How to stop taking things personally: What taking things personally can do to you and how to stop this behavior.

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Being sensitive to the words or actions of other people is a sign that you have low self esteem. When you take things personally, you also tend to interpret things that are said or done by other people in a negative way. They might be in small actions that people do or don’t do like greet you or smile at you and you take it as an insult on your part. Taking things personally may cause you to feel inadequate, ashamed, or even unnecessarily angry at yourself or other people. It’s dis-empowering and can worsen your self-esteem. Recognizing this behavior and taking steps to stop it will help you build your self esteem.

Taking things personally is a reflection of your own insecurity and continuing this behavior reinforces your negative thoughts about yourself. This will not do anything good in the long run because having a negative thoughts about yourself leads to you having a distorted perception of reality. Words or actions that are deemed as playful banter by everyone else might come off as a personal attack in your point of view. Perhaps you feel that it exposes your mistakes or flaws of which you feel ashamed. This can be very problematic, especially if you base your worth on the approval from others or if you are a perfectionist. The importance of recognizing this behavior will pave the way to how you can stop taking things personally.

What steps can you take to stop taking things personally?

    • Not everything that people do is about you.

Consider that when someone who is rude might have their own issues. They might be having a bad day, going through a rough period, or it might just be their the way that they are. It’s important to know that rudeness is not okay and it’s not your fault. While you do deserve to be treated with respect, remember that people aren’t always nice and this is something that you can’t control. Keep this in mind and be kind to yourself instead.

  • Ask yourself what else someone’s comment or behavior might mean.

If someone doesn’t greet you or reciprocate a smile from you, it doesn’t automatically mean that they don’t like. Think about what else their behavior might mean. Maybe that particular person did not see you or maybe they have something on their mind so they’re kind of spaced out while they were passing you. Another situation is if someone states a comment that to you might come off as a criticism. It’s important to consider that not all criticisms are personal attacks. There are people that really do genuinely want to help you.

  • Take comments in a constructive way.

When you are being criticized, ask yourself if there’s any truth to what the person said about you and what you can learn from it. Instead of reacting in a negative way, take the lessons and let the rest go. Even if it wasn’t said in a nice way, you can still learn something. Always look at criticisms as an extra perk for you to learn something. Always take the high road and look at what positive things you can take from each criticism.

  • Take a different perspective.

Again, keep yourself centered by realizing that not everything is about you. Ask yourself how an unbiased outsider would see a particular situation. Could you just be misinterpreting the reality of the situation? Is it really as negative as negative as you perceive it to be? Think about how another person would react if they’re in the same situation as you are.

  • Take a different perspective.

Again, keep yourself centered by realizing that not everything is about you. Ask yourself how an unbiased outsider would see a particular situation. Could you just be misinterpreting the reality of the situation? Is it really as negative as negative as you perceive it to be? Think about how another person would react if they’re in the same situation as you are.

  • You can’t please everyone.

Let go of trying too hard to get everyone to like you. No matter who you are or what you do, there will always be people who will dislike or criticism you. You can’t change other people and all you can do is be yourself. Remember that as long you are not hurting anyone, you shouldn’t think negatively about yourself.

  • Let go of trying to be perfect.

This is a common struggle for a lot of people. Always remember that It’s okay to make mistakes and to have flaws, it’s part of being human. Making mistakes is a part of learning, and when you limit yourself to doing certain things because you’re afraid that you might make a mistake, you’re only limiting yourself to any possible personal growth that you might achieve.

  • Keep in mind that you are not defined by your mistakes.

This is also true of other people’s criticisms towards you – they don’t define you. Your worth is who you are as a whole person despite your mistakes or what other people might think about you.

  • Your self-worth does not depend on anyone.

Realize that your self-worth all depends on you. It does not and will never depend on what others say or think about you.

Like any personal issues, realizing and admitting to yourself that you have this behavior and that you need to stop it is the first big leap. You really do need to put in effort and be persistent and centered for you to be able to stop taking things personally, especially when it’s something you’re used to doing. It’s important to keep in mind that it will all be worth it. You will gain more than what you lose. You will have more self-esteem and you will see that you will have a better quality of life and a more positive outlook which is always rewarding.


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