stay out of other people’s heads

In the world of addiction, recovery and therapy in NYC, it is common to hear people say:

“What other people think of me is none of my business.”

Reminding yourself of this can be a helpful antidote to the pernicious habit of obsessing about what other people are thinking about you.

Of course we should be open to honest feedback from people we trust, and yes, we should strive to be solid and reliable team-players in our relationships.

But it does not follow that we can or need to read people’s minds in order to achieve these ends. In fact, spending excessive time and energy ‘in someone else’s head’ has a corrosive effect on our own moods and functioning, as well as on the very relationships we are obsessing about.

get out of your head and into your life

Worrying and obsessing about what someone else is thinking is the opposite of building/strengthening/deepening that relationship—precisely because you’re all alone in your head, carrying on about the relationship with zero input from the other person!

This is not constructive.

Thus, if you often find yourself obsessing/worrying about what someone might be thinking about you, either find a way to talk to him/her about it directly, or let it go for the time being.

But I’m afraid to broach difficult subjects—because I hate confrontation.

Ok—then you have some work to do, to help you get better at having hard conversations. There are many NYC therapists who can help you with that. Or, you can try working with a life-coach who specializes in communication, or simply do some reading about it and dive in.

Whatever you decide to do—it’s important to remind yourself often that taking emotional risks is essential for personal growth throughout life.

What if I’m not ready to address it directly and I just want to let it go for now?

There are many methods for ‘letting go’: mindfulness…meditation…yoga…prayer…cognitive behavioral techniques…visualization…and more. Give yourself permission to explore and discover what’s right for you.

In the meantime, repeat to yourself, as often as you need, “What other people think of me is none of my business”…and keep it moving.

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