How not to care what people think?

How can you practice the skill to not care what people think of you?

I once had a friend while in College who was studying Microbiology while I was in Pharmacy.

When you interacted with him you knew he was smart but you never could tell where his drive was academically. He was good at listening but never complained of anything. Many people looked down on him academically due to his lackadaisical attitude.

Personally I just saw him as “unserious on purpose,” I thought he had so much potential but was not using as much of it to my own knowledge.

Then with time I noticed all my Smarter friends became his friends while in reality he was building his Network.

But something was going under the radar – the news broke out – dude had gotten admission in the same school to start over and study his dream course Medicine and Surgery.

It dawned on me. Everything started to make sense. I was asleep as a friend – I never asked what he wanted to do. I was never questioning anything.

Most importantly, this dude had mastered the art of not giving a f**k what people think.

Here’s lessons I’ve learned, over 6 years after – on Caring less about what people think:

1: Build in Silence

Most people mess only with what they know. They’re constantly analyzing and comparing other people’s dreams to theirs.

At the early or seed stage of your biggest goals – you don’t have to let everybody know of the details. The smaller your circle, the higher quality of feedback you get.

Build in silence, surprise people with your results. Personally, I’ve used this principle to build every single startup I’ve ventured into.

If you’ve sold anything online before, you know the secret – your biggest supporters and raving fans are strangers, hardly your “friends.”

So you want to change your life right now without caring what people say – disappear for six months – learn a skill and come back different.

You don’t have to go anywhere to disappear – just spend less time and energy talking about what you want to do or chilling and more time building and taking action.

2: Get comfortable in your own skin:

Learning to love yourself for who you are is a critical step to not caring what other people think. Its starts with complaining less, focusing on your own life and being confident in yourself.

If you believe in yourself, other people’s opinions will have less impact. Each time you complain – you give your power to circumstances or someone else.

We know Action >>> words.

But complaining gets things backwards and prioritizes words over action. I never heard this guy complain randomly all those while. He was comfortable in his own skin from day one.

The question is “what if his planned move didn’t work out?” Frankly he would have graduated probably less happy but still with his head up than being known for his negative words on himself.

3: Focus on doing the Right things more than being right

It goes hand in hand with the saying “doing the right thing is more important than doing things right”.

If you can find contentment and happiness alone, you won’t need validation from others.

When you focus on doing the right things – you’ll want to become more competent, become better than you were yesterday, learn from your mistakes rather than merely being right.

4: Surround yourself with the right people

Who you surround yourself with is a life hack to filter out negativity.

When you meet people doing better than you – they want to take every opportunity to get you up.

They hardly criticize and if they do – they mean well for your growth more than your ego.

Surround yourself with the right people that look out for your best interest.

Surrounding yourself with positive people and cutting out toxic relationships will help you care less about what others think.

5: Don’t take things personally 

Not taking things personally and knowing other people’s opinions don’t matter is a lifehack.

Not everyone is going to like you, and that’s okay. You can’t afford to care what people think.

When you see people trying to talk down on you – what they’re trying to do is projecting their insecurities on you.

This has nothing to do with you – but their own life problem or trauma which they haven’t addressed. So your best bet – is to stop taking things personal.

Focus on the good opinions and constructive criticism and learn from the bad ones. If there’s nothing to learn – ignore.

What made this dude a mystery and made him appear smarter than himself was his ability to never take random gossips and people looking down on him personally.

6: Never talk down on yourself

When you face hurtful comments from people – repeating their words to yourself and letting it sink in is a recipe for depression.

But ignoring them or when necessary focusing on what you could do differently, learning from your mistakes and caring less on their opinions – can help you develop more clarity and get better in your decision making.

7: Learn to trust your own judgment 

Steve Jobs is known for a popular statement – “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.”

Always recheck your motivation? Why are you doing this?

Where do you want to find yourself in the next 3 – 5 years and how does this take you closer to your goals?

Intrinsic motivation >>> External motivation.

My friend knew that focusing on “What he could do in the long run that would get him motivated to get up every morning? was more important that “What the best productivity hack to be successful in his studies was?”

When people would mock at him for being unserious – he was secretly planning is next move.

8: Understand has different opinions and motivations

First people are always going to have opinions about you good, bad and those that don’t care.

For the bad opinions –when people are hurt from whatever means, they tend to look for other more sensitive people to transfer that hurt to.

They may resort to control by all means, hate or aggression.

Understanding where someone’s motivation is coming from could take you some moments of doing some little research or asking questions but can give you a clear understanding.

Lets say you’re pro-Abortion and talk about it freely, and you see someone who’s strongly against it and goes to extent of insulting you personally – if you investigate further you might find such person has a personal story relating to abortion or is coming from a strict religious background.

If you can get to this understanding, you may not react impulsively anymore when you see someone hate on you for saying your truth.

9: Call people out directly when necessary

Most people are never going to tell you things directly so they’ll resort to random gossips, hide under their keyboards or anon accounts on social media or use their power against you if they on top of you on any form of hierarchy.

But don’t play their games. If you minimize gossips – you’ll have to summon the courage to call people out directly when they step out of their boundaries.

But being smart, this could be a last resort – if you ignore most gossips/hate, understand their motivation or intention and don’t take things personally.


I reached out to my friend again to recall his story and how I still admire his courage despite what he went through those hard two years, he was happy to contribute, here are his exact words on how he managed to care less on what people were saying:

“In my opinion, people would always talk, good or bad. I realized early that paying attention to them would make you want to conform to their ideals of what your life should be like. So I’ve never paid attention to anything they say, I just do my thing. Though if I hear something false that threatens my personality I’ll have to reply to clarify my name.”

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