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You could spend the whole year worrying about what other people think of you, but it wouldn’t get you anywhere.
“What’s wrong with wanting others to like you?”
That’s what several of our course members asked me in response to one of my recent course member emails. And I’ve been asked similar questions over the years too. So today, I want to discuss why it’s not healthy to spend lots of time worrying about what everyone thinks of you, and how to stop yourself from doing so.
In a nutshell, tying your self-worth to everyone else’s opinions gives you a flawed sense of reality. But before we look at how to fix this, first we need to understand why we do this…
From wanting others to think we’re attractive, to checking the number of likes and comments on our Facebook and Instagram posts, most of us care about what others think. In fact, a big part of this is an innate desire that we are born with. It has been proven time and time again that babies’ emotions are often drawn directly from the behaviors of those around them.
As we grow up, we learn to separate our thoughts and emotions from everyone else’s, but many of us continue to seek – and in many cases beg for – positive social validation from others. This can cause serious trouble when it comes to self-esteem and happiness. In a recent survey we did with 3,000 of our course members and coaching clients, 67% of them admitted that their self-worth is strongly tied to what other people think of them.
As human beings, we naturally respond to everything we experience through the lens of our learned expectations – a set of deep-rooted beliefs about the way the world is and how things should be. And one of the most prevailing expectations we have involves external validation and how others ‘should’ respond to us.
Over a century ago, social psychologist Charles Cooley identified the phenomenon of the “looking-glass self,” which is when we believe “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am – I am what I think that you think I am.” This kind of external validation has insecurity at its core, and relying on it for even a short time chips away at our sense of self-worth and self-confidence.
The biggest problem is we tend to forget that people judge us based on a pool of influences in their own life that have absolutely nothing to do with us. For example, a person might assume things about you based on a troubled past experience they had with someone else that looks kind of like you, or someone else who shares your same last name, etc. Therefore, basing your self-worth on what others think puts you in a perpetual state of vulnerability – you are literally at the mercy of their unreliable, bias perspectives. If they see you in the right light, and respond to you in a positive, affirming manner, then you feel good about yourself. And if not, you feel like you did something wrong.
Bottom line: When you’re doing everything for other people, and basing your happiness and self-worth on their opinions, you’ve lost your moral center.
The good news is we have the capacity to watch our thoughts and expectations, identify which ones serve us, and then change the ones that do not.
So, in order to stop worrying so much about what others think, it’s time to inject some fresh objectivity into your life, and develop a value system that doesn’t depend on others every step of the way. Here are five things you can start doing today:
Reminder: Have you checked out our book? We just released a new bundle pack for “1,000 Little Things Happy, Successful People Do Differently” which includes our eBook, audio book, paperback and bonus material on sale for a big discount. Click here to check it out!1. Remind yourself that most people are NOT thinking about you anyway.
Ethel Barrett once said, “We would worry far less about what others think of us if we realized how seldom they do.” Nothing could be closer to the truth.
Forget what everyone else (more…)
Spring has sprung! It’s time to take advantage of the extra daylight , so we want to get you spending less time in the kitchen and more time enjoying the outdoors. To help you get a good meal on the table, we’ve done all the work of meal planning for you.
Spring Salad with Strawberries and Creamy Orange-Avocado Dressing – Health Starts Here, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
Mango-Black Bean Salsa – Health Starts Here, Gluten Free, Vegan, Vegetarian
What are you making this week?
A tea gathering is one of the easiest, most relaxed events to host, and you’re welcome to leave Victorian etiquette behind and put your own spin on the party.
You don’t really need an excuse to plan one — getting together for good conversation and sociable noshing is always enough! — but there are some classic occasions for teas. A baby or wedding shower, celebrating Mother’s Day or a birthday, and welcoming a new neighbor or coworker are just a few times that are particularly suited to teas.
And warm weather means you can easily take your party outside.
Tea Party Basics
A teapot is the centerpiece of your gathering. Don’t have one? You can always borrow one if you’re not up for investing in one, or try local thrift stores to get a pot on the cheap.
Brewing loose tea requires a way to strain out the tea leaves, so make sure you have a strainer to catch them as you pour if your pot doesn’t have one built in. Of course you can always use tea bags if you prefer, and even if you’re brewing you might want to have some herbal or decaffeinated bags on hand for guests who prefer them.
Cups with saucers are the usual for tea, but don’t feel you need a matched set; mixing patterns and styles is charming and makes it easy to borrow some or bump up your collection by getting a few second-hand. You’ll also want teaspoons (again, they don’t have to match), and a holder for sugar, honey and milk on the table for guests to help themselves.
Finger foods are the classic for tea parties, and a mix of both savory and sweet is usual. Think small sandwiches, crostini or bruschetta, muffins, scones, cookies, and bite-size pastries.
You’re welcome to break tradition, of course, but including at least a few elegant nibbles is part of the tea ritual, and as a bonus they’re easy to prepare ahead of time and don’t require reheating. Display some of your offerings on a tiered tea tray if you have one, or just use a variety of platters (lining them with paper doilies is strictly optional!).
Here are some ideas for easy parties with recipe suggestions to get you started planning a tea.
Traditional Afternoon Tea
Brew up a black tea like Earl Grey or English Breakfast, and if you like you can also offer sparkling wine for extra elegance.
Nothing says classic tea like scones and jam; this easy recipe for Currant Scones is about as traditional as it gets; just remember that scones are best when really fresh so try to bake them no more than a few hours ahead (they’ll make the house smell wonderful!). Serve them with sweet butter and marmalade or jam.
Add some savory finger sandwiches. Cucumber Sandwiches with Strawberries and Watercress cut into quarters are a perfect choice, packed with spring flavors.
Finally, choose one or two types of cookies. Buttery shortbread are great, or try a nut-based cookie like these Mexican Tea Cookies, one of my very favorites.
Green Tea Party
You can take your gathering in a different direction by serving green tea and putting an Asian dim sum-like spin on your treats.
This unique brown-rice Mango-Crab Sushi recipe packs great sweet-savory flavor and the pieces are conveniently bite-sized.
Spring rolls or summer rolls are excellent accompaniments to green tea as well. For a non-traditional (but fabulously flavorful!) version I recommend Rice Paper Rainbow Wraps; they’re vegetarian and stuffed with cool veggies like beets and kale.
And for a sweet nicely matched to green tea it’s hard to beat these Mandarin Coconut Cookies, and the recipe makes a generous 3 dozen.
Kids’ Tea Party
Round up the teddy bears! A tea party makes a great kids’ get-together or birthday celebration and it’s super-easy to pull off.
You’ll want a non-caffeinated drink to serve: This classic Summer Lemonade or Limeade is easy enough for even young kids to help make, and you can pour it from a teapot into teacups for fun.
If you want the kids to enjoy something savory, an easy route is to make up some nut butter and jelly sandwiches, cut them into quarters and pile them on a platter. Or follow this simple recipe for Hummus Tea Sandwiches if your group includes anyone with nut allergies.
Cupcakes are an excellent choice, and just about de rigueur if you’re celebrating a birthday. You can serve classic ones or minis. These Chocolate Chip Zucchini Cupcakes with Orange Cream Frosting are a favorite with both kids and adults.
As an alternative, go for a fruit-based sweet. You can’t miss with the always popular Chocolate-Dipped Strawberries — make a double or triple batch if you want any leftovers!
Have you ever hosted a tea party? What are your favorite treats to serve with tea?