Don’t take it personally: 5 ways to stop stressing over others’ opinion

If they don’t know you personally, don’t take it personally.

That’s a mantra you should live by. 

Indeed, it is much easier said than done. So, how can you stop taking things personally? How can you stop caring about what others think of you? How can you start living the life you want and making the choices that bring you joy, without being affected by those who question and judge every single move you make?

These are questions we have all struggled with at a certain point in our lives. Some of us are going through this agonizing thought process every single day. And, sadly, the social media era we live in does not make things easier. We live in a world where we are literally forced to compare ourselves to others and live up to society’s standards as if being different is a crime.

However, we often forget that the way we see ourselves is entirely up to us. We are the ones who determine how others would treat us. Our attitude, our choices, our decisions are responsible for the image we have and the self-consciousness we struggle with. Others treat us based on the way we carry ourselves.

Although this is a hard truth to come to terms with, it is a necessary one to transform your mindset and start living the life that makes you happy.

So, if you want to learn how to stop taking things personally, here are 5 things you must consider:

1. Realize that it’s not always about you.

First and foremost, you need to know that other’s negative reactions towards you rarely have something to do with you. Oftentimes, people project their own insecurities on others. For instance, if someone makes a mean comment about you, they are most probably struggling with demons of their own, not knowing how to deal with them. Once you realize that, you would feel liberated from the burden of troubling your mind with others’ opinions.

2. Accept that not everyone needs to like you.

Your life is not a social media post, so stop doing it for the likes. You don’t need the approval of every single person you meet. Period. Sure, there will be individuals who will tell you you’re never gonna make it. They will criticize your choices, laugh at your ideas, and roll their eyes when you tell them about your dreams. But you should never allow these people’s negativity to shatter your aspirations. What they think of you and your goals should never stop you from following your heart. After all, you are not gonna live forever, so you might as well do it the way you want to, not the way others tell you.

3. Don’t assume you know what others think of you before hearing it from them. 

Sometimes we tend to assume that someone doesn’t like us, not knowing what this person’s view of us actually is. We create stories in our minds where this person judges us harshly while having no clue whether they do it or not. And, frankly, most of the time, it’s all in our heads. So instead of overthinking whether your coworker’s eye-roll was meant for you, use this energy for something better. Wasting time on losing yourself in negative scenarios you create in your mind is fruitless. Perhaps your colleague is simply having a bad day, and everything irritates them. Have you thought about that?

4. Learn how to not get offended so easily.

Usually, when we take things personally, we feel as if we have been attacked. So, the natural reaction in such situations is to get offended and to lash out. But what if you try to avoid getting so offended for a change? What if you give yourself some time to reevaluate the situation? You might be surprised at how a few moments of thought-processing could do to the way you view others’ reactions towards you.

5. Strive to become more self-compassionate.

Try not to be so hard on yourself. You are only human, after all. You fall, you make mistakes, you break down. But every time you fall, you stand up stronger. Every time you make a mistake, you learn from it. Every time you break down, you clear your headspace and let the negative thoughts go. Practicing self-compassion will help you get to know the real you, reconnect with yourself, and accept your true colors just the way they are, with all of their shadings and nuances. And as you do, you will see that what others think of you has nothing to do with your self-worth. Their words won’t be able to affect you, as long as you don’t let them.

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