No matter how carefree we try to present to the world, we’re all guilty of letting other people’s opinions influence how we ultimately act, think, and just be.
Thanks to social media, we’re now exposed to millions of seemingly valid opinions every day. From your slightly racist aunty to teenage Instagram ‘influencers’, everyone’s got something to say.
And, while it is practically impossible to be completely unaffected by others’ opinions, filtering out the unnecessary negativity can be oh-so beneficial for your mental health and overall wellbeing.
Marie Kondo your social media
After the Japanese organisational Queen told us to only keep things that ‘spark joy’, we all went on that decluttering grind (or at least thought about it!).
Why not try the same concept for your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds? Get comfortable with using the unfollow, block or unsubscribe button because, once you make your online space safe, you won’t be so affected by pesky (and mostly invalid) opinions.
Now, we’re not suggesting you make your social media an echo chamber wherein people only agree with you. Keep a variety of information flowing, just make sure the sources are respectful and positive.
Considering the average Australian millennial spends about 14 hours a week on social media, it makes sense to create a space where you can be yourself free of ridicule, unsolicited life advice and haters.
Bring everyone back down off that imaginary pedestal
‘But she is so confident, I could never pull that off!’
Sound familiar? This is the kind of negativity that comes from within but is triggered by others.
For the purpose of this article, let’s use the example of Becky. She is someone we all know: She’s confident yet slightly condescending and, just when you think you have it all figured out, Becky comes along with her opinion, and you instantly start questioning your own.
Way too often we put those we admire on a pedestal, treating their word as gospel and feeling defeated because no matter what we do or say it will never be quite up to their standards.
What you don’t realise is that Becky might be struggling too. You know why? Becky is human.
Burn that self-esteem stealing pedestal and start to realise that other’s opinions really do not mean anything if we don’t let them (easier said than done, I know!). The next time you find yourself getting caught up in Becky’s opinions on how you exist, ask yourself this:
‘Has Becky experienced my lived experiences?
No, she hasn’t. Recognising that other’s opinions aren’t always valid for you is a good step towards not caring at all.
Opinions are like horoscopes: Everyone’s got one, what matters is whether or not you believe it
We are exposed to a constant stream of information, and if we took it all on board we’d drown. Take TV as an example: Not all advertising will strike you as important, you only really apply the information that’s relevant for you right now. Why not take the same approach to people’s opinions?
The next time you find yourself stressing over someone’s opinion think of it this way: If this was my horoscope, would I let it affect my day if I didn’t feel it was true or relevant to my life right now?