Hands up who has this issue, caring too much about what others think?
As someone who's highly sensitive and studies verbal and physical clues for coaching, while great insight for clients, it's something I'm even more aware of personally.
Recently I saw a post which went something along the lines of, "You're already the bad guy in someone's eyes".
And it just clicked.
Growing up I was always told I was overreacting; overthinking; too strong-headed; too serious; caring too much. I took on everyone's opinions about what I should and shouldn't do.
I used to think it was me.
Now I know it's not. It was others' discomfort with a strong, educated woman who had goals and still had the ability to care.
That's a powerful mix for anyone. But it can be intimidating. People will try and keep you where it's comfortable for THEM because they don't know how to deal with a different kind of You.
What's worked for me is retelling and reminding and rewriting the script I had with the following:
It's more about them than me. It's their discomfort with me, what I'm doing and saying. It's their defence mechanism. Not mine.
What they think doesn't belong to me. Their thoughts and opinions are none of my business.
They're just scared of the unknown. That's ok.
Do I need them on my side to say/do this anyway? No.
The only approval that matters is my own.
Over time I add to this list as things resonate with me. So now I've also added:
I'm already the bad guy in someone's books. I could try my hardest to make them like me. They probably still won't. So why bother?