What if you care what people think

If you make a list of our everyday happiness and worries, you might find something interesting:
What brings us happiness is usually thanks, encouragement and affirmation from others. They will give you a lot of motivation to be passionate all day long.
What, in turn, is the source of most of our troubles? You will find that most of them come from“Unhappy communication” with others.
For example:

When a colleague disagrees with your proposal in a meeting, it makes you think, “Does he have a problem with me?”?

A few sarcastic words from the client make you feel uncomfortable and think, “Is he not happy with me?”?

The Way your interagency partner talks funny, makes you think, “Did I piss him off?”?


More often, posting an opinion or making a comment on the internet, only to get a few sarcastic or vindictive responses, opening their mouths to say“Bullshit”, “That’s it”, “Don’t bullshit”… Or a barrage of rhetorical questions…
In fact, is any of this serious? In retrospect, these are the tiniest of little things that won’t do you any real harm.
。We may even know“Rationally” that the other person probably didn’t mean to provoke or target you-he’s just used to talking like that.
But in the present, these little things can easily ruin our day.
In serious cases, it can even make you angry and uncontrollable for a while.
People are amazing. Many times, a simple thank you, others can make you happy for a long time; in turn, others, an unfriendly words, can make you depressed for a long time.
I think many of my friends have had the experience of feeling“Especially unsavory” because of a word from someone else. They either broke down on the spot or endured it, but they still felt indignant inside, it takes a long time to recover.
If you have such a problem, I hope today’s article can give you some inspiration.

Why are we so sensitive to other people’s attitudes?
The reason for this is that our brains are already particularly responsive to social interactions.
The reason is simple: our ancient ancestors didn’t have the ability to hunt other animals alone, so they had to live in groups to survive and reproduce. In order to maintain the communication and survival of the group, individuals with stronger“Social potential” are selected by nature to reproduce.
This is the“Social brain” hypothesis proposed by psychologist Dunbar et al. in 1993.
The hypothesis is that the human brain (and the brains of other higher primates) reflects complex computational needs in the real world and is used to fine-tune itself, to make it“Better able to adapt to society” in the direction of evolution.
What does this classic experiment show? Our brain is not very good at abstract logic, and in turn, it is particularly good at understanding and processing social situations.
So, a lot of times it’s hard to learn a field, but it’s much easier to make up a story, write a novel, incorporate knowledge into the story.
Under this premise, our“Mental world”, is especially easy to put the evaluation and feedback from society, to a more important position, give them a greater weight.
So, we often say: Don’t care too much about other people’s opinions. But why is it so hard? It’s because our brains evolved to care more about other people.

In this case, it is easy to develop a mechanism: the self-evaluation and sense of existence, and other people’s attention and attitude to link.
Everyone has an essential need: the need to be clear about the value of their existence. That is to say, let yourself feel that“My existence is meaningful” and“I am capable of achieving my goals”. Otherwise, we will lose the reason and foundation of our existence.
This need is known in psychology as“Self-esteem”(note that it is not the same as self-esteem) . There are high and low self-esteem. High self-esteem means you think you are valuable and competent, while low self-esteem means you think you are worthless and incompetent.
In general, self-esteem is measured and judged from within the self. For example: you are good at writing, you get pleasure and fulfillment from the process, you can objectively and rationally compare your work with that of others, and judge their merits, even if you write something that no one sees, you have enough confidence to know“I write well.”.
This is a“Healthy high self-esteem”. Is a normal, ideal state.
But in real life, because the brain is subconsciously tilted toward socialization, this leads to: this kind of high self-esteem, it’s easy to“Go Astray.” Develop in an unhealthy direction.
This is what psychologist Michael Kernis calls heterogeneity of high self-esteem (HSE) .
This heterogeneity of high self-esteem can generally be divided into the following four categories:
1) unstable: self-esteem is erratic. One minute you think you’re great, the next you think you’re nothing.
This situation, often with the outside world to make a comparison, after the change, the lack of a stable evaluation criteria.
As a result, such people are more afraid of new environments, new challenges, and prefer to stay in familiar environments, because they are afraid that the criteria will change as the environment changes, and feel“Useless”.
2) defensive: especially afraid of external negativity, will do anything to try to maintain their image.
Such people usually can not handle criticism well and tend to reject negative comments and accept only positive ones.
In life, we often meet people who are very stubborn and don’t listen to other people’s opinions. Even if you give clear evidence that you are wrong, he will stubbornly defend his position. For him, his position is part of his“Self-worth.”. To deny a position is to deny a part of oneself.
3) dependence type: corresponds with the defensive type, especially needs the outside world’s affirmation.
Such people put“Meeting other people’s expectations” first and find it hard to accept rejection or disappointment.
The most typical examples of this are“Vanity” and“Face-saving”. Even if they can not afford it, they have to buy luxury goods and go to high-end events to show their“Beautiful” self-it is because they crave others’ affirmation and appreciation.
4)Incongruent: high self-esteem“Masquerading” as having a split between what is on the outside and what is on the inside.
It’s a little more complicated: they have low self-esteem, don’t like who they really are, but are keen to project a confident, strong image in front of others to protect their social judgment.
These four HSE classification, a person may have only one, may also have more than one. It could be very high or very low.
But either way, it’s a bad state to be in because it means you’re giving someone else, not yourself, the right to judge you.

