How to stop obsessing over what other people think about you and to finally begin to live
There is no method to stop carrying
This article addresses the same question that dozens of other articles have addressed. And as majority of articles of such kind it won't teach any methods of how to stop worrying what others think of you.
First, accept that there is no method or technique for this. We all live in society and carrying about people's opinions on us help us co-exist with each other. Yet one should always understand when the worries about his personality transforms into obsession. Being overly concerned about the opinion of others on yourself leads to self-judgment. And self-judgment makes you depressed. It gives birth to low self-esteem and the obsessive tendency to fit in.
To see how people behave towards each other, as well as observing your own behavior towards them will help reduce the worrying about being accepted when being around people.
First step to stop obsessing over what people think of you is to accept that they do not think about you as often as we would love them to.
How to deal with the opinion of other people on your person?
As it was mentioned at the beginning of this article we form opinions on people to understand them better. So do others regarding our person. At this point I would say that you have to know when to abstract from those opinions and let people think about you whatever they find appropriate. It is difficult when those judgments belong to people we value, such as our family or friends. Nobody wants to be misapprehended. When some of our close friends have an opinion about us, we try to live up to their expectations. We are crushed if their judgements about usdo not coincide with the ones we have about ourselves. Such differences in opinions happen because human mind has a unique trait. When it doesn't have enough facts or information to rely on, it has the tendency to assume, in order to fill in the missing information. Those wrong assuming lead to awkward moments, such as stating an opinion about a person that doesn't coincide with his own about himself.
One is always bound to form an opinion about other person. We need to know how to behave around other people. For instance it is good to know that a certain person doesn't like blueberries, and not treat him with one. Howeverit also doesn't mean you shouldn't offer him a cake with strawberries, raspberries and some blueberries.
People, regardless of your relationship with them build their opinion about you based on your sayings, behavior and actions. They remember your past experiences(mistakes) and the way you acted under given circumstances. Next time when something similar happens they will expect you to act in the same way. When you act differently, they are surprised. You might feel put down, seeing that your close friends remember your past mistakes and weakness and do not think you can grow or change. You feel upset and you want to prove them wrong.
On the other hand if you give it a second thought you will understand that another person can not be kept updated with all your latest thoughts and actions. Your friends as well as others, who do not know you well will be assuming (filling in with their opinions facts they do not know about you) to understand you better.
On time scale, those you call your best friends are the person you have spent more time together with. They have seen you expressing yourself in more situations than an acquaintance or stranger. But even they can not know you till the end. A friend is not the person who knows everything about you. It is rather a person who holds the amount of information about you, that you entitled him to keep.
It would be fair to say that you shouldn't analyze how you look in the eyes of others, but rather think how you treat those around.
Do not assume too much about the person you do not know well
If somebody asks me what do I think about him, I ask him what does he think about his own self? There are two well-explained reasons for doing so. Firstly you give the person the opportunity to express himself freely and be what he is. Secondly, even if the person's opinion about himself doesn't coincide with what he really is at the moment, at least, you know about his aspirations. In no time, he might become the person he considers himself to be.
Better is to not make any firm statements about people. No matter how good of psychologist you are and how well you understand people, you will never be able to guess them right. Your opinion on any person is based on the way the person manifests himself in front of you in a particular time frame. In other words, you make your conclusion regarding someone based on the information he is providing you.
For example, if your coworker acts reserved and distant one day, you will draw a conclusion that he/she is an introvert and not sociable. And you will commit a mistake. The next day you will be surprised to see the same person acting in the opposite way. You might be thrown in a cognitive dissonance, realizing the person doesn't act according to your expectations. Such a disparity might lead to over-analyzing of person's behavior with the goal to match his real behavior with the image you have about him in your mind.
Do not limit other people by putting heavy shackles of your biased judgment. Better ask yourself how much information should you know about a person in order to act comfortably. Where is this tiny line when your judgments transform in over-analyzing?
If you worry less about what other think about you, you will stop acting based on their expectations. As a result, you will act freer and with much more confidence. If you stop analyzing others' behavior, attributing them they do not possess, you will stop comparing yourself to them and finally begin to live with your own life.