Why do I always feel like people are laughing at me when I don't hear it?

84 Answers
Last Updated: 06/27/2019 at 6:10pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Terri McDermott, LCSW

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

If you are struggling with anxiety, depression, relationship issues, I'll partner with you to improve your mood and your life in a nonjudgmental and supportive way.

Top Rated Answers
intangibility
September 8th, 2015 10:38pm
The Spotlight Effect. Look it up, it is a psychological phenomenon that shows people think others notice them more than they actually do. Science proves that people aren't laughing at you!
MissBuddha87
November 2nd, 2015 4:12pm
You're not alone in how you feel! We were all brought up in society where bullying is common, self esteem isn't nurtured, more people are tuned out and disconnected to our issues, and people are more cynical than generations before us. Perhaps we've had our trust broken, and it's really hard to repair those hurts. These situations can have an impact on our trust or self esteem and make us feel like we're being talked about when we likely aren't; or that people are laughing at us when they are laughing about something completely unrelated. The feelings you feel are normal though and most people share them with you. It's an awful feeling to feel like you are being ridiculed by your peers! But that can change; taking little steps towards building your confidence is key. Confidence changes your paradigm, or outlook, completely! I think one step in building confidence is sharing your concerns of the past so that you can heal. Whether you would like to discuss past hurts or how to rebuild a more confident you with purpose, I am here to chat! Send me a message and we can arrange a time to talk.
stacia92
May 27th, 2015 8:22pm
Social anxiety is a disorder that can make us feel, hear, and see things that aren't there. Though someone may just be laughing at a joke, or something that happened earlier in their day, we assume as we walk past that they are laughing at us. We question how we look, or the way we act, and wonder what makes us stand out to be made fun of. What we need to recognize is that this is an irrational idea that causes insecurity and unhappiness within ourselves. People laugh, people stare, people whisper to the people with them, and we need to know that unless it's a hateful person with nothing better to do with their life but that, 9 times out of 10, it's our own mind playing tricks on us to think they're directing it towards us.
kindheartedSky78
April 13th, 2015 7:06pm
You said you 'feel' like people are laughing at you but you said you don't actually hear it. Can you tell me more about how you feel when you are with people?
Anonymous
October 4th, 2016 6:10am
In many social situations I can't escape the feeling that people are laughing at me when I don't hear it. I don't know why but I don't feel like I'm good enough - I always think that I'm doing something wrong or look wrong. I want to feel comfortable and at some level I know no one is laughing but I can't escape that feeling.
Add1ctW1thAP3n
February 16th, 2016 2:00am
It appears that you have social anxiety; for example you care what people think, and are stressed out about what people think of you.
dianethehelper
January 18th, 2016 8:20pm
Sometimes when people feel like they're generally unliked by many people around them their brains make up things to justify their feelings. But if you flip it around and tell yourself that people actually do like you, you don't be hearing laughing anymore.
Weed
March 2nd, 2015 7:01pm
Maybe you are thinking over it too much. Or those PEOPLE aren't really on good terms with you. Or maybe you did something that you feel like people will laugh at you if they know and feel like they know it, I am sure they know it and the feeling became stronger to the point of you hearing laughter.
rainySong73
March 3rd, 2017 11:39am
I have always felt that the people laughing near me, whether they are behind me or across the room, are laughing at me. Anxiety is a like a person sitting on your shoulders, making you ignore logic, convincing you that people are talking about you, that they don't like you, that they are laughing at you. It is a very hard and painful thought process to cope with.
Anonymous
October 16th, 2016 8:13pm
I was often teased. Wickedly teased. I felt sad. I didn't feel good about myself. Today, it's better but before today, it was difficult to endure.
CounselorMattHere
October 12th, 2017 6:16pm
Often times, people feel like others are laughing at them because of a cognitive distortion called "mind reading". Mind reading is when you assume you know what others are thinking about you and is influenced by your emotional state. Feeling like people are laughing at you is an element of feeling anxious socially and a symptom of low self esteem. When we feel low about ourselves we put up filters that tells us the world is going to see us low, therefore we assume others are laughing at us.
LilyFlowers
May 5th, 2015 6:10am
It can be a sign of insecurity or shame. How we feel and perceive what people are doing is a signal from our subconscious.
lilscotsangel
November 23rd, 2015 1:50am
It's your own self doubt and lack of confidence. I have this very sane issue and it is not at all nice
DaveMcGrath
November 9th, 2017 12:28am
It can be attributed to a variety of causal factors. I feel at times everyone is staring at me when I go outside. Anyone who looks at me and near me is a confirmation that I'm being stared at. These confirmations fuel my paranoia. In reality, people are staring at me about as much as I am staring at them. Which isn't much. Which I think is the same for people laughing at you. Every single giggle or laugh you hear from those around you confirms your fear that you are being laughed at. However, it ignores the fact that most people are moving through their days independently of yours. They have their conversations, jokes, and activities already in progress before they see you. Having the self-confidence to ignore paranoia is hard, it takes a lot of effort on my part, and I'm not always successful. While I'm not always successful, I still keep trying my best as I think I owe to myself to be able to walk around my own community without feelings of paranoia and feeling like I'm a complete outsider. You too owe it to yourself to grow that self-confidence you need to be able to freely go about your days feeling good and happy to be there.
