"Nothing Bad Happens If Someone Doesn't Like You" And 3 Other Facts That Will Change Your Life If You Let Them
By Erin Froehlich More Blogs by This AuthorFrom the The Well Mind Blog Series
It might be crass or offend some, but Julien Smith’s series In Over Your Head has some great advice for us all with his “Complete Guide to Not Giving a F***.” So great, I just had to share it so please consider and enjoy.
As a preface – if you’re feeling anxious these days, you are FAR from alone. For what experts think is most likely a variety of causes including a lifestyle that is increasingly centered around screens and environment full of toxins, rates of anxiety – and social anxiety in particular - have been on a steep incline. Today the National Institute of Mental Health estimates the number of people dealing with this issue at tens of millions in the US alone.
Likewise, as you may imagine, the development and sale of cures for anxiety are also booming. While some anxiety is obviously normal and natural - fear is a useful evolutionary tool that keeps us from danger - anxiety can become a truly crippling thing. It can follow you all day. It eats at your energy. So, understandably, people that have it bad are eager for something to make them feel better. Unfortunately though, as I know personally from many of my friends that have tried them, they tend to do nothing more than create new problems – weight gain, problems sleeping, wacky appetite changes, sexual problems – which ironically, just lead to more anxiety!
Well, how about this? I know we live life fast here and accordingly, we love our quick fixes, but since, as we discussed, they aren’t ACTUALLY fixes, how about we try and address the root insecurity instead?
As Julien puts it “Do you wonder if someone is talking sh** about you? Whether your friends will approve? Have you become conflict-avoidant? Spineless? Well, it’s time you started not giving a f***.”
Blunt, yes, and of course, it’s harder to do than to say, but hear this out. Julien’s got anxiety-freedom down to four simple facts:
Julien’s first thing you need to realize:
Yes. Some people DO judge you, but most don’t even know you exist.
First thing you need to get out of the way – despite the many self-help guides out there that want to reassure you and deny this – you’re right. People DO judge you. Of course they do! We’re social creatures and we all judge each other. You need to realize and accept this. However, you DON’T need to frightened by it.
You may have heard this before, but it remains true none-the-less – most people are too busy worrying about themselves to be thinking about you. As Julien puts it, “the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side”
Julien’s second thing you need to realize:
Nothing bad happens if someone doesn’t like you.
"Check this out: when people don’t like you, nothing actually happens. The world does not end. You don’t feel them breathing down your neck. In fact, the more you ignore them and just go about your business, the better off you are."
As soon as you have any definable characteristics - tastes, features, and opinions - there will be someone that won’t like those things. But then again, people are also judging and not liking those things about the person judging you. Besides - think of someone you personally consider to be cool. The sort of people others admire are secure with their tastes, features and opinions. Being “normal” and focusing on fitting-in makes a boring person. Not a likeable one.
Julien’s third thing you need to realize:
It’s the people that like you that matter.
Julien brings up a great point here – we humans have the worst habit of focusing on the negative and forgetting the positive. We remember the name some kid called us in elementary school, but we forget the compliment we got two days ago. Too often we choose to focus on winning approval from strangers instead of nourishing the relationships of those that already support us. Stop taking them for granted! Take the time you normally spend worrying about strangers and spend it instead with the people that make you feel good about yourself. You’ll be amazed by the difference.
Julien’s fourth thing you need to realize:
Your time and energy is limited. Don’t waste it on judgers.
Life is already hard enough without us making it harder for ourselves. We each have the chance to enact a positive change in the world! Stop limiting your potential and wasting you precious time and energy (and I mean that in earnest, they ARE precious) on negative thoughts and negative people. Ultimately, I think that whether you are religious or not, everyone hopes to “live” beyond their life - to be important, to make a difference, to be remembered – but to do those things you need to be brave. To make a difference you MUST be different yourself.
Great, simple advice that is harder to practice than to preach, but is well worth the effort! With that I'll leave you with the words of another wise man, a quote that has become my mantra: