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.