Imagine not worrying about what others think

Imagine how different the world would be if we could all push to do the things we want to do, be the people we want to be and live how we want to live.   ~Sophie 


worry not1. Stop Over-thinking

You are not the most important person in the world, at least not to others. It is probably in the majority of occasions that you think you are being judged where people don’t actually care for the thing you are worrying about. Do you judge every single person that you meet, probably not.  If you do, you might want to sort out that side of your life first as there’s no wonder you care what people think of you.

 2. Put things into perspective

To people that aren’t naturally concerned what others think about them, having an issue with it seems quite strange or even silly. The reason is that when you put ‘issues’ like this under the microscope you can see they are really not worth having. You only get ONE chance at life in the physical world and you are going to allow other people’s thoughts make it less enjoyable?

3. Be confident in your actions

Seeing as it’s likely we’ll always have some thought towards the feelings of others, what if we could really eliminate the amount of times it happens? Well, you can. The trick, if you want to call it that, is to simply be more confident in the decisions and actions you are taking.

Have you never seen someone that might be wearing something out of the ordinary or acting different to the surrounding crowd but things just seem normal and they aren’t being judged?

If you are wearing yellow shoes and are clearly uncomfortable in your choice then people are going to target you because they can see that and they probably want to feel good about themselves. However, if you can wear the shoes with pride and confidence, whilst clearly not caring what other people think then you’ll notice the negative reactions to be very small if any.

4. Learn to control your emotions

When you start to try things like pushing your limits or simply being more confident, you will undoubtedly have mixed emotions in your head. From stress, worry and fear, to relief and happiness, it can be a bit of a mind roller coaster; that is where controlling your emotions comes in.

The simple practice I learned from Eckhart Tolle goes a bit like this:

  • Be conscious of an emotion inside you i.e. fear or worry
  • Observe it within your mind
  • Notice that if you are observing it, it can’t be a part of you
  • Watch the emotion disappear

As soon as you observe an emotionyou are separating yourself from it. Feel it, accept it, and it will release.


The 50% Rule

Create Friction Free Relationships

You have an awkward interaction with your friend. Do you blame her and wait for an apology, or do you proactively reach out to ‘own’ your part in it?

Your assistant does your marketing promotion wrong. Do you get irritated at her or do you calm yourself down before asking her to help you understand what went awry and how you can prevent it next time?

In the car, your spouse/partner is lost and aggravated, but won’t stop to ask for directions. Do you snap at him to ‘calm down’ and remind him he ‘always does this’, or do you take out your iPhone GPS and make a ‘note to self’ to print out directions next time (thus averting the usual spat.)


Your answers depend on whether you follow the 50% rule. Usually you want to change what the other person is thinking and doing because it is annoying you or making you feel upset, and you think they ‘shouldn’t’ do it that way.

The 50% rule is an approach to all relationships (romantic, business, parenting, friendship, family) in which you focus on being “impeccable for your 50% of the interaction”. It’s not about ‘being nice’ or ‘giving in to keep the peace’. It’s about taking responsibility for your part, relying on your own tools to get yourself into the right emotional state, and acting in a way that aligns with “who you want to be” in the relationship.

The benefits of being impeccable for your 50% are many: you walk away from the interaction feeling proud of yourself rather than guilty for lashing out. You preserve your relationship rather than chip away at it. You decrease the other’s defensiveness so they are more likely to listen to you (and if they are not capable of much change, you are already ‘in a good place’ and thus detached from the ill effects of their behavior).

And this is the most important: you are ‘in control’!

To try out the 50% rule, think of a relationship in your life you want to be better. Draw an imaginary line in between you and that person — everything on one side is your 50% (what YOU think, how YOU feel, what YOU say, what YOU do), everything on the other is theirs.

Notice that what you have been doing until now in this relationship may be efforts that “cross the line”. You may have been “taking on their 50%” (e.g., absorbing their negative energy, feeling responsible for their feelings, trying to rescue them) or getting them to act differently (e.g., blame them to get an apology; tell them they need to change; do favors for them hoping they will approve of you and appreciate you). The other person probably experiences your efforts as controlling and it may have backfired.

Instead, influence them to improve the interaction — but stay within ‘your side of the line.’ There are so many possibilities; here are a few to practice:

1) Take charge of handling your own emotional response

It’s so tempting to scream at the other person to “Calm Down!!!” When you are being impeccable for your 50%, you don’t try to get the other person to relax, you focus on relaxing yourself (so that you can actually deal with the other person in a way that is more calm — that will surely help them to relax!)

Before you snap at your spouse like in the example above, calm yourself down. Try a technique called “reverse breathing”: breathe in slowly through your mouth and breathe out slowly through your nose (this calms your liver where your frustration accumulates). You should feel a cooling sensation across your tongue if you are doing it right.

2) Accept others’ level of evolution and work on yours!

Accept that others are generally doing what they do for good reason (at least within their own worldview). Know that whenever people are being rigid it’s usually because they are stuck on an emotionally unresolved issue that deep down makes them feel bad about themselves (even though it’s not apparent to them). If this is the case, then expecting the person to come around and apologize is a lost cause. Instead of assuming your friend is a jerk, think through what you did before or after their awkward behavior that might have contributed to the breakdown, and take responsibility by clarifying and apologizing for your part.

3) Be bulletproof in your word and deed

Instead of blaming others, put your attention on communicating clearly so you can’t be misunderstood. Focus on using a tone that is motivating and respectful (e.g., say “help me understand what broke down here” instead of “you did this wrong”). Focus on noticing what the other person is doing right and let them know. Don’t give unclear directions and then blame your assistant/business partner for not producing what you wanted.

As you “say what you mean and mean what you say” but your assistant/business partner doesn’t, it becomes very clear with whom the “problem” lies and who is going to need to change as part of the solution. It shifts the balance of power and gives you strong leverage in negotiation — others cannot point a finger back at you, they must take responsibility or you will choose not to work with them.

In short, take 100% responsibility for your 50%. Decide who ‘you want to be’ in the interaction! The irony is that by concerning yourself with your own 50%, you raise the odds of getting the other person to act how you want them to act.

Enjoy the power of being ‘in control’ without being controlling!


*** Article: How to Create Friction Free Relationships – By Sharon Melnick ***


Wouldn’t this make a difference to our lives and our world! Comment below.