How to Stop Caring So Much About What Other People Think

Increasing your effectiveness with EFT, part 96.

In today’s article, I’d like to talk about the issue of caring too much about what other people think. And I want to emphasize the words “too much” because I do think it’s healthy to care about what other people think to some degree, because we live in an interdependent society, and the same way that our actions can impact other people, their actions can impact us as well. But it’s the excessive worry that’s problematic, as it can leave us feeling paralyzed and afraid, preventing us from enjoying and living our lives more freely..

So, how can we use EFT to help a client work on this issue? First of all, it helps to think of EFT as a tool that allows us to feel differently about something, by diminishing and releasing our “unpleasant emotional reactions” to certain triggers and situations. In this case, the trigger or situation in question would be “what other people think of me”.

If you want a more quantitative way of measuring progress when working on this issue, you can ask your client: “How true does it feel on a 0-100 percent scale the phrase ‘I worry too much about what other people think of me’?”. You can measure this phrase at the beginning of each tapping session.

So now we are ready to start tapping. To work on this effectively with EFT, we need to come up with something specific to focus on: an example. “Whose thoughts, for example, are you worried about?” (your boss, your spouse, your friend, your colleague, an absolute stranger, etc), “And what are you worried they might think about you?” (“That I’m too dumb, too sensitive, too needy, etc”).

Once your client identifies a specific person and a specific thought or judgment they fear this person holds about them, the next question is: “What feeling or sensation do you notice coming up now when imagining that this person thinks that about you?”.

For example, they might be feeling embarrassed imagining that their best friend sometimes thinks they are too shallow.

Here’s a possible setup statement to use while tapping on the side of the hand: Even though I feel embarrassed, when I imagine that Maria thinks that sometimes I’m too shallow, and I feel this embarrassment in my chest, this is just where I’m at right now”. 

As a reminder phrase while tapping on the other points, you could alternate between ‘this embarrassment in my chest’ and ‘Maria thinks I’m too shallow’.

At the end of the round, you can stop to reassess and ask your client what do they notice now in terms of that embarrassment, or if any other thoughts and feelings have come up, in which case you use those words for the next round of tapping.

For example: “Even though now I feel sad, imagining that my best friend would feel that way about me, and I feel this sadness like a tightness in my throat, this is just where I’m at right now”.

As you work through the different layers of the onion, sometimes what tends to happen is that your client realizes that it’s actually them who believes that about themselves, and they are projecting that thought onto the other person.

Regardless, if you can help them diminish and/or release their unpleasant emotional reactions to the imagined scenario of another person thinking negatively about them, that means they have now made some headway in not caring so much about what other people think. Next session if they want to you can work on a different example of caring too much about what other people think.

And that’s it for today! I’m Bruno Sade, a compassionate, open-minded clinical psychologist, and certified EFT practitioner. My approach is tailored to your individual needs and preferences, always respecting your experiences, beliefs, and background.

What are your thoughts on today’s topic? Feel free to share questions, comments, or suggestions for future topics. You can either leave a comment below or send a private message. 

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