Strategies on How to Not Give a **** About What Others Think

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 6:33 PM GMT
    If anyone has advice on how to not care about what other people think about you, particularly random strangers out in public, please share..here's a little background on my particular situation:

    I get real bad anxiety when interacting with people I don't know in "unstructured" situations ("unstructured" meaning interactions like someone random coming up to you and saying something, interacting with someone you don't know at the gym, etc.). I also get this anxiety when I feel that people I don't know are watching me, such as when walking down the street, going to the mall, or anywhere alone in public.

    I think the anxiety stems from me being gay and growing up in a closed-minded area. I'm out to my family and friends and am "ok" with being gay. However, I still get bad anxiety over having random people I don't know think I'm gay..and worry about if they are going to say or do something hurtful to me. I think it goes back to the fear of being bullied or "hate-crimed" for being gay by people who are not accepting.

    So if any of you guys have any advice, tips, or strategies on how to change my mind-set with this and help me get the mind-set of not giving a shit about other people and their opinions, please feel free to post here or even PM me. Thanks!
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    Apr 25, 2012 10:49 PM GMT
    I won't make light of what you're feeling, as I suspect some people might, but I will say these feelings will most likely go away as you get older and more comfortable in your own skin.

    You say you've accepted being gay, but conversely you also say you're concerned that people will think you're gay. That tells me you still have some discomfort about your sexual orientation.

    You're 24 and you don't realize how young that is right now. Neither did I when I was 24. And you're much further along in self-acceptance than I was at that age.

    There is no magic pill, no strategy that I know of. The only thing that works is to finally, truly, accept that you are perfectly OK just the way you are, and you don't owe it to anyone to be anything other than what and who you are. Assert your right to be exactly who you are and it's a good step in the right direction.
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    Apr 25, 2012 11:02 PM GMT
    10four saidIf anyone has advice on how to not care about what other people think about you, particularly random strangers out in public, please share..here's a little background on my particular situation:

    I get real bad anxiety when interacting with people I don't know in "unstructured" situations ("unstructured" meaning interactions like someone random coming up to you and saying something, interacting with someone you don't know at the gym, etc.). I also get this anxiety when I feel that people I don't know are watching me, such as when walking down the street, going to the mall, or anywhere alone in public.

    I think the anxiety stems from me being gay and growing up in a closed-minded area. I'm out to my family and friends and am "ok" with being gay. However, I still get bad anxiety over having random people I don't know think I'm gay..and worry about if they are going to say or do something hurtful to me. I think it goes back to the fear of being bullied or "hate-crimed" for being gay by people who are not accepting.

    So if any of you guys have any advice, tips, or strategies on how to change my mind-set with this and help me get the mind-set of not giving a shit about other people and their opinions, please feel free to post here or even PM me. Thanks!


    I think there is some guy on here who is an actual therapist who hopefully will see this and can give you the best advice. I'm guessing it's going to come down to your own cognitive behavior and putting an end to catastrophizing a situation. In other words turn off the What if thoughts and apply the realization those bullying and hate crimes you fear simply by looking at you have never happened and are probably not going to ever happen. For me it's not a rational thought to think a complete stranger sizes me up by appearance and immediately wants to hurt me physically but I empathize with your thought process because it's real to you. You just need to retrain your thought process with some cognitive tool to let those thoughts go. Here's an additional thought. Besides trying to retrain your thought process when it comes to the public have you thought of taking a self defense class so that you feel you can protect yourself physically? It may give you a sense of security as well.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 11:05 PM GMT
    You have sound as if you may have some form of Anxiety Disorder.

    Google it...it is TOTALLY treatable and surprisingly common.
  • camfer

    Posts: 892

    Apr 25, 2012 11:06 PM GMT
    Maybe take up some martial arts? This will strengthen your mind and your body. It would give you the confidence that you might need in the event that someone wishes you harm.

    Also maybe some feedback from some of your trusted friends could prove useful. They could help mediate between your self perception of how you appear in the world versus the image in your head of how you appear to others.
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    Apr 25, 2012 11:09 PM GMT
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  • stratavos

    Posts: 1831

    Apr 25, 2012 11:10 PM GMT
    Global_Citizen saidThere is no magic pill, no strategy that I know of. The only thing that works is to finally, truly, accept that you are perfectly OK just the way you are, and you don't owe it to anyone to be anything other than what and who you are. Assert your right to be exactly who you are and it's a good step in the right direction.


    the best other thing to do is stick around with your genuine friends who don't care about your sexual orientation, but care enough to encourage you.
  • monet

    Posts: 1093

    Apr 25, 2012 11:56 PM GMT
    I find that the older I get the less I give a shit about what other people think and say.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 25, 2012 11:57 PM GMT
    Answer is in the question. Just don't care.