How to free yourself or protect yourself from the gaze and opinion of others

How to free yourself or protect yourself from the gaze and opinion of others

In this article, you will discover how to free yourself and protect yourself from the gaze of others.

This is probably something that has already affected you or is likely to influence you sooner or later in your professional or personal life.

There is no denying that social interactions have a significant effect on how we perceive and evaluate ourselves. We sometimes need the kind feedback of others in order to progress and become aware of our uniqueness.

But when the opinion of others influences us negatively, it has a negative impact on our identity, self-esteem, self-confidence and therefore the likelihood of fulfilling ourselves and achieving our most important goals.

Before moving on to advice, I remind you that you can benefit from the expertise of a life transition coach from our coaching firm to reach your goals more quickly.

1 – You have no control over what others think of you

You cannot free yourself or protect yourself from the gaze of others if you do not realize that you have no control over what others think or say about you.

This awareness is the starting point for your decision to regain your power to live your life as you see fit.

You suffer because you have decided to give others the power to influence your emotions.

You did this unconsciously and decided to give more importance to their opinion than to yours.

Then, over time, you gave them total control over your reactions until you became dependent on their judgments.

If you wish to begin to take back the control of your emotions, thoughts, decisions and actions, you must regain your power to influence yourself positively.

To achieve this, you will base your opinion of yourself no longer on others, but on what is dependent on you and on what is consistent with your identity, values and life goals. It’s time to let go of other people’s opinion and begin to believe in yourself again.

2 – Create your own rules of the game

You now need to create new and better rules that will allow you to win the game of your new life that you are going to build from today.

It is time to define your own values, what is most important to you in your life and what you need to experience and respect in order to fully develop yourself and your innate potential.

In some cases, the fear of the gaze of others may depend on the values you have absorbed through your parents. Awareness of your values sometimes allows you to identify internal conflicts responsible for your professional or personal difficulties.

You also need to become aware of the beliefs that limit you and prevent you from living the life you are destined for and that you deserve.

If you wish to learn how to overcome your limiting beliefs, I suggest you read the article how to overcome limiting beliefs.

You can start from your positive beliefs and strengthen them further. Positive beliefs are the ones that allow you and have allowed you to accomplish what matters most to you and are also the ones that support you psychologically during the difficult moments of your life.

It is also a time to make peace with your past by becoming aware of what impacts your identity.

You will rebuild a new identity that will preserve all the positive aspects of your existence.

At the same time, you will begin to separate yourself from the dysfunctional aspects of your identity that prevent you from expressing your true nature and believing in yourself as you can.

This is also the time to learn to love yourself more by accepting the aspects of yourself that are not right for you.

Instead of fighting them, learn to let them co-exist with the characteristics of you that you value most.

This is how you will be able to express your true nature, your uniqueness and your innate talents.

It is through the sincere expression of the latter that you will be able to express yourself at the height of your true potential to finally live as you wish.

3 – Be more caring with yourself

In some cases, the way others look at us can hurt us because we unconsciously think, rightly or wrongly, that there is some truth in what they say even though we have difficulty admitting it, either to protect our ego or self-esteem.

This happens because sometimes we are the first to judge ourselves. This is why we must correct our way of thinking and acting to learn to love ourselves more.

One way to be more kind to yourself is to accept imperfection and therefore your shortcomings or areas of improvement.

Another way to become a caring person is to forgive yourself for your mistakes.

Another very useful strategy to become more understanding is to stop comparing yourself to others.

You can do this so that you can start comparing yourself to yourself as you were a year ago.

Then, by focusing on all your progress, you will become aware of your personal evolution and therefore of the new person you have become.

Another effective strategy for developing this empathetic attitude is to use the power of positive internal dialogue.

For example, you can congratulate yourself every time you do the right thing and encourage yourself by telling you that you will do better next time.

To go further on this subject, I invite you to discover the article overcoming negative internal dialogue and enjoying the eenefits of positive internal dialogue.

Developing a caring attitude towards yourself will allow you to work on acceptance and self-love.

By accepting yourself in a global way and loving yourself more, you will be less sensitive to the actions of your professional and personal circle.

