Are you curious to know how to not take things personally?
Do things always get to you even when they shouldn’t?
As a business owner, entrepreneur, or individual do you constantly overreact to situations?
By taking things personally we mean getting angry at things people say or do.
This is because you feel that whatever they say or do is intentionally directed at you.
If you’re in the habit of taking things personally, this is something you need to stop.
This is a serious sign of low self-esteem and lack of confidence.
It also shows that you’re oversensitive to people’s feelings/actions.
Being sensitive to people’s feelings is a good thing.
It shows that you have empathy.
However, when you become so sensitive that you take every little thing to heart, that’s bad.
This habit can ruin your personal, social, and business relationships.
Even more, it can ruin your professional career.
Hence, the need for you to learn how to not take things personally.
In this blog post, we’ll share tips that can help you stop taking things personally.
How To Not Take Things Personally
A lot of times we tend to take things too personally.
In other words, making an issue out of simple things.
This is a result of oversensitivity.
For instance, some people take passive jokes about their personality seriously.
Due to these passive jokes, they begin to question themselves and their abilities.
Sometimes when someone throws a joke about you, you feel bad and insecure.
Consequently, you begin to do things to correct the person’s impression/opinion of you.
When you take things personally, you give people more power over you than they deserve.
So, you need to stop taking things personally.
However, before we consider how to not take things personally, let’s take a look at:
- How to tell that you take things personally (traits of highly sensitive people)
- Reasons people take things personally (oversensitivity)
Character/Traits Of Highly Sensitive People
Most times, highly sensitive people cannot tell that they are being too sensitive to situations.
You might not know that you’re a highly sensitive person.
Hence, recognizing that you take things personally might be hard for you.
Perhaps you’ve thought about it but you’re in doubt;
Here are some of the signs of highly sensitive people for you to evaluate yourself against.
- always feel the need to prove themselves to people
- being excessively judgemental
- struggle with self-guilt
- can’t let things go
- always pick offense in people’s actions/behavior towards them
- think too much about offending other people
- worry too much about other people’s opinion/perception of them
- always seeking approval from other people
- overanalysis of situations/occurrences
- always defensive and aggressive to constructive criticisms (they feel their personality is being attacked)
- always overwhelmed or reacting quickly to situations
- ……among others.
These are some of the traits of people who take things personally.
Now, let’s consider why people tend to take things personally.
Why Do Most People Take Things Personally
As we said earlier, people take things personally because they are oversensitive.
They are oversensitive to people’s actions, feelings, and their immediate environment.
Even more, people take things personally, because they lack self-esteem and confidence.
Besides these, there are other reasons why most people take things personally and they are;
- They are struggling with insecurities.
- They have a negative self-image and lack self-worth.
- Even more, they believe that every negative remark is an attack on their shortcomings.
- They are too self-conscious and critical of themselves.
- They have a false sense of entitlement, so they think people’s actions and words revolve around them.
- Furthermore, they lack the emotional intelligence to handle their emotions.
- It’s because of their ego, so they play the victim and they feel the need to be always right.
- They hold on to past hurts and negative past experiences.
Strategies On How To Not Take Things Personally
As we said earlier, being sensitive to people around you is a good thing.
It shows that you have empathy.
This is is a sign of emotional intelligence which is necessary for building great relationships.
Also, being genuinely concerned about people is a strong indication of good leadership skills.
However, being overly sensitive can make you take things too personally.
This is a bad trait to have as it results in negative feelings that would ruin your personality.
Even more, it makes it difficult for people to want to be around you.
Thereby, destroying your relationship with people.
Hence, here are some effective strategies to help you to stop taking things personally.
1Understand That It Doesn’t Always Have To Be About You
Oversensitive people always feel that every individual’s actions are about them.
As an oversensitive person, you always feel that how people treat you has something to do with you.
Also, when someone acts negatively to you, you allow self-guilt to take over.
You start to think it’s because of something you did or didn’t do.
Yes, people may sometimes react to you badly because of something you’ve done.
