What other people think of me

Hi. I need help. I would love advice and direction to anything in the study vault that can help me.

I am experiencing a lot of anger and shame because I make what other people think of me matter so much. I don’t know how to stop it.

In particular, a family member that I was once pretty close to hates my political and spiritual views. I have tried to not talk about it in order to keep the peace, but yesterday, I gave her a call just to say hi and it blew up. She wants to discuss my views and why I have them and I refused. She says that she just wants to know what I think, but I can see that she is so attached to her opinions that I don’t see any point as it would lead to a fight, but she resents that I won’t go there, and starts a fight anyway.

She has been very vocal about her opinions and they are very negative towards the way that I actually think, so I believe she isn’t even open to my opinions…she just wants to argue. She is a bully and always has been.

I think if it were just her, it would be easier, but it’s that side of the family. They are all in agreement, and are very vocal about how much they dislike people who don’t share their opinions. It’s hurtful, but I have kept quiet and really focused on remembering I do not have to defend or justify my beliefs.

Truth be told, she has mental illness, she is an alcohol abuser, no job, she lives off of a trust fund and has hours to devote to crafting her political opinions. So why do I even care?

I am so sick of caring what other people think. I am a highly sensitive person- I don’t know if that is useful, but it’s accurate. It’s my blessing and my curse. I have a high level of empathy and compassion. Some people would say that I am “thin-skinned”, things do not roll off of me, I am easily offended. That seems true as well.

Why do I care so much what other people think? I am so tired of being this way. I feel shame, then anger, then I beat myself up, and back to shame, and the cycle continues. I want to get off of this rollercoaster. Why can’t I be one of those people that doesn’t care what other people say?

Please help. Thank you 🙏