A certain level of concern about people’s opinions regarding important aspects of your life is totally normal, including caring about your boss’s thoughts on your work or wondering whether your significant other’s parents like you. Being curious about these kinds of things is standard, and in some cases, expected. But what happens when that healthy level of concern turns from beneficial to destructive? If you identify with any of the following signs, you care way too much what other people think.
1. You think people are always talking about you
Gossip is an ugly look on just about anybody, but it’s a reality of the world we live in. No one hopes they’ll be the topic of conversation when they’re not around, but if your worries have become an all-consuming preoccupation, that’s no good.
Even if you are the subject of someone’s conversation, there’s no need to concern yourself with matters you can’t control.
2. You’re afraid to express your true opinions
Some people are highly opinionated. Others are more reserved. And yet some, those who care too much what others think, seemingly have no opinion at all. Their worries are so great that they never really, honestly, speak their mind. According to HuffPost, if you’re afraid to say what you really believe, it’s time for a little self-reflection. It may not be polite to shove every highly-opinionated thought you have down another person’s throat, but you’re certainly not doing yourself any favors by keeping your beliefs locked up inside.
3. You’re a social chameleon
“When in Rome” can only be taken so far. While it’s natural to want others to like you, at least to a certain degree, there’s a fine line between being pleasant and completely changing your ways. Power of Positivity says, “Finding ourselves morphing into something just to fit into a social environment probably means we care too much about what others think and are not aware that we are losing our truth in the process.” It’s never a good look to alter who you really are just to fit another person’s idea of perfection.
4. You’re less spontaneous than you could be
While spontaneity certainly runs the gamut from one individual to another, people who care too much about what others think deliberately hold themselves back for fear of criticism. According to Psychology Today, when people overestimate how much others judge their shortcomings, they’re left feeling more inhibited and less joyful. As soon as you let someone else’s judgement determine how you live your life, it’s a slippery slope. Before you know it, you’ll be living someone else’s truth instead of your own.
5. You’re always doing things you don’t want to
Do you consistently find yourself doing things you don’t want to do, and then resenting it? If so, HuffPost says this is a definite red flag. Think of someone who’s a people-pleaser to the extreme. They’re always wanting to do things just to appease others. And while it may come off as kind and genuine at first, this behavior can quickly turn into a constant pattern of bending over backwards.