No matter how carefree we present ourselves to the world, we are all guilty of letting the opinions of others influence how we ultimately act, think and live. With the presence of social media, it can seem like everyone’s opinion is valid and ever-present, from your slightly offensive auntie, to teenage Instagram ‘influencers’. It can be nearly impossible to stay completely unaffected by others opinions. However, filtering through the unnecessary can be so so beneficial for your mental health and overall wellbeing. So, here are some tips to help you get there:
Marie Kondo your social media.
After the Japanese organisational queen told us to hold on only to those things which ‘spark joy’, we have all been on a decluttering grind. Why not try the same for your Instagram, Twitter and Facebook feeds? Get comfortable with the unfollow, block or unsubscribe button because chances are once you make your online space safe, you won’t be so affected by pesky (and mostly invalid) opinions. Considering the average Australian millennial spends about 14 hours a week on social media, it makes sense to create a space where you can just be yourself, free of ridicule from impending opinions of how you ‘should’ live.
Bring everyone back down off that imaginary pedestal.
‘But they are so confident, I could never pull that off!’ Sound familiar? For the purpose of this article, let’s use the example of Becky. She is someone we can all recognise, confident yet slightly condescending. Just when you think you have it all figured out, Becky comes along, her opinion making you question 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 it will never be quite up to Becky’s standards. What you don’t realise is that Becky might be struggling too and honestly, she probably is, you know why? Becky is human. Burn that self-esteem stealing pedestal and start to realise that other people’s opinions will not mean anything if you refuse to let them (easier said than done, I know). Next time you find yourself getting caught up in Becky’s opinions on how you should exist, ask yourself this: ‘Has Becky experienced my life? No, she hasn’t. Recognising that other’s opinions aren’t always valid for you and your life is a good step towards caring that little bit less.
Opinions are like horoscopes, everyone’s got one, what matters is whether you believe them or not.
We are exposed to information constantly – if we were to take it all on board, we would go mad. Let’s say for example you are watching TV, not all advertising will strike you as important, you only really focus on the information that’s relevant for you in that moment. Why not take the same approach to the opinions of those around you? Next time you find yourself obsessing about someone’s opinion of you, think of it this way. If this was my horoscope would I let it affect my day? Why should I if I don’t feel it is true or relevant to my life right now.
Self-love is not always easy to achieve and then maintain, it might take a while to get there but I hope these tips get you started!
Words by Neesha Sinnya.
Edited by Sarah Goswami.