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11 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Stop Caring What Other People Think

11 Amazing Things That Will Happen When You Stop Caring What Other People Think

Where would you be if you learned how to stop caring what other people think?

Would you be fulfilling your childhood dream of being a garbage man?

Would you be traveling the globe, helping out those in need?

Would you become a rapper?

As humans, we have a primal need to fit in. In order to be initiated into the tribe, we try to come across as “normal” people. We often express ourselves conservatively, in order to not come across as weird or awkward.

The truth is everyone is normal (average) until you really get to know them. Owning your actions and making yourself vulnerable in front of others can be incredibly difficult at times but in the end it is healthier for you and for those around you. Here are 12 reasons why you should stop caring what other people think.

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1. You use less energy filtering your words and actions, and expend more energy on creating relationships

If interacting with others is like driving a car, then filtering your words and actions is like putting speed bumps all over your highway of interaction. The more speed bumps you have, the slower you have to go to avoid losing control of your car. It becomes incredibly difficult to gain momentum, and takes a long time to reach your final destination (making an emotional connection and mutually benefiting each other). Isn’t that why we interact with people?

The more you filter yourself, the less people will truly get to know you. You might be a Mercedes Benz in your head, but as you constantly filter yourself, you’re going to come across as an old, beat-up Ford Pinto.

2. You become much more attractive

There is something inherently attractive about someone who doesn’t care what other people think. I’m not saying that more people will like you; there is a difference between being likeable and being attractive. Having an indifferent, carefree attitude is refreshing and contagious, and is a great way to help others break out of their “autopilot”.

Think of it this way. If you’re confident and don’t care what others think, people are going to want to be noticed by you, not use you to feel better about themselves.

3. You attract people that are good for you, and eliminate the ones that aren’t

Having a mindset of not caring what others think is a self-weeding garden. The people that appreciate your opinions and enjoy your company will stick with you, while the people that don’t like you will stay away from you.

The feeling of being well-liked is great, but having too many “friends” can be stressful and difficult to manage. You have to ask yourself if you want a wide array of shallow relationships with acquaintances, or a more concentrated group of deep and meaningful friendships.

4. You don’t feel obligated to change yourself for people

You don’t have to wear a ton of hats for all your different social situations. Trying to fit into a variety of groups can be exhausting, and is not a worthwhile endeavor. It is healthier and less stressful to simply be respected for being who you want to be.

5. You please yourself instead of trying to please everyone

Who are you really living for? It’s not selfish to please yourself at times, because after all, you are at the center of your own universe. Doing things for others is a great way to boost your self-esteem, but you have to ask yourself: am I getting what I want out of life?

6. You feel free

When was the last time you truly felt free as a bird? Free from the fear of failure? Free from the bondage to a life chosen for you by others? Free from social constructs that prevent you from doing what you want to do?

Not caring what other people think is a great first step on your way to this nirvana.

7. You start enjoying interactions more

It is easiest to get the most out of interactions with others when you are outcome-independent. When you aren’t trying to convince others that you are a really cool person or trying to sway their opinion on something, you can spend time basking in the beauty of a mentally-stimulating interaction.

When you genuinely don’t care whether someone likes you or not, it is easiest to be yourself and paradoxically this makes it easier to connect with people!

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8. You rely more on yourself for happiness, not others

When you look inward to gain happiness as opposed to judging your own value based on others, it is significantly easier to obtain a sustainable happiness that stays with you, regardless of how other people’s lives affect you. Other people’s happiness comes and goes, and it is not healthy to rely on others when trying to maximize your own happiness.

9. People will feel more comfortable around you

Living with an intense fear of social judgement can lead some people to a shy demeanor that severely limits their social contributions. Being more of a quiet type is not a negative thing, but it can cause some apprehension at times.

According to recent studies, we have about 50000 thoughts per day. If you don’t share any of these thoughts, people can get nervous. If you never share anything, how do they know you aren’t an ax murderer? How do they know you don’t run science experiments on small animals in your free time?

These examples are a bit extreme, but the fact is you feel more comfortable around people that you know and understand. When you live silently, you may know that you aren’t a crazy person, but others may be left with an uncomfortable apprehension about you.