Furthermore, if a person has some degree of HSE, what does that lead to?
Studies have shown that heterogeneous high self-esteem is characterized by two distinct traits: (Kernis et al. , 1996,1997,2000)

it is easier to notice negative evaluations and interpret neutral and vague evaluations as negative.

it is easier to ruminate more deeply about negative evaluations;

You’ll find that this is a negative cycle: the first makes hses more exposed to negative feedback, and the second makes those negative feedback more likely to have a larger, more lasting effect on them, make them suffer constantly by the external evaluation.

It is precisely because most hses experience this kind of pain in their lives that they often resort to unconscious strategies to avoid suffering themselves.
A prime example is narcissism.
Psychologists define narcissism as“A high degree of self-focus and expectation of others to focus on you”(Baumeister, 1996,1998) . Put simply, it’s easy to get into this mindset:I’m very good. You just haven’t found it yet.

And when narcissists have achieved something, they are particularly eager to share it with others, especially for recognition and recognition-positive feedback that gives them great satisfaction.
Among the different types of HSE, “Inconsistent hses” are the most likely to lead to narcissism, the study found (Zeigler-hill, 2006) .
In other words: narcissism is likely to be a variant of inferiority, in order to cover up inferiority, and the birth of narcissism.
Furthermore, if this narcissistic state of mind continues to be threatened by external threats (such as denial, ridicule, indifference) , it may develop another strategy: externalization.

What is externalization? It is to build a barrier between the outside world and the self, dividing the“Good” into ourselves and the“Bad” into the outside world. That is, the common“Everyone is drunk, I am alone” mentality.
Common examples include: “You wouldn’t understand if I told you,”“No one understands me,”“Geniuses like me are doomed to be unappreciated”…
On the other hand, many studies have found that narcissists tend to be the most aggressive (Twenge, 2001) . In other words, when a narcissist experiences social rejection (rejection, etc.) , he is more likely to“Hold a grudge” and to“Take revenge” consciously or unconsciously-including by badmouthing the other person, give the other person a low rating, and so on — it may even be directed at an unrelated third party, or“Venting.”.
Moreover, narcissists are highly competitive, which leads them to be sarcastic and aggressive even when they are not threatened. Because they are eager to prove“I am superior to you” to satisfy his HSE.

So, having said all this, what better strategy can we have for dealing with the problem at the beginning of the article?
:Note that HSE, while unhealthy, is not a particularly serious problem, and most people have some. Here’s the thing:1) don’t let Hse Evolve, be aware of it and adjust it.

2) try not to let HSE develop into narcissism.

Share a few simple tips that I hope will help you solve some of your problems.