4 – Protect your self-esteem

Most people who criticize or judge you, often focus on a specific aspect of your life.

If you want to better manage their criticism, you can take action upstream by protecting your self-esteem.

An effective way to do this is to strengthen your self-esteem by focusing on all the other areas of your life where everything is going well.

You can write a list of situations in your life that contribute to your development and talk about one of them in order to change the subject with your overly critical interlocutor.

This way, instead of exhausting all your energy trying to support or defend yourself from their attacks, you will focus your attention and that of your interlocutor on what you like and what contributes to your well-being.

If this person continues with criticism, you will reply with another topic that is positive for you.

This strategy will allow you to feel more and more comfortable while the other person feels the opposite;

If this person insists on her or his unpleasant behavior and you begin to lose patience, take your leave.

Then, once you are at home and calm, congratulate yourself for having managed this conflict situation better.

You have done your best and have consciously chosen to keep your energies for what is important to you in your life.

If you had stayed in the hope of changing who you were talking to, you would have wasted your energies and damaged your health.

Be proud of yourself and continue to strengthen your self-esteem on a daily basis.

Here are a few tips from psychological research on the link between the gaze of others and self-esteem.

Unconditional love

The authors having worked on the acquisition of the self-esteem have all underlined the importance, for the good development of the latter, of the expression by the parents of an unconditional love to their children, not dependent on the performances of the latter.

Your value does not depend on your results, it is independent of your results.


Concretely in front of a situation perceived as threatening for the self-esteem (like for example the gaze of others) you can use assertiveness.

Sherman & Hartson (2011) show that assertiveness (writing in relation to important values) in areas not related to self-esteem can reduce a feeling of threat for self-esteem. The individual feels less threatened, becomes able to perceive the situation more broadly and is able to mobilize more resources to deal with the threat. Self-esteem is thus protected.

Focusing on other areas of your life

Self-esteem varies according to context; a person may have low self-esteem in one area and high self-esteem in another.

Focusing on areas of life where self-esteem is high helps to better protect self-esteem.

Go beyond self-esteem and develop self-compassion

Research shows that people with greater self-compassion, i.e. a very caring attitude towards themselves, are less sensitive to others, and even less so to individuals with high self-esteem.

This is because self-esteem is linked to a self-evaluation, a comparison with others and an evaluation of one’s results.

On the other hand, self-compassion is related to the unconditional acceptance of the individual as much with his qualities as with his weaknesses.

In this sense, self-compassion is closer to the concept of self-acceptance and self-love.

Help others

Research shows that helping others increases self-worth, self-esteem, and meaning in our lives.

Change your beliefs about others

Research shows that people’s evaluations of themselves are intimately linked to their opinions of others. Not only are people’s self-assessments affected by their beliefs about others, but also their assessments of themselves influence their perceptions and judgments of others.

This means that by changing your negative beliefs about others, you will evaluate yourself more positively and evaluate others in the same way.

It’s all about values

Self-esteem is related to the personal value that a person attributes to himself or herself.

This personal value is built from what a person considers important in his or her life, namely his or her values.

These values are different for each person and therefore if our personal value depends on our values, the next time someone criticizes you it may be because they attribute their personal value to the satisfaction of values that are different from yours. In short, it is not you that others criticize but rather your values.

5 – Strengthen your self-confidence

An effective way to build self-confidence is to focus on your most important past accomplishments in your life.

In practice you write a list of the most significant goals you have achieved in your life.

Then you take a few moments to mentally and emotionally relive the experience.

Then, you explain in a few lines how you succeeded and list your qualities that allowed you to achieve this result.

If you don’t know how to set your goals correctly, I invite you to read the article how to set goals, achieve them and be truly happy.

You can practice this same habit by writing in your journal your accomplishments of the day that you are proud of and the next action you want to take the next day to reach a goal you care more quickly.

Doing this is very effective because by constantly focusing on your steady progress and on the next step, you will strengthen your intrinsic motivation to pursue your goal even more tenaciously.

You can boost your self-confidence by pushing yourself beyond your comfort zone and thus allowing you to go into the unknown.

