There’s a fine line between being a doormat and an arrogant jerk.
Learning this balance is important to building your confidence.
If you care too much what others think of you, you’ll never give yourself permission to fully be yourself.
(And on the flip side, if you don’t care about the opinions of others… you become super selfish and annoying to be around)
Jesus was a great example of this balance (duh)
He didn’t care what people thought of Him, but He cared so much about people.
That’s the confidence I’m after, and here are 7 signs you care way too much what people think of you (and you might be saying ‘no’ to the impact God wants you to make for Him)
I could write a book on saying no.
Actually, someone already did (thanks, Henry Cloud) it’s called Boundaries and it helped me learn when to say yes and how to say no to be in control of your life.
Let me make this clear, saying “no” is not mean.
What’s worse is saying “yes” when you don’t want to and resenting the person you agreed to help.
The reason you struggle to say “no” is you might be conditioned to believe you’re only valuable to people when you’re helping them.
This is also untrue.
You don’t need to constantly earn people’s love. They should love and accept you regardless of what they get out of the relationship.
True, safe relationships aren’t built on a scoring system of how useful you are. That’s using you, and most often you find when you start saying “no” to these people, they don’t want you around anymore.
That’s also a blessing, because they never cared about you in the first place.
What if they don’t like me?!
Yeah, what if…
Does that mean you want to change who you are to fit into the box someone wants to put you in?
Of course not!
But we do this subconsciously because we’re afraid of rejection.
Rejection is also NOT a bad thing. People are wired to dislike people who are different.
So ask yourself which types of people you want to be like.
Those are the people whose opinions should matter to you. If you’re ambitious, positive, and supportive – complacent, negative, critical people will NOT like you.
And that’s okay.
Unpopular opinions need to be shared.
You need to stand up for truth when you have the chance.
Yes, even if it offends people.
Now, you should do it with humility and patience so you’re not blatantly offensive, but there’s substance to the cliche saying, “the truth hurts”
It’s okay for people to disagree with you, especially when you’re around people who don’t share your values.
They SHOULD disagree with you.
But rather than saying why their opinion is wrong, stick to why you believe what you believe and approach the topic with gentleness and humility.
Dressing to please yourself or dressing to please others?
I struggled with this for years.
Whenever I’d get dressed, I would wonder if people would like what I chose to wear.
I’d think back to if someone complimented a certain shirt or outfit, and that influenced my decision.
Or if someone made a negative comment about something, I probably never wore it again.
Don’t let other people influence your identity.
What you wear is a reflection of who you are, and if you’re constantly looking for approval from others…you’re not being yourself.
You’re being the version of you people tell you to be.
It’s okay to dress for YOU.
Oh the potluck.
My food choices used to be greatly influenced by who was watching me eat.
Fun fact, I dated a guy in high school and I was afraid to eat around him.
Not because of anything he did or said, I was just so afraid he would think I was fat or something so I never ate when we hung out.
This theme continued in a diluted form for years. If I was alone, I ate what my body wanted.
If people were around (especially people I wanted to impress) I would eat small amount of “healthy” food.
I was trying to control how they perceived me…but really all I was doing was not eating enough and stressing out over something that didn’t matter.
Not trying means not failing, right?
So if you’re terrified of people criticizing you if you mess up, chances are you don’t do things unless you KNOW you will succeed.
Which is a ridiculous strategy.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally used to do this – which is why I know it’s ridiculous.
You NEVER know for sure if something is going to work the way you want it to.
The logic to that is unsound.
So you may as well try that thing you’re afraid to fail at, because people are paying less attention to you than you think.
And, anyone who’s going to criticize you or make you feel bad for trying something is not a person you want in your inner circle of influence.
Okay, I get it. Lipstick is one thing.
But if you’re always looking at yourself in reflective surfaces (windows, microwave doors, dark tv screens) you care way too much what people are seeing.
I used to do this.
It took up so much of my thoughts, wondering if my hair was okay, if my makeup was saying put, and if I needed to run to the bathroom to blot my face with 1 ply of toilet paper.
Again, no one is paying as close attention to you as you think.
No one cares.
And if they do, they’re not someone you want to have influencing your self worth and identity.
So many women struggle to meet (and exceed) the expectations of others.
Remember you’re not alone in feeling this way!
Also remember, it is a feeling and you have control over how much power you give to other people to influence your feelings.
Confidence in who you are is the antidote to self consciousness and insecurity.
So focus on knowing who you are and becoming deeply rooted in that.
Download this Faith Over Fear Flashcard set to have a simple reminder of the truth about who God says you are when you’re feeling insecure.
Take stock of who you’re spending time with.
If you’re around people who are constantly criticizing you or making you feel the need to apologize for who you are, find new people.
There are so many loving people out in the world who will show you Christ like love and encouragement.
You can join my Facebook group for single Christian women if you need an online community!
Rebekah Buege is a body confidence coach helping strong women process critical thoughts and heal insecurities.
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