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Fighting Fear of What Other People Think about You

Part of the Boosting Self-Esteem For Dummies Cheat Sheet (UK Edition)

Human beings are social animals, so it’s normal to want to be accepted and approved of by other people. If you have low self-esteem, however, you probably put too much importance on other people’s opinions of you. You may believe that you’re only worthwhile if you can please all the people all of the time. That’s just never going to happen.

Happily, you can develop robust healthy self-esteem and care about what others may think without deciding that you must have constant approval in order to feel good about yourself. Try remembering these three key points to fight your fear of being judged negatively by others:

  • You’re an individual and so is everyone else. It’s not possible to be a firm favourite of everyone you encounter. You probably like some people more than others for a host of different reasons. Allow others to decide how they feel about you too.

  • Being thought of badly by someone isn’t fatal. There’s no denying that other people’s negative opinions of you can be hurtful: It’s unpleasant to find out that someone doesn’t think you’re his or her cup of tea. It can be painful to get a lukewarm reception from people you want to impress, and it stings to be rejected by someone you really like.

  • Fortunately, negative opinions won’t kill you or fatally wound your self-esteem. It’s your opinion of yourself that matters most.

  • If you try to please others all of the time your own unique personality never gets a chance to shine. Isn’t it preferable for others to like you for who you really are instead of because you always agree with them and bend over backwards to impress them? Take the risk of allowing others to get to know the real you, warts and all.

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