When I was a teenager I remember asking my mother if I could go to something because everybody was going. She asked me if it was the same everybody that I went to primary school with because she’d had quite enough of them!
The power of ‘everybody’ has been widely explored through research into peer pressure and social norms, and it’s as powerful now as it ever has been – even for us ‘grown-ups’.
But here’s what I’ve learnt about everybody: everybody is dealing with their own s@#%! While we often feel like the spotlight is on us – everybody expects something of me, everybody is thinking something about me, everybody is looking at me – more often than not it simply isn’t true. Everybody is so busy dealing with their own stuff that they aren’t sitting around worrying about you!
That’s not to say that we don’t genuinely come across people or situations where there might be judgement or observation. It’s just that most of the time it’s not nearly as often or as intense as we might let ourselves think.
So, what can you do to reduce the ‘everybody’ worries:
- Catch yourself doing it
- Ask yourself if it’s really a thing
- Move the focus to thinking about you and what you want to do/be/achieve
- Be kind and generous – to yourself and to other people because you never really know what they are dealing with.