How Not to Depend on Other People’s Opinions: Tips From Psychologists

What to do if you want to please everyone all the time and how to stop depending on other people’s opinions? Let’s break down the causes and consequences of constant comparison with others and following other people’s guidelines and learn 5 tips to help get rid of dependence.

Why Dependence on Other People’s Opinions Is Bad

Man isn’t an easy creature: as a member of any community, he strives for individuality and independence. To converge and to distance can be almost endless throughout our lives.

A fully independent person begins to suffer from loneliness; at the same time, getting too close to others, he often merges with them – and becomes dependent on opinions and assessments. These are two extremes, both of which make a person uncomfortable.

The task of a person is to find balance between the poles of total dependence and total detachment to feel harmony in relations with himself and the people important to him.

Causes of Dependence

Dependence on other people’s opinions has many causes. It can be a consequence of low self-esteem, or a strict upbringing, or a negative experience of communication in the past.

To follow the opinions of others is to remain in a false security, a kind of “bubble,” and never get a taste of life.

Either way, the road to freedom and harmony in relationships with others – not dependent and not too detached – will take time. Give yourself the opportunity to try and make mistakes, to form your own opinions and view of the world. Remember: Only those who don’t make important decisions don’t make mistakes.

Why We Feel Anxious About Other People’s Opinions

We may have several fears and attitudes:

  • We have to follow someone else’s opinion because it belongs to our parents, partner, or teacher, and feel anxious if we are different.
  • If we don’t follow someone else’s opinion, we ruin the relationship with the person who shared it.
  • We need to move forward, and advice from others is a direct way to do so.
  • We are afraid to take responsibility for our own decisions, so we often turn to others.
  • We are not good enough to have the right opinion, but the other person is definitely right.

In each of these ways, it’s as if we’re afraid to be ourselves and hand over important decisions to the other person. Here are a few basics to keep in mind to stay true to our opinions and keep our peace of mind.

How to Understand That Other People’s Opinions Mean too Much to You

There are different ways to find out if someone else’s opinion is too important a reference point for you. For example, you can check yourself against a checklist. Tick the items with which you agree, and if you score more than three, perhaps our further tips will be particularly useful to you. Ask yourself why you find yourself in these situations. If you feel uncomfortable, you can begin to work on yourself or with a psychologist.

How to check yourself?

  • Because of the negative comments you are ready to completely change what you did, such as changing the concept of the work material, stopping to play at, or completely changing the makeup for the party.
  • Other people’s opinion weighs more for you than your own: all other things being equal, you are more likely to listen to your friend or even just an acquaintance than to yourself.
  • You are sensitive to both criticism and the absence of any comments. If your actions went unnoticed, you may worry about whether you did the right thing, whether you made the right choice. This may be due to a desire to make things as good as possible. Abusing this is more harmful than helpful.
  • You may not choose what you want, but what those around you want, for a variety of reasons.
  • You usually rate yourself lower than others and tend to blame all problems – personal and other people’s – on yourself.

How to Learn Not to Depend on Other People’s Opinions

Remember that it’s normal to be different from your family and friends. A diversity of opinions allows you to look at a situation from different angles. It’s likely that if your opinion differs from that of others, it’s you who will be asked for advice next time.

Relationships won’t necessarily collapse if you don’t take someone else’s advice or don’t consider someone else’s opinion. In addition, there are different ways to keep to their own. You can thank the person for sharing their opinion with you, and explain why it doesn’t suit you at the current time. This will show that you value their participation, although you’re not ready to accept their help right now. For example: “Mom, I appreciate that you’re worried about keeping me warm. But I’m really not cold walking down the street in this shirt in December. Love you!”

Remember: no one knows what will happen in the future and what action will move you forward. Trust your intuition and don’t be afraid to choose your own – no one knows you better than you do.

Don’t be afraid to take responsibility for your decisions. Only at first glance, it seems that by listening to the opinion of others, we will avoid the consequences of our choices. In fact, no matter whose opinion we put into practice, the responsibility is still ours.

Believe in yourself and give yourself the opportunity to test your hypotheses about the world. If this is difficult, try the following. Say to yourself, “I want to do an experiment to test my own opinion. Even if it turns out to be wrong, my world won’t collapse; I’m ready for it.”

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