6 Reasons Why You Should Stop Taking Things Personally
Taking everything personally can lead to anxiety and depression.
When we take things personally, we push others away and isolate ourselves. This isolation can make us feel intense loneliness, extreme sadness and even depression. To save our mental health, live a happier life, and keep the ones that we hold dear in our lives, it is vital that we learn how to stop taking things personally and let things go.
There are six reasons why you should stop taking things personally.
1. Everybody believes that they are right — just like you.
One of the main reasons why people take things personally is because they think that any contrasting view is an attack on them. They believe that they are right and that those who claim otherwise are insulting them. In order to stop taking things personally, it is important to remember that there are over 7 billion people in the world and just like you, they all think that they are right. Accept that people are different and often have clashing views.
2. You become affected by your interpretation of what happens.
When somebody says or does something, they are not immediately affecting your feelings. Everything that happens is first perceived and interpreted in your head. You can then choose how it affects you emotionally. If two people – a close friend and a stranger – say the same hurtful words to you, you will experience two different things. You may feel hurt, attacked, and betrayed by a friend while you may completely dismiss the stranger’s remark. This goes to show that what one does is not directly affecting you but rather, it is your interpretation of the event which affects you.
3. You do not always have to act on your emotions.
It is normal to experience negative emotions such as defensiveness, anger, rejection or sadness. However, this does not mean that you should act on them. Sometimes, it is best to acknowledge how you feel and let things go. Not everything is worth an argument and not everyone is trying to purposely hurt you. Accept, let go, and forgive.
4. You subconsciously agree with what is being said if you take it personally.
Often, it is our own insecurities and the belief that we are not good enough that makes us take things personally. For example, if you get upset when someone criticizes you, it is possible that the reason you get hurt is because you subconsciously believe what they say. If your self-esteem and confidence is low, you might be unable to take constructive criticism.
5. You should become more willing to challenge and change your own beliefs.
If somebody has a contrasting opinion, do not immediately claim that they are wrong. More importantly, do not immediately assume that they are attacking your views. Instead, try to see things from their perspective and admit when you are wrong. There is no shame in changing your mind when presented with new information – in fact, it takes a strong person to stand up and admit that maybe, they were wrong.
6. By taking everything personally, you give up your power.
Being easily affected by the words of strangers, friends, and family means constantly putting your happiness in other people’s hands. It is up to you to reign in your emotions and change your reactions. Allowing the words of others to upset you means letting the people around you dictate how you feel.
The next time you feel like someone’s words are intended to be a hurtful, personal attack, remember the above points.
More importantly, remember to breathe before reacting. First, examine how you feel and then choose how you want to interpret the situation. Ask yourself: Is their action actually disrespectful or do I just feel disrespected? Once you clarify things for yourself, refuse to give in to your emotions. Accept that you cannot please everybody and that there will always be people who criticize your words and actions.
Ultimately, learn that what other people say and do has more to do with their character than it does with yours.