Not Giving a Rip What They Think

August 12, 2011 | 27 Comments »

not giving a rip what others thinkLately I’ve been playing with not giving a rip what others think.

It’s a good skill for deliberate creation.

Because when we care more what others think than what our Inner Guidance thinks, the vibe gets kinky.  And that kinky vibe slows the flow of good stuff from our vortex.

I’ve personally found the habit of caring too much what others think is more deeply ingrained than I realized.  Like …

  • The other day I was embarrassed when I referenced a scene from Bachelor Pad.  (Yes, I watched.)
  • I wonder if my mailman feels unappreciated when I don’t pick up the mail every day.   (Seriously?!)
  • I wondered if the neighbors thought it weird that I spent 30 minutes petting their cat on their driveway.  (It probably was.)

If I clocked it, I bet I worry or at least consider what someone else thinks as often as men think about sex.  (Studies say that’s a lot.)

So how does one stop giving a rip what others think?  To be less concerned about living up to others’ expectations and instead answer our own call to the vortex?

I turned to three experts for help on this topic:  Abraham, Michele Woodward, and Amy Pearson.

First up, when Michele Woodward addressed Masters of Creation Circle this week, she said that it’s a process to get to that place of caring less what others think, and it’s a process founded on self-love.

I couldn’t agree more, because when we fully appreciate who we are, and are confident and approving of ourselves, others opinions just don’t weigh as heavily as when we’re filled with doubt or self-loathing.

Michelle said that when she has the sense that someone disapproves of her, she looks for any truth in it.  Example:

“Am I talking too much?  Am I failing to create a reciprocity in this conversation?”

And if there is something which is true, I accept the knowledge of it as a gift.  But if there’s something in the disapproval which is completely not true, I attribute it to her pain body, figuratively pat her on the head and move on.

While she has compassion for those who live in fear or conflict, she doesn’t carry it for them.  “I have learned not to be a wet sponge, soaking up the emotions of others.  Rather, I am dry-as-a-bone – and I let it all run off me.”

That’s a nice example of what it looks like.  But I notice I can think myself in circles without anyone even saying a word to me.  Like when Andy Dooley joined us at Good Vibe U this week, I found myself wondering what he thought of our LOA party.  Did he like it?  Would he stay?  What did he think?

Lord help me if he ever actually says anything critical to me!

Here’s what Amy Pearson, who offers excellent remedies to Approval Addicts, had to say:

The thing about approval seeking is that it completely disconnects you from yourself so you end up totally stuck. Most of the people I work with have no idea what they even want. They have spent so much time focused externally.  How can you attract what you want when you don’t even know what it is?

In this post Amy shares five steps for overcoming approval addiction, beginning with mindfulness (notice it), compassion (don’t beat yourself up for it), and courage (it takes guts to be yourself).  Be sure to sign up for Amy’s free email course for approval addicts.

Let’s check with Abe on embracing the habit of not trying to gain others’ approval:

When you really get there, somebody will disapprove of you and it will strike you as funny. It won’t bring you to your knees!

You won’t say, “Oh, oh, oh, what do I need to do differently?” You’ll just say, “Pffffffft! I’m sorry you have a problem with me, but it really isn’t something I can do anything about. This is between you and you.”

And they’ll say, “No it isn’t between me and me, it’s between YOU and me! And you need to be different.”

And you’ll say, “I can’t be different enough, so deal with it!”

Isn’t that liberating? “I can’t be what you need me to be so you can be happy. I’m giving this up! I’m releasing you to your own joy or bondage. And in the process, I’m releasing me. I’m standing on my head no longer to please anyone! I’m tuned in to who I am. And because I’m tuned in to who I am, I am in love with life! And you are SO cute when you are mad!”   Alaska cruise, July 2008

That’s what I want more of.  To not be trapped by caring what others think, but to care more about my own Inner Guidance opinion, and not feel guilty for it.

Here’s to being able to say to the next person who is upset that we don’t care what they think: “You are SO cute when you’re mad!”

* * * * * * * *
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27 Responses to “ Not Giving a Rip What They Think ”

  1. Erik says:

    Hi Jeannette!
    Yeah, not giving a rip about what others think is an awesome thing to learn (in healthy moderation of course 😉 – i.e. I would try not exclude *any* information that comes from the outside). We need it in so many places in our lives and we need it to let our very own light shine.

    And after all the thoughts others have about us might be so fleeting in their minds that they disappear the minute we are out of sight. And we ruminate about these all day – sheesh, totally not worth it…
    And there are sooo many people that think sooo many different things about us every day, no way to keep track of it and much less to react to it.

