“Care about what other people think 
and you will always be their prisoner.” 
―Lao Tzu​

Hello, Love

Worrying about people’s opinions is a huge source of anxiety for many people, and it’s a mental prison that can drive even the most intelligent person mad.

If you have a tendency to give too much credence of what others think of you, today’s role model will be a God-send for you.

Today’s self-compassion mentor is Spiritual Teacher and Intuitive, Teal Swan. 

Teal is an internationally recognized spiritual leader and an influential new voice in the field of metaphysics. She was born with a range of extrasensory abilities including clairvoyance, clairsentience, and clairaudience. Teal survived 13 years of physical, mental, and sexual abuse before escaping her abuser at age 19 and beginning her own process of recovery and transformation. (Description from the Hay House website)

Teal says—

If you really do care what other people think, telling yourself that you shouldn’t care or should stop caring what other people think isn’t going to make you actually stop caring what other people think.

Isn’t that true!

It’s actually not true that we shouldn’t care about what people think. If we stop caring what other people think, we create a distancing behavior, and we separate ourselves from others. There is a difference between caring what other people think and letting our entire self concept ride on what other people think. 

I love this point. I personally want to care more about my opinion of myself than what other people think of me, but often, achieving this is easier said than done. I do believe not caring what other people think at all can be a precarious way to live (as well as, to do business). We actually can use the feedback from others in positive ways if we know how to sift useful criticism from harmful criticism. Often there is very valuable feedback inherent in constructive criticism. However, when we care “too much” what other people think and allow nonconstructive criticism to affect how we see our self, we have a huge problem.

If we are hurt by what someone else thinks that means there is already a sore present within you. That sore or wound within you is the perfect opportunity to heal yourself.

Very solid point. One of the biggest opportunities for our personal development and growth come from the exploration and healing of our wounds. Starting to see our triggers as treasures, can really help launch our personal healing and growth.

Today’s Self-Compassion Challenge:

Think of something that happened to you recently where you worried and/or ruminated about what someone (or a group of people) though of you. Pick something from any area of your life (work, relationship, home, etc.).

Once you have found something, either sit in a comfortable position or lie down. Think about this situation and allow whatever feelings this situation elicits to arise. Provide a safe space for yourself to feel any feeling, knowing and understanding that there is a good reason for the way you feel. I like to put my hand on my heart and send lots of love and compassion to myself, the same way I would feel compassion with a friend if they were having difficult feelings.

Now say to yourself—There is a good reason you feel (name your feelings).

Then ask yourself, “Does this situation remind you of anything in the past? Or is there anything I need to know about what triggered these feelings.” See if you can discover the origin of your reaction to this situation.”

Don’t stress if you can’t think of anything.

Connect with your Higher Self (God, the Universe, or your spiritual source of Guidance) and ask yourself “What is the Truth of this situation?” Just let the answer/s come to you without pressure.

Again, it’s okay if nothing comes to you. Guidance often answers you in unique ways when you’re ready. Be open to any possibility—a book, overhearing a conversation, a dream, anything.

I also invite you to check out Teal’s YouTube video,How To Stop Caring What Other People Think. It contains tips and suggestions for how to deal with the pain of caring what other people think. The video is a bit long (26 minutes) but is well worth your time.

Lots of love,



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Featured Image: Liberation” by jar [] on Flickr

3 comments on “What To Do When You Worry and Ruminate About What Other People Think | Day 26 of the Self-Compassion Challenge”

  1. Here in the Sunrise Ranch spiritual community where I live every Monday morning there is a men’s meeting. There are usually about 20 to 25 men present and it’s generally an opportunity to check in with what’s moving in our lives and establish a right atmosphere among us for the work week. I always speak, sometimes at considerable length, and I’m always very concerned about how I’m coming across and what the others in the room think.

    I’ll admit that at times I have been too concerned about what others think and this tends to stifle what I really want and need to communicate. Courage is one the values we esteem here, and I often have to deliberately work with myself to have the courage to put myself out there regardless of what others may think.

    On the other hand, what might be called community coherence is another value we hold dear. If what I offer is so off the wall that it tends to set me apart from the rest of the community in a negative and even destructive way, then I had best subdue my mouth and give whatever courage I think I’m feeling a rest. There is a “sense of the fitness of things” that needs to be honored.

    So there are times when it is right to not care what other people think and there are other times when you do care, and you consequently exercise care in your expression. It is always a balancing act.

    • Good point, Jerry. I guess it is my tendency to allow myself to care so much what others think that I hold back. I like that you point out that balance is important. I couldn’t agree more. (And thanks again for taking the time to read my post and share your honest thoughts. It means the world to me!)

      • It is always an enjoyable adventure and useful spiritual exercise to read and respond to your posts, Misty. Your insights regarding the way life works are brilliant. I just wish that more people would take advantage of this opportunity.

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