However, it doesn’t necessarily have to be so.
Sometimes people struggle with personal problems and other negative issues in their lives.
These issues could tamper with their state of mind.
It could also make them have all sorts of negative emotions.
Thus making them react negatively towards you.
Even more, some people naturally have negative behavior/ traits (e.g, rudeness, gossiping, etc).
That’s just who they are.
Also, these behaviors reflect on how they relate to people around them.
So, how they treat you has nothing to do with you but with them.
When you understand and accept this fact, you’ll stop taking things personally.
2Stop Worrying About What Other People Think Of You
Another reason you take things personally is that you’re always bothered about what people think of you.
You allow your self-image to be based on the opinions/standards of other people.
So, whatever they say gets to you.
Also, you begin to think of ways to match up to their standards or be appealing to them.
People are entitled to hold different opinions about you.
These opinions shouldn’t bother you if they have no positive impact on your life.
More so, their opinions have nothing to do with you and everything to do with them.
So, stop being bothered about what they think.
Instead, focus on what you think about yourself.
Focus on how you can make yourself a better person.
Thus, helping you to stop taking things personally.
3Learn To Let Things Go
This is yet another important tip on how to stop taking things personally.
When you hold on to bitter experiences, you only hurt yourself the more.
You become angry, bitter, and easily provoked.
Most times, we tend to keep records of the negative things people have done to us in the past.
You hold on to hurtful negative memories/experiences.
Due to this, you take every negative behavior as a deliberate act to hurt you once more.
So, you take it personally and overreact.
Instead of holding on to past negative experiences, let things go and move on.
Use negative/hurtful experiences as lessons to learn how to handle negative situations,
This way you’ll be better equipped to handle negative situations.
More so, things won’t get to you emotionally easily.
Consequently helping you stop taking things personally.
4Stop Limiting Thoughts And Beliefs
Most times the only reason what people say get to you is that there’s a part of you that think it’s true.
Even more, it’s because it’s what you think of yourself.
Someone jokingly says to you, that you’re not a good leader.
Due to this, you start to ponder on what the person says.
This happens because deep down there’s a part of you that believes you’re not a good leader.
Even more, you feel the need to prove to them that you’re a good leader.
This is because you doubt your abilities.
You’ll need to stop having these negative and limiting beliefs about yourself.
Limiting beliefs would only make you develop negative self-image and self-worth.
Furthermore, whenever anyone says anything negative to you feel attacked.
To protect your self-image you react negatively.
So, to stop this, you need to build a positive self-image and self-worth.
Consequently, helping you not to take things personally.
5Stop Making Assumptions And Jumping To Conclusions (Don’t Think For People)
This is another important tip you must keep in mind so you can stop taking things personally.
Sometimes you take things personally because of your assumptions.
You’ve formed a wrong perspective about the people around you.
Hence, you begin to guess or assume the reasons for their actions towards you.
You hold on to the belief that the person is out to get you or bring you down.
In your head, you feel like they’re out to judge or criticize you.
Given this, you feel the need to attack them before they attack you.
To protect your ego, you react negatively to the negative attitude you’ve assumed in your head.
Thereby, making you take things personally and overreacting.
To stop this, you need to stop jumping to conclusions and judging people.
You need to stop having a negative perception of the people around you.
Stop feeling like everyone around you is out to get you.
Thus helping you get rid of the feeling to overreact and take things personally.
6Build Emotional Intelligence
Emotional intelligence is being aware of one’s own emotions and being able to control it.
It also means understanding the emotions of other people
Thereby, helping you handle interpersonal relationships effectively.
An individual with high emotional intelligence can control his/her emotions at all times.
This way, the tendency to overreact and take things personally is quite low.
You could be taking things personally because your emotional intelligence is quite low.
By building emotional intelligence, you’ll achieve;
- Self-awareness (understand your emotions and why you behave the way you do)
- Self-regulation ( control of your emotions and not let things get to you)
- Empathy (understand the emotions of other people and why they feel the way they do)
- Motivation (intrinsic motivation to do things for yourself and not to please people)
- Social skills (become better at handling interpersonal relationships)
Consequently, helping you handle your emotions better and making you take things less personally.