    Here’s to giving a rip about what others think!

  2. Good point, Erik. It isn’t so much that we don’t want any input at all, just that we want our OWN input (inner guidance) to trump it all.

    We want to be able to manage that input well, without sacrificing our Self in the process.

    Thanks for reading and for commenting, Erik. 🙂

  3. Rawr says:

    I’m weird! 😀 And that’s what makes me interesting 😛 Seriously though, when I go to my friend’s houses, I spend more time with their pets than them. It’s not on purpose, I just love animals. When I get home and see my neighbours cat in the hallway, I’ll go pet it. One day after doign laundry, I went and got it a strong and sat and played with it for a little while 😉

  4. Rawr says:

    *sorry! I meant “get it a strING!”

  5. Rawr, I think we are birds of a feather. I tend to greet the animals in someone’s house first and find they make excellent company.
    🙂
    Thanks for popping in on this one, my friend.

  6. Jessica Earl says:

    Love the topic, as usual! And one that is good for me.
    I have trouble distinguishing the difference between “giving a rip” and just being curious. In your first examples, Jeannette, you mentioned “wondering”… to me that says curiosity. Not necessarily caring. You are still going to pet the cat even IF they think you are weird. Isn’t it natural to wonder if they find it odd? I only ask because this goes through my head frequently. I think I am told that I care what others think too much; however, for me is that I care about how they FEEL. I am compassionate, empathetic. It isn’t that I alter who I am (that I know of), but I am aware of other’s feelings, and I somehow feel that the two are separate. Such as wanting approval/acceptance by others vs. just wanting others to feel good, and genuinely caring.

    I’m curious about all this … and I’d like to find out how I can be less sensitive (Ie: not giving a rip), without giving up who I am- which is sensitive. Do you KNOW what I mean?!?! LOL! I like it that I am as compassionate as I am, but it can interfere sometimes with just being true to myself. So confusing!

  7. Tonia says:

    This lesson of not giving so much attention to what others think is by far my biggest obstacle to true authenticity and freedom. I can so relate to what you said about how often these thoughts occur.

    Even though I tell myself it doesn’t matter, and how ridiculous it is to assume we know what others think, and who the hell are these “other” people anyway, and it’s all a made up story in my head, I still find myself altering my behavior to suit what I think “other people” would deem appropriate or acceptable.

    The funny thing is, I don’t think about how people I know or meet might be approving of me, I only think about how I might be disappointing them. In essence, I am projecting my own critical eye on those around me.

    It was a very scary moment when I realized how much this process of accessing what others are thinking of me influenced my decisions and actions. Still, I wonder about that fine line of being courteous and thoughtful, while standing strong in my authentic self.

    As you point out, the opinion we have of ourselves is the only opinion that really matters. Loving ourselves completely is the solution. I am now committed to a path of self-love and choices based on inner guidance. May we all be free to be our true selves in every moment.

  8. I know what you mean, Jessica. There IS a difference between being curious about someone else’s perspective vs. worrying about it.

    I’m thinking about how much energy would be freed up if I spent less time in either/both of those endeavors.

    For those of you who ARE good at this – what exactly does this look like? Do you still consider other opinions or do you not invest much time in that at all?

  9. “Projecting our own critical eye” – well put, Tonia.

    And I have to imagine that standing strong in our authentic selves also allows for courtesy and thoughtfulness … but I’ll be thinking on that one some more.

    Yay for the commitment to self-love and choices from Inner Guidance! Thanks for posting on this one, Tonia.
    🙂

  10. Tonia says:

    You really spoke to my heart on this one Good Vibe Coach. As you know, the Universe has been sending me all kinds of opportunities to let go of what others might be thinking of me. I think I remember stating I really wanted to get over this one. Maybe I should have clarified in a soft and easy way 😉

    Thank you for being brave enough to follow your passion! I appreciate your honesty and spiritual nakedness, not to mention your beautiful example of growing on this path. Your the best!

  11. That’s the thing, isn’t it, Tonia? Universe will deliver the “growth opportunities” wherever they best lie. From what I’ve seen you’re doing a great job of managing this one, plus we make good company to master it together, once and for all.
    🙂

  12. Elisabeth says:

    Since the call with Michele, I have been thinking about whether I give a rip or not. The times in my life that I didn’t give a rip, I was soaring through life easily flowing in my Vortex. The times I started giving a rip were the times I was outside my Vortex with no entrance in sight and a name badge that read Inauthentic.

    Now I AM starting to see the connection between the two and can get back to my authentic self, not give a rip and hop back in the Vortex and all a little more quickly! 🙂

  13. There is a strong connection about not giving a rip about what others think and hopping in the vortex easily, huh, Elisabeth?

