Don't Take It Personally

Taking things personally is something we’re all guilty of doing at some point or another – often on a daily basis. As social beings, our interactions and relationships with others can impact our own well-being and how we feel about our lives. And although we all have our sensitive spots, for people who assume that other people’s actions or words revolve around them, a seemingly inconsequential comment from another person can end up feeling like a giant push rather than a mere poke. Those who frequently tend to take things personally are often prone to activating feelings of anger and defensiveness, which can lead to abrasive relationships with others or perhaps over controlling leadership styles.

If this sounds like you, it is crucial to learn how to disarm yourself and deflate the amount of power that other people’s words have over you. Here are some important factors to keep in mind to help you manage this reaction and improve the quality of your life.

Notice When You Start To Take Something Personally

When you’re conversing with someone, and they make a comment that triggers your defensiveness, instead of reacting with anger, take a moment instead to take a few deep breaths and notice what’s going on inside. Create some space between you and your reactions and try to calm yourself. In time , you can learn to, relax, and eventually manage those intense feelings.

Be Careful About Making Assumptions

Overcoming this fundamental insecurity is important because you can eventually learn to take back the amount of power that you’ve given to others. Deflating the power of their words or actions can be achieved by being careful not to jump to assumptions quickly. It’s important to recognize that just because you may feel insulted by a person’s comment, it doesn’t mean that was their intention. If you know you have a tendency to take things personally, consider this and the fact that it could very well be an overreaction or a misinterpretation on your part before you decide to act.

What’s the Bigger Picture?

Many times when we feel as though we’re being judged by others – we get caught up in the me-myself-and-It. This is because it’s so incredibly easy to get wrapped up in our own thoughts, insecurities, and sense of self we have constructed in our minds. The next time you find yourself taking something personally, relax the sense of self by asking yourself: What’s the bigger picture? What’s going on in other person’s life? It’s helpful to see others clearly instead of focusing on all the ways they are wrong. Other people, just like us, have their own subjective lenses through which they perceive reality.

In short, people can criticize and judge you all they want, but only by believing their words or actions, you give up your personal freedom and allow them to control your thoughts and actions. When you learn not to take things personally, you unlock a massive amount of freedom that comes along with it. This freedom allows you to let go of your defensive mindset and become more open to the world around you.