7Develop Your Confidence And Self-Esteem
Another thing you could do to take things less personally is to build more confidence and self-esteem.
Confidence is believing in yourself and your capabilities.
Self-esteem is an individual’s perception of value or worth placed on his/herself.
Earlier on, we talked about stopping limiting beliefs or having a negative self-image.
One way to do this is by building confidence.
When you’re confident, you’ll be able to challenge negative thoughts/beliefs about yourself.
More so, you’ll see yourself in a more positive light.
Also, you’ll not let negative words of other people get to you and make you overreact.
This is because you’re self-confident.
Hence, you do not feel the need to convince the person otherwise.
Thereby, preventing things from getting to you emotionally.
8Understand That People Are Different And Learn To Accept Them For Who They Are
This is another thing you need to know so you can take things less personally.
You need to understand that people are different.
When you understand this, you’ll learn to expect less from people around you.
When you lower your expectations from people, you don’t get surprised by whatever they do.
In other words, what they do to you doesn’t get to you.
This is because you weren’t expecting much from them.
People have different character/traits.
This is due to the different environmental and psychological factors they’ve been exposed to.
More so, you can’t expect people to think like you or behave the way you do.
So, you should always have it in mind that people are different.
Also learn to accept them for who they are.
By doing you won’t be surprised by their actions towards you.
Also, you’ll be able to ignore most of their actions.
Thus preventing their actions from getting to you and helping you take things less personally.
9Speak Up By Asking For Clarification
This is the last tip we have for you on how not to take things personally.
Earlier, in this blog post, we talked about making assumptions and jumping to conclusions.
Rather than make assumptions and creating a negative image in your head ask for clarifications.
In your interpersonal relationship with people, there’s a tendency to get misunderstood.
There’s also a tendency for you to misunderstand the actions/behavior of other people.
So, jumping to conclusions would only create problems where there are none.
Hence, if someone says something to you, and you feel really bad about it.
Rather than that, you should let the person know how you feel.
More so, you should ask the person why the person behaved in that manner.
When doing this, you shouldn’t be aggressive or defensive.
This is so that it doesn’t bring about more negative feelings.
By doing this you create room for an honest conversation and the chance to resolve things amicably.
Consequently helping you take things less personally.
Why You Need To Stop Being Oversensitive (Benefits)
Learning to take things less personally is beneficial in several ways.
Here are some of the reasons why you should endeavor to stop taking things personally.
- Improved mental health (less anger, frustration, and depression)
- You’ll become a happier person
- Increased self-esteem and confidence
- Better control of your emotions
- Build better relationships with people
- Improved personality
By learning to take things less personally, the tendency to overreact to situations becomes less.
Thus giving you control of your emotions and making you a better person overall.
Final Words On How To Not Take Things Personally
That’s it on how to not take things personally.
A quick reminder of some of the important points discussed.
The tendency to take things personally is as a result of being oversensitive.
This can be good and bad at the same time.
It is good when you’re sensitive to other people’s emotions.
This helps you understand and relate better with them.
This means that you have empathy which is a sign of emotional intelligence.
More so, taking things personally to an extent can also lead to self-reflection and self-improvement.
That is when you use people’s thoughts and actions as feedback for self-improvement.
This is beneficial because it would increase your productivity and efficiency as an individual.
However, being oversensitive or taking things personally can be bad as well.
This is when what people say about you makes you feel bad about yourself generally.
This can only lead to low self-esteem and decreased productivity as an individual.
More so, taking things too personally can hurt your emotions.
Thereby, leading to mental and emotional stress.
Use these simple tips to reframe your interpersonal relationship with people.
This is so you can learn to take things less personally.
Here’s to a better you.
How has your oversensitive nature affected your relationship with the people around you?
Please share your experiences with us in the comments section below.
We would love to hear from you.