“To become free of the toxic opinion of others is to realize that their opinion never had anything to do with you. But it had a lot to do with who they are: the many unresolved issues they project onto others and the many unhealed wounds they refuse to heal.” ~ Luminita D. Saviuc
We are often flattered by appreciation and hurt by criticism. While it is true that approval boosts our morale and criticism depresses us, quite often an obsessive focus on the toxic opinion of others becomes a psychological problem. People almost go in a mode of complete self-negation and keep devising ways to please others.
This brings us to the importance of the need to think and act independently of what the people talk or think about us. It should, however, be noted that in our zest for independence we should not lose sight of the legitimate sensitivities of the people around us and also the need to remain with a certain amount of social discipline. Independent thinking does not mean being anarchic. Also, we should be open to helpful and constructive criticism.
15 Reasons to Be Independent of the Toxic Opinion of Others
There are 15 reasons why we should not be obsessed with the toxic opinion of others to seek their appreciation.
1. The constant focus on the toxic opinion of others may become a psychological problem.
Most of us who think that they are not getting the type and amount of approval they expect, stop interacting with the people. They become an introvert. The problem aggravates further when they try to create an imaginary world where they indulge in some sort of delusive self- talking especially with people whose favorable opinions and views they seek in the actual world, but cannot get.
“You will never gain anyone’s approval by begging for it. When you stand confident in your own worth, respect follows.” ~ Mandy Hale
2. We are all born unique individuals.
Spiritually speaking, each one of us is born as a unique soul with individual ‘sanskars’ or certain naturally endowed thought patterns. Trying to cramp them to fit into the thinking moulds of others would mean going against the very laws of divinity and nature. If you do not believe in spirituality, still, it cannot be denied that biologically each one of us has unique genes and DNA. Forcing them to go against their natural course may prove counterproductive.
Nonetheless, independent thinking does not mean ignoring the accumulated wisdom of the ages. It also includes listening attentively to the views of those who love and care for us and balance them with our own specific biological and spiritual needs.
3. Chasing approval from others may distract us from working to achieve our goals.
It dilutes our focus on what we really wish to pursue and may ultimately impede our progress and happiness resulting out of it.
“Do not look for approval except for the consciousness of doing your best.” ~ Andrew Carnegie
4. How many people can you please by seeking their approval?
There are hordes of them and each one has their own tastes, likes, and dislikes. In trying to please everyone it is likely you end up displeasing most of them.
“People who want the most approval get the least and people who need approval the least get the most.” ~ Wayne Dyer
5. Independent thinking is essential for personal and social evolution.
What would have happened if Darwin had listened to the opinions of the ‘respected people’ of the society of those days and stopped pursuing his theory of evolution?
6. Truly independent people follow their own heart and soul even at great risks.
Socrates preferred to drink hemlock rather please the people in authority and seek their approval and live like their slave. He lived and died like truly free and fearless man.
7. Constant anxiety to seek approval from others causes tension and depression.
You are always looking sideways to see if someone is looking and risk losing your chosen path.
8. Anxiety about approval or disapproval suppresses creativity.
You need to follow your instincts to live a truly joyous and happy life.
“I too will something make
And joy in the making!
Altho’ tomorrow it seem’
Like the empty words of a dream
Remembered, on waking.” ~ Robert Bridges
9. Hypocrisy and self-deception.
Working to always please others is self-defeating hypocrisy and dishonesty. You force yourself to obey others even if you think they are wrong. “It is not doing what you believe is wrong or right but what others believe is right or wrong for you”. In the process, you do not live for the pleasure of yourself, but for others. You are killing your soul.
10. Seeking approval is like living an imagined life in others’ breath.
Any person can breathe-blow you away like a useless piece of tiny straw.
11. The toxic opinion of others kills the purity, simplicity, joy, and innocence of our soul.
Fear of approval or disapproval dissipates the raw, virginal, and primordial instincts and feelings that our spirit is endowed with when we are born. It kills the purity, simplicity, joy, and innocence of our soul.
“The older I get, the less I care about what people think of me. Therefore the older I get, the more I enjoy life.” ~ Unknown
12. The toxic opinion of others kills initiative.
The ability to take free and fearless initiative is the driving force for the evolution of self and society. It is the basic quality that defines true leadership that is marked by taking bold decisions regardless of what people think of you.
13. By focusing on the toxic opinion of others, you live an artificial, rather than, a natural life.
If you follow your own instincts you can fly in the soaring heights of the limitless skies. On the other hand, you stay caged like a parrot with your wings clipped, howsoever beautiful and colorful you may look. You become a slave of others rather than being a master of your own free will.
14. Seeking appreciation of others stifles your divine powers of intuition, clairvoyance, and foresight.
Most people stifle their innate divine powers of intuition and clairvoyance under the pressure of approval and disapproval of people around them.
15. Focusing on the toxic opinion of others leads to constrained and regimented living.
Quite often you come to grief for following the approval of others rather than your own instinct.
Do you sometimes second-guessing decisions because of the toxic opinion of others? Are you afraid of making “mistakes” that will make you look bad in other people’s eyes? You can share your insights by joining the conversation in the comment section below