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How to Stop Being a Slave to the Opinions of Other People

Academy of Ideas

Overcoming Social Anxiety: A Stoic Approach

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The need for approval in the presence of a group or crowd can lead to social anxiety, inhibiting our ability to flourish. Stoic philosophy offers insights on taming social anxiety and overcoming the fear of disapproval. Reflecting on the nature of a crowd and relating to individuals instead of groups helps diminish the anxious need for approval. Maintaining a state of calm indifference when attacked by others' scorn is essential. Pausing and choosing an appropriate response, treating insults as insignificant, and responding with humor are effective strategies. Humor diffuses tension, shows resilience, and breeds power. One should be able to laugh at oneself and recognize one's flaws with humility. Ultimately, it is important not to take oneself too seriously and learn to respond to insults with grace and self-awareness.

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