How To Give Less F*cks About What Others Think of You

Our self-esteem is our most prized superpower. And, contrary to what you might think, an excessive desire to please others - particularly at your own expense - is a toxic trait, not a positive one.

by Uptime Staff / 2021-07-26

Do you think of yourself as a nice person?  

The ability to empathize with others is a key relationship-building skill, and compassion is a great personal trait to have - but not when it’s born out of anxiety or a fear of upsetting others. 

If you think you might suffer from the common affliction of being a little 'too nice', or find yourself devoting a bit too much of your wondering what others think of you, don’t worry! Many of us are guilty of giving too much attention to others’ opinions, and not giving ourselves enough credit.

When we lack confidence in ourselves, it becomes all too easy to judge our self-worth based on others’ opinions of us. However, this hands over far too much control to unpredictable invariables. Everyone we meet comes with their own agenda, preferences, likes, dislikes, and insecurities… and, importantly, what other people think of us says much more about them than it does about us! 

It’s important that you feel empowered enough to back yourself, no matter what. 

The good news is that self-belief is a skill that can be built, rather than a trait we do or don’t have. It’s never too late for us to start building up our confidence and self-worth, and these 5 bestselling books are our top picks to help you get there.

Not Nice – Dr. Aziz Gazipura

On Uptime

There’s a difference between simply looking out for others and hardcore people-pleasing. If you think you might slip into the ‘too nice’ camp - for example, if you struggle to assert your own opinion, find it very hard to say ‘no’ to people, or to ask for something that you want - then this book is probably for you.

World-renowned confidence expert (and self-proclaimed “ex-people pleaser”) Dr. Aziz Gazipura believes that being nice is a great trait to have, as long as it doesn’t stem from the anxiety and fear of disappointing others. 

quotation marksThe opposite of nice is being real. It’s being direct, honest, and truthful. It’s saying what you really think, expressing how you really feel, and sharing what’s true for you in that moment.

Dr. Aziz explains the true meaning of being ‘nice’, and how we sometimes misinterpret the word. After all, being nice can be a toxic trait too. He also shows us ways in which we can unlearn compulsive niceness, and how to liberate our bold, authentic selves. 

In his book, we learn hidden gems such as: 

  • Learning how to say ‘no’
  • How to confidently and effectively ask for what we want
  • How being nice can often be detrimental to our health
  • How we can speak more freely in all our relationships
  • How we can get over feelings of guilt, anxiety, and worry when it comes to what others think of us

The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom – Chris Bailey

On Uptime

In this New York Times bestseller, author Don Miguel Ruiz reveals the source of self-limiting beliefs that rob us of joy and create needless suffering.

A lot of us struggle to accept who we truly are and to find our place in this world. This is because the world has a preconceived idea of what the ‘perfect’ person is. When we don’t meet these standards, we tend to hate ourselves for not fitting in.

Don Miguel Ruiz questions this view. He believes the image of perfection that we so desperately try to measure up to is built on complete false — or at least unquestioned — beliefs.

quotation marksDeath is not the biggest fear we have; our biggest fear is taking the risk to be alive - the risk to be alive and express what we really are.

He advocates for personal freedom from the limiting beliefs and agreements that we've made with ourselves. The 4 main agreements are simple: 

  • Be impeccable with your words 
  • Don’t take everything personally 
  • Don’t be quick to make assumptions, and  
  • Always do your best!

You Are A Badass – Jen Sincero

On Uptime

This is a refreshingly entertaining how-to guide for anyone who desperately wants to improve their lives (and so many of us do). In this book, we learn to kick other people’s opinions to the curb, and focus instead on the things that make us happy. 

By the end, we better understand why we are the way we are, how to love what we can't change, how to change what we don't love... and how to use 'The Force’ to kick some serious ass.

quotation marksYou are responsible for what you say and do. You are not responsible for whether or not people freak out about it.

Filled with blunt, hilarious advice, You Are a Badass shuts down our inner critic by identifying our worst self-sabotaging beliefs and behaviors and showing us how we can change them. 

Some of the key insights?

  • We need to decide now to stop caring about what other people think
  • Figuring out what we want is good, but we shouldn’t obsess over how we will get there
  • If our friends, habits, and even environment doesn’t support our vision, we need to change them
  • We need to prioritize our time instead of getting caught up in other people’s plans
  • We need to start seeing our goals as real and attainable.

The Life-Changing Magic of Not Giving a F*ck – Sarah Knight

On Uptime

There really is no greater magic word in life than ‘no’. Learning how to properly set our own boundaries, and stand up for ourselves when we need to, is a game-changing life lesson - but for many of us, it’s an uphill battle to get there. 

Learning how to say no isn’t always easy - and sometimes we don’t go about it the best way, either. That is why Sarah Knight offers valuable advice that will help in this regard, all the while maintaining a respectful but stern approach to taking back control of our lives.

quotation marksI call it the NotSorry Method. It has two steps: 1) Deciding what you don’t give a fuck about. 2) Not giving a fuck about those things.

In this funny but practical guide, Knight helps us to say no and finally put ourselves first. This is a book aimed to liberate you from other people’s opinions and judgements, and make choices that benefit you - the only one who truly matters. It also provides actionable tips to stop caring about things that don’t really matter without feeling guilty or ashamed. 

Knight’s lessons expand on the following ideas:

  • If we need to turn people down, we should do it honestly and respectfully
  • When the going gets tough, we need to take the time to spoil ourselves a little
  • Let all the bad things that are hindering the good in our lives, go
  • We can never truly not give a f*ck

The Six Pillars of Self-Esteem – Nathaniel Branden

On Uptime

In the words of the one and only Ru Paul: “If you can’t love yourself, how in the hell you gonna love somebody else?”
Nathaniel Branden has spent his life learning about the psychology of self-esteem. In his journey, he discovered ‘six pillars’ to help others build a healthy self-esteem and a fulfilling life. Through his enlightening guide to self-discovery, he shows us how in today’s chaotic world, our self-esteem is our most prized superpower.

Branden’s six pillars - living consciously, self-acceptance, self-responsibility, self-assertiveness, living purposefully, and personal integrity - show us that if we learn to truly accept and love ourselves, we won’t need the validation or measure of worth from anyone else. 

quotation marksWhen we learn how to be in an intimate relationship without abandoning our sense of self, when we learn how to be kind without being self-sacrificing, when we learn how to cooperate with others without betraying our standards and convictions, we are practicing self-assertiveness.

Some of the key insights we can find include:

  • We need to accept ourselves and take full responsibility
  • Having little confidence won't kill us, but our lives won't be as great without confidence.
  • Some of the hardest hurdles we will meet when discovering our self-esteem are living a purposeful life and practicing personal integrity.

In the words of Caroline Caldwell: “In a society that profits from your self doubt, liking yourself is a rebellious act.” Unlearning ‘niceness’, and reprogramming ourselves to feel more confident and self-assured, is a long journey - but it’s a worthwhile one. 

To take back control of your own life and get into the habit of trusting your own voice, check out these self-empowerment Knowledge Hacks on Uptime.

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