    In fact, maybe that’s why so many of us get in via nature, animals, children, etc. We’re not imagining or grappling with anyone’s judgment of us.

    Hmm …

  14. Jule B says:

    Great post Jeannette. Something that struck me years ago and helped get over the “what will people think” mode, was a book I read by Terry Cole-Whittaker:

    ‘WHAT YOU THINK OF ME IS NONE OF MY BUSINESS’

    Very freeing when I really got that.

    Thanks!

  15. Erik says:

    @Elisabeth: interesting thought about vortex vs. giving a rip as pretty much two opposites. When we think about what others think, we are not with ourselves, we are somewhere ‘out there’. When we are in the vortex we are so much with what is fun and what is truly OURSELVES that there is not much place for anything else. Other people’s thoughts are just standing and watching at the sidelines ;).

    @Jeannette: Yeah, having some input from good friends is a good idea but the last instance that decides is always our inner guidance / our intuition, agreed. And I also guess that there are phases where we need more input from the outside and others where we should stay completely with ourselves. Intuition can help telling which one is currently ‘on’.

  16. Elisabeth says:

    I think I have that book Julie B. If I do, I will pull it out and take a gander 🙂

  17. Sophie says:

    Thank you so much Jeanette for such a thoughtful and balanced view of how we perceive what other ppl think of us. Yours is one of only 4 blogs that I read regularly and you never fail to inspire but this article was particularly good IMO and came just as I was working on the same issue for myself.

    To answer your question @Jeanette, when I am in the zone (vortex) I don’t even think about what other ppl think. I start thinking about it when I cannot create effortlessly. Something is clearly not working. I look inside of myself to figure out what or why I fell out of the zone. If the answer is not there, I start looking at those around me to see what they reflect back at me. That’s why I agree with @Erik that we need other ppl’s input more or less at different times.

    I DO wonder (yes, curiosity, @Jessica) how others perceive me because I see them as my mirrors, reflecting back to me the parts of myself I cannot see on my own. Often the information is precious knowledge(@Erik). And that’s all it is: information. And to me that is very different in quality from the approval seeking that you address in your article.

    In approval seeking, we don’t just act and look at the reflection in the mirror, we start acting in a certain way in order to get e certain feedback. And the feedback becomes more important than following our internal bliss and often prevents us from even knowing what our internal bliss would be. That’s when we need to do some energy work to free ourselves from the worry, from the addiction to approval.

    Much love to you and many blessings for what you share here!

  18. Maryann Britz says:

    I’m guilty as charged of caring more about what others think of me. I just never realised what I was doing until I read this. I felt I was being selfish if I didn’t care what others thought of me, no wonder I got myself stuck, it’s been the last couple of years I’ve been doing that. I just wanted to fit in,somewhere. I’m going to do that email course on approval addicts,wisdom and knowledge is always good. I just started doing voluntary work and I’m laughing now since I read your article, you see at the end of the day I thanked them for having me there! True. I even moved to a new place as I was staying in a caravan park for a period of 3 months, the owners were not supposed to extend it after that,(some regulations there were) but they offered to do so for me, well I didn’t want to stay as what would people think if they knew! getting the course now. Have a wonderful day, your article made me have a good laugh at myself. laughter is the best medicine

  19. Debbie says:

    I usually do not care at all what others think. If I did it would be so limiting. I have gotten far in life because of all the people that told me something could not be done and then it just further cemented that I wanted something and low and behold it was done. Best not to listen to others limiting believe systems.

  20. Suzie Cheel says:

    Great post Jeanette and Michelle is spot on with this : it’s a process founded on self-love.

    When we get to being totally 100% on being in love with you and have 100% SELF ACCEPTANCE then we can move into that place where we don’t give a rip.

    When we are at peace with who we be we don’t even think about what eg; Andy thinks etc-
    So today take care of you first, then you will empower you and those around you
    namaste
    Suzie

  21. Pernille Madsen says:

    Great post and great comments!

    I used to be a people pleaser, always caring about what other people thought about me and trying to behave in the way I believed that other people expected me to (gosh, it was sooo complicated, and I often disappointed people because I thought I knew what they expected from me, but it turned out I didn’t!)

    When I was around 30, I got divorced, and I realized I had totally lost myself. I had been so busy pleasing others (trying to…) that I had totally forgotten who I was; I didn’t know what I wanted, what I liked, I had no opinion about anything… I didn’t know who I was.

