Stop taking things so personally
All of us find ourselves taking things personally. Some of us may do it more often then others but we all do it. Sometimes, its with someone close to you other times, it can be a complete stranger you held the door open for and said hi and got no response.
When we take things personally, we are giving away our power. It makes you questions what you feel and believe about yourself. This means you are allowing someone else to tell you who you are, instead of relying on yourself. It can even cause you to feel like a victim.
Why we take things personally?
We can take something personally because we agree with what the person said. Example: Maybe someone told you, you didn’t do a good job on the report for work. Inside, you agree with this, it justifies how you feel about yourself. When we have low self-esteem and feeling insecure, any negatives feel like justifications to what we are feeling. Taking something personal is a reflection of our own insecurity.
Someone’s words can touch an old wound and make us feel unworthy and not enough. Is it triggering issues you haven’t worked on yet. This is a sign to take the time to work on past wounds and heal.
You can looking for acceptance and approval from others. Your looking to gain self-worth from others. This never works, we need to build up our confidence and find our self-worth.
How to stop taking things so personally:
1. The truth is what someone says is a reflection of who they are and what they are feeling. They might be having a bad day, going through a rough patch or just their personality. Just remember, the person who was rude or insulted you is dealing with their own issues.
2. Be self-aware – know yourself so other’s opinions don’t become reality. Focus on your own happiness and confidence. Work on continually cultivate your own happiness and esteem. I have my clients do this exercise every night before bed to start putting the focus on themselves and their positives.
Every night ask yourself: What are 2-3 things you did well? Look through your day and either say it, think it or write it, 2-3 things I did well today. This starts shifting your brain to start focusing on the positives instead of the negatives.
3. Use empathy- put yourself in the other person’s shoes. Is this person trying to convey their own feelings, hurt or confusion but don’t know how to express themselves correctly? Does this person not know how to communicate in a healthy manner? Are they like this to everyone? Do they have problems setting boundaries? Are they going through such a hard time, they cant see past themselves?
4. Our belief systems aren’t always based on truth or facts. Watch how you to talk to yourself. Pay attention to the negative download that keeps playing in your head- what is it saying? Is it based on facts? Are the beliefs old or limiting?
5. Don’t jump to conclusions and create a story in your head that is not based on any facts. We as humans have the ability to make an assumption, believe its fact ( without proof) then take it personally, this creates a vicious cycle.
If someone is treating you bad and it becomes clear that a person cant respect you and continues to create toxic situations that make you feel badly about yourself then you need to rethink the relationship. If it is someone that you can break up with, then break off all ties with this person. If it is family, then set boundaries, limit your time and the nature of the relationship.
* I have had clients break up with family members but it is a choice.