How To See Yourself How Others See You
Do you struggle to believe what other people say about you? Compliments and praise are wonderful things but sometimes they can also be hard to believe.
We all experience this from time to time. Compliments and praise make us feel good, and yet the feeling does not last. In other words: we do not fully believe it ourselves.
It might have left you wondering how people see you in relation to how you see yourself. Of course, we know ourselves better than others do. But where is the truth? Should you believe what other people say, what you think about yourself, or both?
These are valid questions. And this guide hopes to answer these questions for you in a way that will help build your self-belief and self-confidence.
What Do People Say About You?
First of all, what do people say about you? It’s worth making a list of the compliments and praise you have received, as this will enable you to establish how people see you and what they think of you, no matter whether you believe it or not.
It’s also worth noting who is saying them. This might be a close friend, family member, or even people on the internet.
With a list, you can go through each one and think about which compliments you believe more than others, and why. You might also find a correlation, or pattern, with who is saying these things.
Of course, you may trust someone in particular more than someone else. But if a lot of people are saying the same thing about you (they see you in the same way), this can help you to find truth in it.
Difficulty Trusting Others
Do you experience difficulty trusting others? This might be the reason you struggle to see yourself how others see you.
This can be due to past experiences and trauma. And, if so, it’s worth recognizing it. It’s also worth taking small steps to overcome those trust issues, wherever they are rooted.
You might find that you struggle to believe that your partner, or potential partner, can appreciate you due to a traumatic past relationship you experienced. It could be the same when it comes to your friends, close or not.
Learning to trust others and how they see you is easier said than done, and will require that you start small at first as you open yourself up to others and how they value you.
Dealing With Low Self-Worth
You might find it difficult to see yourself how others see you due to having low self-worth. This is common. It might affect some people more than others, but it still affects all of us from time to time.
Having low self-worth or low self-esteem can be the reason you struggle to believe others’ praise, compliments, and appreciation. You might outright reject these things altogether.
Again, this might be the result of a past experience or trauma. If so, recognize it, then think about why it affected you then and why it affects you now. By identifying with it, you can begin to take small steps in overcoming it.
What Are Your Strengths?
To see yourself how others see you, it is important to know your strengths. These might be the things other people praise you for. But if you do not know them yourself, it can make it impossible to see them.
There is nothing wrong with knowing what you are good at (your abilities) or even having something about your physical appearance that you are proud of. Write these down and embrace them.
It might be the case that these strengths and qualities are the same things people compliment you on. And, if so, this will help you to understand how people see you and, as a result, help you to embrace who you are.
List Your Achievements
Similar to strengths, you can discover yourself by listing your achievements. We tend to forget our achievements as we continue to grow and improve. But it is always worth looking back on our achievements as it can help to build self-worth.
Think about the obstacles that you had to overcome to achieve something in the past. It does not matter if an achievement seems big or small. What matters is that you overcame the obstacles and difficulties at the time.
Others, especially close friends and family members, remember your achievements as they make you who you are. They are trophies and flags showing how far you have come, and by remembering them, you can learn to see yourself in the same way others see you.
If you tend to doubt the good things that other people tell you, such as praise or belief in your abilities, you can challenge your self-doubt by putting your abilities to the test.
This is a simple exercise that can help you to confirm and therefore believe what other people say about you and think about you.
For example, if someone says you are good at something and have the ability to do something, go ahead and try it. The outcome is that you might find yourself successful. And this is a great way to prove self-doubt wrong and confirm how other people see you and what you are capable of.
Learn To Disagree With “The Voice”
We all have that “other voice” in our heads. It’s the voice we have conversations with every day. It can be positive, but it can also be negative and critical.
It is possible to train your inner voice to be more positive. You can even dissociate with this voice altogether by not accepting your inner dialog as absolute truth.
When you have self-doubts about praise and compliments with how other people see you, simply disagree with those doubts. It can take some time to learn and master, but recognizing that all thoughts are but thoughts is a good step towards seeing yourself how others see you.
We know ourselves better than others, which includes all our insecurities, weaknesses, and problems. This can make it hard to believe in ourselves and see ourselves as others do.
The fact is that objectivity – external perspectives – is always worth taking into consideration, even when it comes in the form of praise and compliments.
Throughout life, it is often the case that our opinions of ourselves are clouded by how well we know ourselves. We cannot fully appreciate our achievements and strengths because we know all too well about our weaknesses and shortcomings.
The point is to embrace how other people see you. Objectivity can hold more truth than subjectivity, and it is worth knowing that.
There are numerous reasons why you might struggle to see yourself how others see you when it comes to their praise and appreciation. This can include past trauma or bad experiences that make it difficult to trust others or believe in your strengths and abilities.
This does not have to be permanent, however. It is possible to see yourself how others see you by recognizing your strengths and achievements, opening yourself up to others, building self-worth, challenging self-doubts, and learning to embrace objectivity.
By learning to accept yourself and how others see you, you can better discover yourself and live a more fulfilling life of self-belief and self-confidence.
Author: Michelle Landeros, LMFT
Michelle Landeros is a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist (LMFT). She is passionate about helping individuals, couples and families thrive.
Last updated: February 28, 2024