Having a hard time not taking things personally? Feeling more vulnerable than not? We all suffer when we depend on an outside source for our sense of security. We stress over a sideways glance from the boss since he signs the paycheck, or some random comment from a neighbor about our kids, our dog, our house, girlfriend, spouse. As if there’s a right answer, too many of us still ask,, “Does this make me look fat?” Instead, here are 4 ways to reality-check this stress and reclaim some peace of mind.
Self-confidence can be learned, practiced and mastered. Pay attention to your self talk and eliminate remarks that are even remotely derogatory. We are all works in progress. Applaud every gain you make in solving a problem or reaching a personal goal, acquiring a skill. Hold your head high, maintain strong eye contact, and smile often. Know your personal values and live by them.
Walk A Mile in Their Shoes
Who knows what’s going on behind the scenes with our boss, neighbor, extended family, or friends? We all have a degree of white noise or drama we cope with, so why not try to put yourself into the shoes of that supervisor, this cousin or roommate. How do things look from that perspective, with their worry over cutbacks, or an Aunt’s illness, a roommate’s’ new job? When we change the way we look at things, the things we look at change, and, we’re no longer the center of the Universe.
Fatigue often makes a coward of us. We’re more thin-skinned, vulnerable and perception-skewed. Rest increases resilience, clear thinking, higher energy and optimism. So when you’re feeling more defensive, run down the physical checklist of adequate sleep, meals and exercise. In the grand scheme of life, it’s easier to ignore a random criticism, to ask yourself, “How important is this?” when you aren’t overtired.
What Others Think of You is None of Your Business
Apart from appearing before a Magistrate, it’s helpful to know that what anyone else thinks of me is really none of my business. What IS my business is what I think of myself, how I conduct myself, how true I am to my own values, how often I share with others, or volunteer, so that I practice compassion and gratitude. Real love, of self and others, doesn’t keep score. There are no judgements, and it’s ALL practice.
Walt Disney has said, “When you believe in a thing, believe in it all the way.” The shift away from the pain of taking things personally has everything to do with self-belief, a deep knowing that I may not be perfect, but I’m pretty damn awesome.