10. You subconsciously allow other people to stop caring what other people think

Emotional contagion is a powerful tool.

When you have the mindset of not caring what other people think, it is easy for that mindset to become contagious and be adopted by others. When people know that they aren’t being silently judged, they can feel more comfortable in their own skin, and they anchor that feeling to the person who allows them to obtain that feeling – You.

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11. You can fall in love

One of the greatest ways to bond with members of the opposite sex is to so show not only confidence, but vulnerability. A 1997 study on love at Stony Brook University found that: “Escalating reciprocal self-disclosure under conditions of mutual vulnerability can have rapid, dramatic, long term romantic consequences.”

In other words: when you share and escalate embarrassing stories/details about your life to a member of the opposite sex, you can actually fall in love. By sharing intimate details about yourself, you show that you don’t fear their judgement and are not overly concerned with their opinion of you, which is an incredibly attractive trait.

It is important to note that not caring what other people think is NOT the same thing as being selfish or self-centered. It’s about being self-confident and owning yourself, and not fearing the social judgement of others.

As soon as you realize that people’s judgements of you are not going to harm you, it is much easier to feel free and become your best self.

Featured photo credit: Anton Petukhov via flickr.com

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Nathan Adlam

Professional Boss

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

What Are Interpersonal Skills? Master Them for Better Relationships

When I wrote my book Extraordinary PR, Ordinary Budget: A Strategy Guide, I was surprised at the various layers of review and editing necessary to get the book to publication. Before I ever submitted the manuscript, I enlisted a former colleague to read and copy edit my work. Then, I submitted my work to an editor at the publisher’s house, and once she approved it, she sent it to her colleagues and then her company’s editorial board.

Upon editorial board approval of my book, my editor sent my work to reviewers in my field, then a developmental editor, then a designer and layout team and, finally, another copy editor. There were a host of personalities with whom I needed to interact along the way.

It turns out that getting a publishing contract was just the beginning – a lot happens between developing a concept, writing the book, finding an agent and publisher, and getting the book on bookshelves or on Audible or Kindle. Through every milestone of the publishing process, my ability to interact with others was crucial. This underscored for me that no matter what or how much a person accomplishes, you never do it alone – everyone needs assistance from others.

While I conceived of the book and wrote the manuscript, there is no way my book could have hit booksellers’ shelves without the dozens of people who were involved in the publishing process. Further, interpersonal skills can propel or stonewall success.

Even as someone who has written hundreds of essays, press releases, pitch notes and other correspondence, writing itself is not a solitary endeavor. Sure, I may write in solitude, but the moment I am finished writing, there are always clients, colleagues, partners, peers and others who review my content.

What is more, even as a published author and contributor for this platform, I try to never submit final copy (content) that has not been copy edited. I send everything to my copy editor, whom I pay out of my own pocket, for her review, edits and approval. Once she has reviewed my work, caught unbeknownst-to-me errors, I am much more confident putting my work out in the world.

How Interpersonal Skills Affect Relationships

It is clearer to me now more than ever before that interpersonal skills are needed in every profession and every trade.

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People don’t elect leaders because the leaders are smart. Individuals are motivated to vote when they have a hero and when they feel they have something to lose. If they seriously dislike the other candidate, they are much more likely vote according to a 2000 Ohio State University study:

“A disliked candidate is seen as a threat, and that will be motivation to go to the polls. But a threat alone isn’t enough – people need to have a hero to vote for, too, in order to inspire them to turn out on Election Day.”

In a work setting, interpersonal skills impact every facet of your development and success. Trainers must collaborate with a design team or the company hiring them to facilitate the training. During the training itself, the facilitators must connect with the audience and establish a rapport that supports vulnerability and openness. If the trainers interact poorly with the trainees, they are unlikely to be invited back. If they are invited back, they may be unlikely to inspire cooperation or growth in their trainees.

Solopreneurs interactions with clients and subcontractors, and those interactions will, in part, support or adversely impact their business. If you enjoy a career as an acclaimed surgeon or respected lawyer, your interactions with patients, clients, health insurance agencies and a team of other practitioners – many of whom are shielded from public view – will improve or decimate your practice.

