Taking things personally is not just quite normal, it is perfectly natural. However, there are situations when emotional reactivity takes over you and you start thinking about the worst and internalizing situations.
People who take things too personally also tend to take any feedback as a personal insult, have low self-esteem, be self-defensive, and are too emotionally involved in all the situations they confront in their everyday life. If taking things personally turns into a habit, it can be pretty self-destructive. The good news is, there are ways to resist it, stop this habit in its tracks, and enjoy a happier life. Let’s get started.
Be aware of your insecurities
Everyone is sensitive to certain topics or problems. For example, one person will be quite subtle about career failures, another will be about being overweight. Sometimes a person remains sensitive even to events that took place in the distant past. Knowing these weak points and your reactions to certain issues, you can take over your emotions. The main thing is not to allow yourself to dwell again and stir up old wounds, even if the communication was accidentally touched upon by an unpleasant subject.
Learn to take out from self-loathing spirals
If you feel that your emotions are taking over you and don’t let you focus on what’s important, then relax and do something you like. Go for a walk, take a nap, have a coffee and a croissant, enjoy betting on the Sportsbook or rewatching “Game of Thrones”, “Lost” or “Breaking Bad” (it is up to you!). Just chase away the negative thoughts and replace the with good memories and emotions.
Clarify the situation before you overreact and ruminate over it
Instead of spending hours thinking about a conversation, trying to figure out what the person meant, ask him or her directly for clarification. It is important not to ask questions defensively, so as not to provoke unnecessary confrontation. Do it calmly and politely. And even if you don’t get an answer to your question right away, the door to communication will be open, and that’s always better than spending hours ruminating over and over the same thing.
Try not to take other people’s opinions to heart
Especially prone to take everything to heart, people for whom the opinion of others about themselves,is more important than his own. That’s why it is important to be independent of anyone else’s judgment. Of course, this does not mean that you have to give a damn about everyone around you. Outline personal boundaries in relations with people, and let them know that you respect the opinion of another person, but only if he shows respect for you.
Accept yourself and other people (all people have flaws!)
Remember that people around us aren’t born perfect beings without flaws, either. What’s worse, we tend to exaggerate our shortcomings, as if there’s nothing good about us at all. But the truth is that those people who allow themselves to judge others are far from perfect because they too are human beings. And their perceptions are subject to distortion. Rather, they sometimes worry about what others think of them.
Be able to forgive
Have the courage to forgive your adversary and let the offense go. This is much more profitable than “eating” yourself from the inside with feelings of anger and a thirst for revenge. Wreak havoc on your nerves and hurt your heart. Just forgive the person, forgive his imperfection, his shortness, his rudeness.
This does not mean that we have to become a “whipping boy”, no, in moments of outright aggression in your direction, you should be able to stand up for yourself. But if you can forgive somebody, it will always be the best choice.
The brain can lead us deep into negative experiences, replaying the same unpleasant thought over and over again. If you notice that you are spinning the negative for a long time, tell yourself “Stop” and with an effort will switch your attention. This should be done several times because intrusive thoughts do not tend to give up quickly.
Stop overreacting and taking things too personally isn’t easy at all. To do it you will need to follow certain steps on a regular basis and work on yourself. Anyway, it will make your life better, because there will always be people saying unpleasant things to you or overwhelming situations. It is impossible to control what other people say or do, but it is possible to change your mindset and be happy.