-being adversely. You gradually tend to be skeptical and avoid public gatherings, or become hyper tensed about situations.
How can you dissuade yourself from these kinds of thoughts?
1. Do what you love to do.
Engage yourself in something which you love to most, e.g. reading, encyclopaedia hunting, or something unique like telescope search for space elements, something which you are passionate about, and something which others can’t think of. When you deviate from normal with excellence and achieve best results, others will automatically look at you with awe and respect, and your sense of achievement will make you bother much less about others.
2. Try to be kind and generous
This is a quality which everybody appreciates. We cannot stop bothering whether people are bitching about us behind our back or critiquing our follies, then what is the best way? Be the best of yourself. Develop kindness and generosity for others, and they will be automatically attracted towards you.
3. You are not faulty always
Even if your kind behavior is not helping, and you are the constant subject of criticism, understand that whoever is doing so is weaker than you. He or she who is criticizing you is aware of self-follies and to cover it all. They are blaming it on you. This thought will give you a comfort zone, that the storming man is more helpless, and it is not that you are faulty always.
4. Shame is not always harmful.
If you realize that what people are talking about you is true, and you do have some shortcomings, you can use your social humiliation to motivate yourself for higher achievable goals, rather than panicking.
Basically, a bit of criticism and embarrassment from others can help you develop self-awareness, and you can pay attention on the particular points in your personality, which need to be mended.
5. Don’t bother too much about others
Too much of botheration about society will make you a deceptive person, over a period of time, you will tend to be a human with dishonest disposition. Gradually, your opinions and your right and wrongs will be influenced by the speculations of what others think of them. As a result, you will tend to develop a more feasible and socially compliant mode of behavior, which may not be your real self. However, if this becomes a practice, that will strongly affect your mental health, and the moment you deviate from a percent from the set protocol, you will be in anxiety of getting disliked.
6. Be original
Always remember, no one appreciates a fake personality. Love yourself, be what you actually are. Honesty counts a lot. Be open about your ideas and opinions. General public may not appreciate it initially, but they will definitely acknowledge your straightforwardness.
Ultimately, the truth is, what you are as a person will determine what you achieve in life. Nobody else will come to your aid.
7. Do what you like
Negative criticisms and speculations are just a part of this long process, better not to consider them much. You can do what you like, what you feel is right, others do not feed you or clothe you, so care less about their negative opinions, to be in a free, healthy mind.