Here is a video that I advise you to watch to understand how to get out of your comfort zone:

It’s a great way to discover aspects of yourself that you don’t know yet.

By discovering them and taking new actions while focusing on your progress, you will be able to be more confident and fulfilled.

You can increase your self-confidence by being better prepared to deal with people who criticize you.

For example, you can prepare a few responses in advance to their usual unpleasant remarks so that you can handle the situation better when you meet them next time.

You can also better manage interactions with others by learning more about what you are struggling with.

You can do this by reading articles like this one or by reading books that help you develop a deeper understanding of your situation. If you would like to benefit from a customized accompaniment, you can take advantage of the expertise of a life coach.

6 – Discover your innate talents

Focus on what you love to do and what you can do easily and better than most people.

Innate talents are abilities that you have inherited from birth that allow you to perform better than most people.

If you don’t know what your innate talents are, you can start by identifying your strengths and weaknesses.

If you think you don’t have innate talents, think again! Everyone has many. As written previously, to discover your innate talents, you will sometimes need to break out of your habits.

Alternatively, you can take advantage of the opinions of caring people who know you well and who will tell you what you excel at.

Life’s difficulties are also moments that push us to call upon our resources. It is precisely by reflecting on these moments that you will be able to identify even more of your natural abilities.

A very effective way to discover your intrinsic talents is to focus on what you do well but which you don’t think is important or in general on what you don’t think is important or valuable.

It may be an attitude, a behavior or something that is part of your habits but seems insignificant to you.

7 – Use fear to your advantage

You can free yourself and protect yourself from the gaze and judgment of others by using the fear of others’ judgment to your advantage.

Imagine for a moment that your life is completely governed by the opinions of others.

Visualize your existence as having become a reflection of the psychological pressure that others have exerted on you.

Suddenly, you understand that your life has become a nightmare and you feel desperate.

Fortunately, this despair wakes you up and you discover that it was a nightmare.

Relieved by this discovery, now write down the first three actions you want to take to improve the quality of your life and get closer to your ideal vision of the future.

Plan these actions in your to-do list and take action immediately to start overcoming your fears.

If you have difficulties to take action, I suggest you read the article how to overcome the fear of taking action.

8 – If necessary, cut ties with certain people

In some cases, the best decision is to move away from certain people temporarily or permanently.

If, after following the above advice, you find yourself facing vampires who deprive you of your vital energy and your joy of life, the final choice is to eliminate these people from your life. This is very important because some people can have a negative influence on your married life, your family life and your professional life.

For some of them the removal will just be temporary and you will be able to find a suitable way to interact with them.

But with others, the choice will be definitive and this separation will be the beginning of a new chapter in your life.

9 – Prevent this problem in the future

If you have followed some or all of the advice, I have just given you in this article, you are now better equipped to deal with the gaze and judgments of others.

Now, you need to learn how to put in place effective strategies to protect yourself from such people because you will most likely meet others.

In addition to following the above advice, you can follow a few simple principles to prevent these negative and even malevolent people from ruining your life.

Critical people need information about you in order to attack you directly or indirectly.

When you meet new people at work and outside of work, try to be discreet and not talk too much about yourself until you understand the kind of person you are dealing with.

Give yourself all the time you need to understand whether or not that person is worthy of your trust.

If not, move away from them or if you can’t, do everything you can to minimize your interaction with them.

During the first exchanges with new people, be careful of individuals who ask you too many questions to know your life and at the same time do not share with you any element of their personal or professional life.

Pay great attention to rude people. For example, watch out for people who come to your home unannounced or take liberties without respecting you.

For your part, try not to be overly nice or available to people you don’t know very well, and also be wary of overly nice and available people, especially when they insist that you accept what you are not interested in.

Learn to be assertive by expressing how you feel and emphasizing what is acceptable to you and what is not.

Conclusion on how to free oneself and protect oneself from the gaze of others

In this article I have proposed 9 strategies to better manage the gaze of others. To go further on this subject and benefit from the support of a life coach, write to us now through our contact form to take advantage of a first free coaching session or discover our life coaching prices.

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