While we all have things we like about ourselves, we still sometimes fall into the self-deprecating trap of assuming others don’t see those great things.
How we define ourselves might be completely irrelevant to what we tend to believe others might see us as.
You might believe yourself to have good physical traits like hair, an appealing face or a fit body.
And the same goes for mental traits. You might believe you have a lot to contribute in conversations, you’re well-motivated or you always cheer others up.
But all of that good doesn’t stop us from sometimes slipping into the belief that someone else is neglecting our good traits and judging us based on our bad ones.
So what can be done to not only clear your mind of these worries but also make others think better of you?
Have nothing to prove
The basis of self-confidence.
Having nothing to prove.
Not allowing what judgments might be made toward you impact how you will act and how you will present yourself.
We all might think there are times when we are our true selves, but when meeting new people or being around others we want to impress, we act differently.
Whether it’s how we talk, what kind of facial expressions we’re making or any other aspect of ourselves we see as malleable in ourselves at the moment, we might take action and change that thing. Even if we don’t notice it.
In some scenario’s it’s a subtle change. So subtle that it might even be an unconscious effort that we can’t see ourselves taking because once we’re alone again, we shift effortlessly back to ourselves.
Some people refer to it as putting on a mask. We have different masks for different occasions and different groups. But the most comfortable we are is when we are not wearing a mask. And we are not wearing a mask when we have nothing to prove.
When we’re home alone, with people we are very comfortable with or with people we might not like and really don’t care what they think at the end of the day, we’re living without masks and are our true selves. This is the version of ourselves that has nothing to prove.
But by not having anything to prove, not making a single effort to appeal to anyone in the room and by truly not caring, others will care about you.
Walk into a room and look at what you change, no matter how subtle, subconscious or accidental and get back to the feeling of being completely content with all made or soon to be made opinions.
Have nothing to prove.
You can’t control as much as you think
One realization that helps makes it easier to keep on the path of having nothing to prove is realizing overall, you can’t prove much.
There is too much out of our control and there is only so much you as a person can do.
You can’t force anyone to like you, but we already know that.
Yet thinking about what you can do to get someone to like you with the perfect move is like trying to solve an impossibly endless math problem. There are too many variables.
You might try and psychoanalyze how someone said hello to you and try and gauge how they are feeling, look at their facial expressions and determine how they felt about the conversation.
There’s so much you are constantly trying to figure out, yet there is only so much you can do and the rest is out of your control.
A smaller more easily understood example is if the person you are talking to has a memory of someone that resembles you and for that reason, they might have a slight dislike for you.
While that reality might suck, that’s something out of your control.
Or maybe a person has a dislike for the company Starbucks and their judgment of you starts with you holding a Starbucks cup.
This can go deeper and deeper to even the butterfly effect level. There are way way too many possible reasons why someone might have an opinion on you. Even if it’s a temporary opinion they have for a few milliseconds.
Trying to figure out what others think of you by replaying conversations in your head might feel like if you keep thinking about it, you will eventually run into the solution. But you won’t.
It’s an endless thought that can go on forever and is not worth the time to try and gain control over.
You cannot solve the problem of, “What is the exact move I need to take to get this person feeling this sort of way.”
Sure, there are things you can do. You can still influence and maybe you can get someone to like you by trying, but if you don’t succeed, that doesn’t mean you did something wrong.
There’s only so much you can do.
It’s mostly always out of your control.
Let others brag for you
One simple thing I’ve noticed that once you understand it, you’ll never forget it, is how easily bragging can work in your favor when it’s not you.
You can bring up how good you’ve gotten at the piano and show off your skills, but you’ve already dropped the bar.
You can just play the piano at a party with your friends and they might be impressed, but it still seems like you’re just trying to show off.
But when your piano skills look the best, is when you aren’t the one who brought it up.
You can say, “I’m great at the piano,” and a friend can say, “He’s great at the piano,” and there’s still somehow a giant difference.
Saying, “I’m super smart,” sounds a thousand times worse than, “He is super smart.”
When you have something to show and someone else brings it up, it doesn’t matter how good or bad you think you are at the piano, others will take your friend’s word over yours because, of course, you want to say that you are good at the piano.
So by letting others brag for you, you can show off skills and impress others, but intentionally trying to impress always has a possible chance of coming off as bragging.
Think of it essentially as wingmanning in normal conversation.
However, the reason this is brought up is it’s not just a good method to show off, but it is necessary to get you to be better.
There comes motivation behind this.
Maybe you started working out and think you’re making great progress. You want to show off that your biceps have gotten bigger. But by being the one to bring that up, you’ve already made your biceps look smaller than they actually are.
So what if no one brings it up?
Keep making your biceps bigger. Keep practicing the piano.
Do something and get good at it but don’t seek approval, let approval come to you. Keep going until it’s more noticeable and is brought up by someone other than you.
Then yourself and anyone else who happens to be around will see an accomplishment versus a brag.
Negative perception haunts us because not everyone can have the true careless attitude of not caring what others think. We all want to not care, it’s just hard not to.
But there are things that can be done to make you appear better by not trying to prove yourself and not allowing your mind to try and gain control over the situation.
It’s a realization that you can grasp and put into practice, but it’s also something that needs to be reminded. Stay present and try by taking the best action toward not trying.