As a hiring manager, one of the things I consider when interviewing candidates is their interpersonal skills. I assess the interpersonal skills they display in their content and face-to-face presentation. I ask probing questions to learn how they interact with others, manage conflict and contribute to a team atmosphere.

When candidates say things like, “I prefer to work alone” or “I can hit the ground running without assistance,” I bristle. When candidates appear to know everything and everyone, I wonder if they will be receptive to learning or open to feedback. Could these statements be indications that these individuals lack interpersonal skills?

It stands to reason, then, that interpersonal skills are among the most valuable and the bedrock of all talents and skills.

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What are Interpersonal Skills?

Interpersonal skills range from emotional intelligence, empathy, oral and written communication to leadership to collaboration and teamwork.

In sum, interpersonal skills are skills that enable you to interact well with others. They include teachability and receptiveness to feedback, active or mindful listening, self-confidence and conflict resolution.

From a communications standpoint, interpersonal skills are about understanding how colleagues prefer to communicate and then using the appropriate mediums to meet respective needs. It is about understanding how to communicate in a way to get the most out of different people.

For instance, in my career as a public relations practitioner, part of what I am constantly evaluating is which colleagues, clients and members of the media prefer email, text or phone calls. I am assessing how much frill to use with each person depending on what has worked in the past and depending on what I know about the person with whom I am interacting.

Making these decisions and being disciplined enough to follow each person’s known preferences helps me better connect with the various individuals in my orbit. Is this tiring at times? Yes. Is it necessary? Absolutely.

How to Improve Interpersonal Skills

There are tons of resources to teach interpersonal skills. I love books such as Leadership Presence by Belle Linda Halpern and Kathy Lubar, and The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman.

There are also a host of books and articles on emotional intelligence, which is the ability to manage one’s emotions and perceive and adapt to others’ emotions. Emotional intelligence is likewise a critical component of positive interpersonal relations. You can learn more about it in this article: What Is Emotional Intelligence and Why It Is Important

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Active and mindful listening also support improved interpersonal skills. I recommend you take a look at this piece: Active Listening – A Skill That Everyone Should Master

I have further found that humility helps a ton with interpersonal skills. It takes humility to admit you have more to learn and that you can learn from the people around you. In fact, everyone with whom you interact has a lesson to teach you. And employers are increasingly looking for team members who are lifelong learners, meaning they believe there is always room for growth and professional and personal development.

Forbes contributor Kevin H. Johnson noted in a July 2018 article,

“That’s why, when anyone asks what the next ‘hot’ skill will be, I say it’s the same skill that will serve people today, tomorrow, and far into the future—the ability to learn.”

Don’t overlook introspection.

While interpersonal skills may seem simple enough, introspection is critical to learning where and in what ways you need to grow.

Through introspection and observation, I have learned that my interpersonal skills suffer when I am sleep deprived, because then I am short-tempered and irritable. I’ve observed this connection over a significant period in my life. Unsurprisingly, it is also true of others. Fellow LifeHack contributor, health coach and personal trainer Jamie Logie noted:

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When you are chronically sleep deprived, it really does a number on you. A lack of sleep can keep your body in a constant state of stress and over time this can get pretty ugly. Elevated stress hormones can be involved in creating a bunch of pretty nasty conditions including anxiety, headaches and dizziness, weight gain, depression, stroke, hypertension, digestive disorders, immune system dysfunction, irritability.

Additionally, the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development reported,

“Sleep deprivation can noticeably affect people’s performance, including their ability to think clearly, react quickly, and form memories. Sleep deprivation also affects mood, leading to irritability; problems with relationships, especially for children and teenagers; and depression. Sleep deprivation can also increase anxiety.”

The point is, even as you are identifying ways to improve interpersonal skills, think about what is getting in the way. While sleep deprivation is a trigger for me, your stumbling block may be different.

The Bottom Line

You cannot fix what you do not know is broken. Even as you work to understand and apply interpersonal skills, spend some time in mindful meditation to get clear on what is holding you back from developing solid relationships.

Featured photo credit: Austin Distel via unsplash.com

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