Anonymous
July 18th, 2016 10:57am
Have you been mistreated a lot? And let down a lot of times? Because people do that a lot, and those who were affected, don't expect much from people afterwards, and think that everyone is like that. So you will feel like that, until you start looking at things from different point of view. Just find the right time and try this. Slowly with someone you trust. After all you can always find advice here, and people will help.
Anonymous
November 16th, 2015 10:54pm
Most likely due to low self esteem, you think that everyone thinks only about making fun out of you but usually it's not true.
TeaMaster1
February 29th, 2016 4:41pm
It's easy to think that people are laughing at you when you are insecure about yourself. When your thoughts are absorbed with how you look or act, the only logical reasoning in your mind is that they must be laughing at you. The important thing to realize is that most people, especially those you don't know, won't pay attention to how you look or act, which means they are almost definitely not laughing at you.
lightfairy
January 29th, 2017 9:03pm
That is caused by anxiety. It's really awful to go through everyday things being constantly on edge that others are mocking you behind your back. One thing you can work on is your self esteem, because confident people tend not to worrry as much about whether or not others talk about them.
Brandi8
November 25th, 2017 11:06am
This feeling could possibly be a reflection of your own self worth. My advice would be to explore how you feel about yourself, and if perhaps there was a moment that triggered this, and has therefore left a mark on you. It isn’t unusual to have moments of insecurity or self consciousness, however, if this is occurring all the time, and interferes with daily activities - or simply leaves you feeling anxious - more than not, perhaps it would benefit you to speak to an expert. Remember, you are human, and like every human, we all have our uncertainties and insecurities.
Anonymous
October 22nd, 2016 7:21am
You are the expert on you. Only you understand the real reason why you feel like people are laughing at you behind your back. Consider the reason deeply without judging yourself. Consider the reasons beneath that. Try to identify other emotions. How do you feel about feeling like people are laughing at you when you're not around? Why do you think you feel that way? Has this been proven to happen to you before, and what were the circumstances of that situation? Sometimes our brains create emotional patterns to help us along, but it hinders us if it's an unhealthy emotional pattern like jumping to the conclusion to that everyone is laughing at us. Sometimes when we feel lonely, we can feel unheard and unwanted. Think about the things you feel. What would you say to these people if you could have a safe confrontation with them? Consider writing a letter to 'someone laughing at you' that you don't intend to mail, such as 'Dear Laughing People...' It's okay to have these questions with yourself, a close friend, a parent, or a therapist. If these feelings are interfering with your day-to-day life, I strongly suggest you seek a therapist because deeper psychological suffering of paranoia may be at play.
IntrovertedPandaNZ
February 15th, 2017 2:03pm
It could be anxiety acting up. I avoid this by wearing earphones and listening to music whenever I walk about without company.
Anonymous
April 30th, 2017 12:08pm
So I used to be something like the class clown back in school. At first it was just pure in the spur of the moment humour and then over time it became something I'd actively try to bring into all my conversations and before I knew it. I was our local comedic relief. I felt good. but I then found out they thought of me as a joke, and now everytime they laughed at something I said. it'd make me think, "Was I really funny? or is it just me they're laughing upon?" I started distancing myself from friends to the points, my relationship with them was sorta unstable. it took it's time and later I found out from a close friend of mine. that people were really worried about me and it was something I needed to hear. That sensation of people laughing at you behind your back. it's just anxiety getting the better of you. Trust yourself and your glamour. You're an awesome being. Someone who matters and people care about you. if you ever feel they're laughing. they're probably laughing at a memory with you involved.
Anonymous
May 20th, 2015 6:18pm
That might be a sign of an anxiety disorder, that's a common thing people with anxiety say. Its also a sign that you might be afraid of people laughing at you and talking about you, which also goes with anxiety.
Anonymous
September 14th, 2016 2:06am
It might be because you have been made fun of before which is upsetting, or you might benefit from having more confidence in yourself :)
oneness1
September 17th, 2016 6:15am
Perhaps you have a low self esteem and you sincerely feel that others are more capable of evaluating your worth . You perhaps feel that all people are judging your actions all the time
lindsaytuckm
October 9th, 2016 6:59am
It's usually in your head. Just remember how much you are loved. In the end, the people who hurt you are the people who missed out on befriending the wonderful person you are.
bbvvv
October 12th, 2016 9:22pm
It's your unhealthy way of thinking. You are either self conscious or haven't yet found the confidence inside of you.
143Listener143
April 23rd, 2017 4:37am
If you feel like people are laughing at you when you don't hear it, you are not alone. I felt like this for a long part of my life. I started to speak with a therapist and figured out it was my own insecurities that made me feel that way.
kindDreamer26
September 14th, 2016 1:40pm
I've been there. The best thing to do is brush it off, chances are it has nothing to do with you. We often feel this way when we're feeling low within ourselves. Hold your head high and ignore those negative thoughts.😊
Yanaiz
October 5th, 2016 1:47pm
I usually feel like people are talking and laughing about me behind my back. I feel this way when I am insecure about something and I think that they are making fun of me, when the truth it, they aren't even doing it. When you feel like people are laughing about you, think of the positive thoughts and calm yourself down, because they aren't, its your conscious thinking negatively.