1. The principle of tolerance
The principle of tolerance is a philosophical concept, which refers to: in the process of communication, to maintain the greatest kindness to trust each other, believe that the other is positive, positive, is to want to solve the problem.
To understand the principle of tolerance, there is a fundamental attribution error.
We have a cognitive bias: when we succeed, we tend to attribute it internally (I’m good) ; when we fail, we tend to attribute it externally (bad luck) . Conversely, when someone else succeeds, we prefer external attribution (he’s Lucky) ; when someone else fails, we prefer internal attribution (he’s incompetent) . That’s the fundamental attribution error.
So, the first rule of thumb is this: when someone does something that“Makes you uncomfortable,” if it can be attributed to the external environment, try not to attribute it to the internal environment.
Here’s an example: there are occasional students in the camp who ask questions that have been repeated many times. Some students think this is a“Reach out party”(internal attribution) , but what is the more reasonable idea?These students work very busy, no time to see the group answer and summary, do not know these questions can be found, so again asked. This is an external attribution.
Another example: when someone blames you for something you didn’t do, instead of thinking, “He’s being hard on you”(internal attribution) , think, “He misunderstood you”(external attribution) , then find a way to resolve the misunderstanding — that would be a better approach.
Further: even if the external causes are not valid, we can be attributed to the internal, but also can be divided into two categories: capacity issues, and intention issues.The second basic rule: the ability to explain the lack of capacity, try not to rise to the intention.
For example: the other party said some sarcastic words, rather than think that“He has a problem with you”(intention problem) , as“He is not emotional intelligence”(lack of ability) . So the strategy is: first solve the problem, and then in the free time, friendly to help him point out.
Bottom line: when someone says something that makes you uncomfortable, understand it in this order:1) what did the other person mean? Is it possible that I misunderstood?2) is it possible that this problem is caused by objective circumstances and conditions?3) is it possible that the problem is due to the lack of competence of the other party?4) is the other person questioning, denying, attacking me?
In general, read in the order of 1→2→3→4, and try to stay at 1,2, and 3, but don’t make the transition to 4 unless you have solid evidence.
This is a very effective way to solve most of your problems. You will find that many of the criticisms and negatives you think are just your misunderstanding, not really mean that he is“Bad”.

2. The principle of reciprocity
To put it simply: the other side to give you a what kind of evaluation, you must come up with equivalent evidence. Otherwise, the comment is meaningless and does not need to be taken seriously.
I will divide a person’s rebuttals into two categories: invalid rebuttals and valid rebuttals.
What is an invalid rebuttal? Generally speaking, it means the refutation of“Only opinion, no argument”. Including: No Reason to negate the other side, grasp the secondary and missed the point, the other side’s position misinterpretation or out of context, and so on.
In turn, an effective rebuttal means being able to present reasons and arguments to support what you say.
What is a best state? Something like this:I fully understand your position (based on full understanding) , but I have a problem with one of these points (pointing out a clear weakness) because… I think it would be better to… …
If you encounter an“Invalid retort” in your life, the best way to deal with it is to simply ignore it. Because life, there are more meaningful, valuable, worthy of our attention, there is no need to spend energy in this place.

3. Fire-fighting in three steps
In life, we will inevitably encounter this situation: the other a few words, let you very not taste, especially angry, especially uncomfortable. What Now? How to control their emotions?
Take these three steps to calm yourself down right now:
1) distract yourself. Don’t respond to or ignore him. Immediately turn your attention to any other task. Do It, think about it, and come back later.
2) third party perspective. Think about it: What does the other person think about what they say to you in the third person’s eyes? If you have a fit, throw a tantrum at him, turn over the table, how will it look to others? At this point, what do you do to make other people feel“Okay”?
3) depersonalization. Think of yourself and your partner as a machine, pulling the“Self” out of the equation and letting yourself imagine that the“Other” is not pointing to the“I” but to an individual that has nothing to do with you. Then, think about it, is there a process, procedure, can be used in this occasion? If there is, go according to the process; if not, draw up a, next time go according to the process.
This is a very effective way to get out of your emotional rut and stop yourself from being provoked.

4. The firewall method
(Compartmentalization)。What’s A Firewall? This is an effective self-defense strategy called Compartmentalization.
Put simply:
1) diversity of identity: the self-concept and self-worth of the“I” is made up of many aspects, not one.
In other words: the so-called“I”, may include the work of me, my family, my neighbors in the eyes of me, my friends in the Eyes of me… … that I might be different. Together, they make up the whole of me.
2) isolation: at any given time, other people’s evaluation and judgment of“I” is only relevant to the present situation, is only“Part of me”, not“All of me”.
3) integration: I may not be up to my standards and requirements in one respect, but I can be up to my standards in another, so that the whole“I” remains in a reasonable position.
The positive firewall method, can make oneself more psychological flexibility, thus the attack and negation, maintain in a small area, not to affect their overall evaluation.

5. Win or lose
I have always stressed a point: the fundamental purpose of argument is not to win or lose, but to get closer to the truth.
:So, in your life, when you meet someone who denies you or questions you, try to look away: instead of thinking, “I lose, you win,” think:

“What’s his point?”

“Where are his differences with me?”

“How does he connect with my point of view from the bottom?”

“How can his views enrich, refine, and correct mine? “

This is a higher level of thinking habits.
。Even from a win-lose point of view, this habit is very effective: it will make you invincible forever.
Because those who cling to victory and defeat lose at the beginning;And the winner is the one who can see further than the victory or defeat,because they always get something.

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