    So I decided to spend the next 2 years finding ME. And in that process I started pleasing others less and less, and pleasing ME more and more. And I realized how much more satisfying that felt! So I continued along that path.

    ANd since I first learned about the LOA 3 years ago, I’ve taken it several steps further. TOday I see it as my top priority to manage my vibration and FEEL GOOD. And my experience is that the more I do this, the less I care about what other people think.

    I think it also has helped me to realize and acknowledge that we are all different. So therefore it’s natural that we have different oppinions.

    Do I care about what other people think? Yes, sometimes, in certain situations. But mostly, I don’t.

    Jeannette asked: “For those of you who ARE good at this – what exactly does this look like? Do you still consider other opinions or do you not invest much time in that at all?”

    Recently, in an e-mail,a friend of mine expressed her frustration with me on a certain situation. In a situation like this I usually ask myself, if there is something about it. Is there something I want to change (I never use “should”). How am I treating myself in this area, is my friend just reflecting my own behaviour?

    Basically, what I’m asking myself is: is this an opportunity for change and growth?

    Or is this something that has nothing to do with me, but is just another person’s way of trying to find relief? – and if so, I won’t change any more to help them feel better 😉

  22. Calicon says:

    Caring about what others think of us is perhaps the greatest vortex deterrent. As I was reading through the article and posts above I realized that we are the greatest cause of this in our lives through negative thoughts of judgment we send others daily.

    These judgments, big and small, create a negative energetic wave of what WE think about others. And they happen so quickly that most of us don’t even realize it. Then they are mirrored back to us in various ways.

    WE are a great place to start if we want to close the gap of caring about what others think about us by changing what we are sending out to the universe to work with.

    Today each of us can set our intentions to send blessings and good thoughts to everyone we see and come in contact with. Practicing this creates a very empowering and fun wave building more and more good feeling thoughts that move us inside of the vortex.

    Mucho blessings to each of you! Ah, now that feels sooo…good. Enjoy!

  23. helen says:

    I think there is a big difference between not caring (and this is where words can trip us up because people have different perspectives on what not caring looks like) but not caring what someone else thinks of you is kind of like that saying “what someone else thinks of me is none of my business”
    As for compassion it is all well and good to “feel” for those in pain and want to help them, but you cant help them if you let their pain become yours.
    So you need to keep clear about who you are and how you feel if all you see is their pain and not their glory then they can’t lift themselves out of their situation. There will always be poor and suffering because they believe that is who they are, and it is how we believe them to be too – It is why some can be by our standards poor but they have a happy life because they know who they are and they don’t want a lot, some people actually know that having more ‘things’ will not make them happy. and by their standards they might feel rich and pity us who have more?? but is it my business to feel sorry for them??
    I think the trick is if you love yourself all out and feel comfortable in your own skin you don’t even consider other people might not approve of you and even if someone said to you ‘I dont understand why you do that’ – you would just think ‘well you don’t have to’. I think people get this attitude that if you don’t care about what others think then you are a mean and selfish person – not so, but you would be mean and selfish if you deliberately went around hurting others and stealing their belongings and generally disrespecting the laws of the land.
    If you truly love yourself you don’t act out like that in the first place. I think a lot of folk, get that ‘just do what you want’ thing out of balance mainly because they are acting from pain and fear not self love and respect.
    It really depends on how connected you are to your source or vortex and how disconnected you are and trying to please others or worrying about what they think of you is just about as disconnected as it gets.

  24. Cate says:

    This happened recently with my brother, only it was HE who was in his vortex and I was totally pissed with him. And he said to me, “I feel good and you are not going to bring me down.” So I sat there and stewed for a few minutes until I thought, “I want to feel loving and happy.” And just that admittance helped clear the air.

  25. Tish says:

    I appreciate you Good Vib Coach Janette and all of you. I remember Abraham saying “self appreciation is the highest form of appreciation.” My friends and I email each other a daily list of 20 things we are happy about and only recently I started to add some kudos to me. I noticed how alien that felt and I hoping they will reciprocate with positives about themselves to me. It’s so easy to spiral down to the feeling state of sending and receiving negative vibs but it’s wonderful to realize how many positive thoughts are circling above when we’re ready to float up. Cheers!

  26. Danny says:

    Great post! I’m still learning not to care. I’ve done a great job so far as I have stopped a lot of my old habits. I realize that it was just me caring and I felt like I was trapped in a birdcage and being everyone’s pet. I feel so much better now. I still have work to do because this has been a life long habit. As Louise Hay says in her books, we were taught fear from fearful ppl hence we were victims of victims but there is no need to stay fearful for our lives! As you said, it takes guts but it is much worth the effort!

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