How do I stop caring what other people think of me?

This is the place to post whatever questions you have related to the teachings of Eckhart Tolle. The rest of us will do whatever we can to help you achieve a better understanding :)
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Location: Seattle, WA

Re: How do I stop caring what other people think of me?

Post by Denise » Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:28 pm


I was given this little quote below recently and it really makes the whole concept of "caring what others think" more absurd! Before I found Eckhart's work I had the realization that everyone is so worried about what other people think of them they have no time to think about me. "Like really" how often do I think about other people's behaviour, appearance, etc. Before I knew to just stop thinking the technique of reminding myself that everyone is likely as self conscious as me really helped.

I am not who I think I am,
I am not who you think I am,
I am who I think you think I am.


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Re: How do I stop caring what other people think of me?

Post by bparrish99 » Tue Apr 08, 2008 1:55 am

It is very easy to fall into the trap of thinking that by doing this practice, you will naturally see all those silly, unenlightened human tendencies fall by the wayside, and become the confident, fearless person you really want to be... and then when you find out that you still have those silly unenlightened human tendencies, you think, uh oh, I'm doing it wrong, this feeling is not what I'm supposed to be feeling, I want it to go away!

Right now you get depressed, you get anxious, you care what people think, you get embarrassed, you worry about how your hair looks.

You think once you are enlightened, you will not care what people think. But here is the good news, which sounds like bad news:

Once you are enlightened, you may still care what people think, but you won't care that you care what people think. No problem is a problem, because the problem is no longer happening to "you". You're just observing "silly unenlightened human tendencies", you just happen to be seeing it from the perspective of one particular form. It's not YOU who cares what people think, it's this human form you have the privilege of getting to experience.

"When I was unenlightened, I was depressed. Now that I'm enlightened, I'm still depressed." But it is of absolutely no concern at all.

So when you feel the flush of nerves and sinking feeling that comes with caring what someone thinks about you, it is your job to feel that fully, and say "it is feeling nervous", or some other phrase which helps you disidentify from it.

Then the question of how to prevent it from happening never needs to be answered, because it's never asked.

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