How can I get over my fear of what others think of me?

I'd appreciate any exercises or advice anyone can give to me on overcoming a fear of what others think of me. It rarely affects my friendships and every-day relationships, but because I'm not the same religion that my family and friends from childhood are anymore, I hide that side of my life from them.

If someone posts a picture of me with a drink or cigarette in my hand online and I don't take it down or hide it in time, I freak out that someone might have seen it (like my family) and what they will think of me.

I'll use the example of the cigarettes to explain further. I don't smoke very often, but when I have cocktails with friends or my hubby I like to have a cigarette every now and then.

But I know that because of my parents and aunts, uncles, grandparents beliefs, they will think I am an alcoholic if they see me doing things like that. This morning a friend posted some pictures of us at a cocktail party and while I know that my family could not see the pictures, I had what could have developed into a panic attack.

How can I make myself believe that my family will love who I am as much as I love who I am? How can I get rid of the fear of someone out there thinking badly of me? It's crippling at times.

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Sep 05, 2008
Work On Self Esteem
by: Anonymous

Ok, probably not what you want to hear but how you think others see you is actually how you see yourself. You can tell yourself that you accept how you are all day long, but ultimately there is some uncertainty in your own identity or else there could be no concern for the opinion of others.

The reason you care is probably because you need approval from others. If you didn't what reason would you have to care?

The answer is within you. Work on yourself and your own self image and self esteem, everything else will just follow. We should always value the opinion of others and welcome it, but just be independent of it if that makes sense.

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