Man is a social animal and he cannot live in total isolation away from fellow human beings. This fact is corroborated by the fact that whatever we do and even wear and eat is heavily influenced by the company we keep. It therefore comes as no surprise when what others say and think about us matter so much to us. Of course others here means people who are important in your life like colleagues, peers, neighbours, people living in a society, and fellow employees at workplace or business. On a lighter note, opinion of others (including those walking down the street and those who see us in crowded markets and restaurants) about our sense of clothing and appearance can make us feel good or bad depending upon the remarks that we get to hear and see.
Others thinking can not only affect mood but also performance
It is natural for us to feel good when we are praised for our dress or hairstyle. We like it a lot when someone says we are looking good or smart. On the other hand, even the slightest of negative comments can turn our mood off badly and we tend to feel bad about the individual for a long time. It is not just our emotions that are impacted by the comments and perceptions of what others are thinking about us. Psychologists and sociologists say that these perceptions can lower or increase our self esteem. These emotions can have a positive or negative impact on the work efficiency of the individual. If negative comments can lower the efficiency of a worker, it can also help in improving the productivity of an employee at work place. In fact, what others think about a person has been shown to be linked with his creative thinking ability as well.
Human beings are always desirous of approval
Doing what gets appreciated by fellow students and teachers in school and by siblings and parents at home is a feeling that gets reinforced with passage of time and also because of rewards and gifts that we get occasionally. We try to conform and do things that we believe will be accepted by our friends and relatives. Whenever we are wearing something that is bright or different from what we normally wear, we remain excited and wait for others’ comments. We are happy when we are praised for our choice and our ego gets inflated when others say something good about our looks and personality. But this tendency to feel good or bad depending upon other people’s perceptions and comments is not good for your self esteem. By craving for adulation and fearing criticism, you tend to accept behaviors, customs, dresses, foods, and other things even if you do not like them on a personal level.
You will ultimately lower your self esteem
The situation becomes serious later on when you start to care a lot about the opinions of others in your life. You start to avoid actions that you want to take but fear being ridiculed or attacked by others. You also avoid making changes in various aspects of your life because you fear being criticized by other people. This is not good for your self esteem as you lower it to a dangerous level. For you, what others think or say about you becomes more important than even your own liking and perceptions. Your own expectations of what others say or think weighs heavily on your mind and it stops you from realizing your true potential. It also creates anxiety and induces feelings of insecurity and nervousness within you which can hamper your performance all the time. This is the reason why it becomes important to break this cycle and stop giving a damn about what others say about you.
People love to gossip
You cannot stop people from making comments in any case. Then why worry about negative comments when you see people commenting even when you do nothing? Another way to stop thinking about other people’s comments is to start believing in the saying that hurt people cause hurt to others. Yes, it is a fact that those who make comments on others are themselves hurt by other people’s comments. Why pay attention to the mumblings of people who are themselves worried of mumblings of others?
At times, the negative comments made by others are justified. You probably did something objectionable or wore a dress that defied logic or left a bad taste in mouth. However, it is not necessary to feel embarrassed or develop guilt about your behavior ear others making negative comments. This will send a signal to your brain every time you do something that is different and does not conform to the norms. You will stop even when trying to experiment with dresses or foods.
Do not give a damn because others do not give a damn to what you are thinking
There is absolutely no need to think about what others are saying about you. You are not special and people just make negative comments about everyone that they come across. People do not spare celebrities and political leaders and make negative comments about them at the drop of a hat. Why bother about the comments made by these people by giving them undue importance? In fact, you should think only about your own feelings and not give a damn to what others think or say about you.
In the end, it is impossible to please each and every individual in your own friend circle. There will be people who might describe themselves as your friend but even they have a desire to outscore you in front of others. You cannot escape from their negative comments every now and then. Learn to take such comments in your stride and live life on your own terms. This way you will also keep your self esteem high.