It happens to all of us…someone says something or looks at us a certain way (or posts something on FB) and we immediately think they are talking about us and making a personal judgement.
I actually had one of my good friends (or so I thought) unfriend me on FB because I made a comment about only going to the park during school days – she was school teacher so not an option for her. She just KNEW I was making a personal statement against her…when really I was just making an honest comment from my point of view.
We all want people to like us (I’m a people pleaser from wayyy back), but sometimes we need to take a step back and learn how to stop taking things personally and just see them for what they really are.
How to Stop Taking Things Personally
Know Your Triggers
We all have our own sensitivities about certain subjects. Be aware of what your triggers are so that when someone says or does something you can work to separate out whether it was meant as an attack or you’re just sensitive to that subject so you took it the wrong way.
Don’t think on it. Ask right away for clarification. “I hear you saying this…is that what you meant?” I am THE worst at this. I will think and think (and always come up with a great comeback 5 min later). I know if I would just ask for clarification in the moment, I could save myself a lot of anxiety.
Limit Toxic Input
Not everyone should be in your life. There are people that are toxic to you and it’s OK to cut them out of your life – even if they’re your family. Now I’m not saying don’t talk to your brother for the next 5 years because you don’t like how he looked at you over Thanksgiving dinner. But you can limit your contact with people that take away from your energy levels. Don’t be afraid to say, “You are not a positive force in my life right now and I think I need to just walk away.”
Don’t give people power over you. Don’t let someone else’s agenda run your life. Know what you want and where you want your life to go and stay the course. If you’re good with yourself, you’re going to let things roll off your back better.
It’s Not You – It’s Them
Sometimes people really are trying to hurt you. And sometimes it really is just them. Listen to what they’re saying and if the real issue has nothing to do with you, say so. That friend I was telling you about earlier. She wanted to be a stay-at-home mom and I was. So any mention I made to how my day went seemed to rub that in her face. I had no idea. But when I asked for clarification, I heard the real issue and I was able to walk away from that conversation, and that friendship, knowing – it really wasn’t me.
Attitude of Gratitude
This is my new mantra. I have to work at it every day (see my free printable gratitude journal). But I KNOW that grateful people are happy…and I want to be happy. I want to look at my life and be thankful for what I have. I want to look at every interaction and be glad I had it because I learned something from it – good or bad. A great place to get started with practicing gratitude is with a guided journal like the Simple Abundance Journal of Gratitude.
I hope that these tips gave you some ideas for how to stop taking things personally. I know it’s not easy, but if we stay present we will be able to recognize what’s going on and what’s triggering our feelings so we can deal with the situation in a productive way.
Follow my Gratitude Board on Pinterest for more inspiration!