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How to Not Take Things Personally

How to Not Take Things Personally

How to Not Take Things Personally

How to Not Take Things Personally

It’s normal to desire respect. Humans are social animals after all, and we desire to be respected by our tribemates. Therefore, it makes sense that criticism can sting and inflict emotional distress.

In fact, researchers in a recent study1 carefully examined participants’ reactions to social evaluation-related movies that were both approving and disapproving. The findings indicated that “criticism affected everyone.”

While some remarks or acts are in fact offensive, it’s likely that you have a tendency to take things personally if you discover that your feelings are hurt frequently or if you tend to believe that someone was intentionally trying to upset you emotionally.

Continue reading to find out why individuals take things personally, how to tell when you’re taking something too personally, and how to recognise the situations in which doing so might be advantageous for you. You’ll also discover how to stop personalising everything.

What Causes People to Take Things Personally?

Although caring about what other people think of us is normal, it shouldn’t get in the way of who we are. There are many reasons why we take things personally, including the following:

  • negative self-talk We could convince ourselves repeatedly that we’re not good enough or that everything is always our fault. We will therefore readily accept unfavourable statements made about us when they are made.
  • traumatised childhood: Our perception that we deserve to be laughed at or humiliated can be influenced by parental blame and a lack of emotional support throughout our formative years.
  • a low sense of self: People with poor self-esteem occasionally worry excessively about what other people may think. They could interpret events very personally.
  • anxiety conditions: People with social anxiety have a great fear of criticism and embarrassment.
  • Perfectionism: Perfectionists struggle when others point out their flaws because they have high expectations for themselves.
  • tiredness or stress: When you’re not feeling your best, you might be more likely to misinterpret someone else’s remarks.
    emotional openness: You might take things more personally if you’re a highly sensitive person.

How to Know When You’re Taking Something Too Personally

We frequently ignore comments such as, “Oh, you look lovely today.” Sometimes we focus too much on the flaws that others point out.

You may have interpreted what he said in a different way—as constructive criticism.


Signs You May Take Things Too Personally

Here are some indicators that the views of others are harming you:

  • You rely on other people’s approval to keep you happy.
  • You are a people pleaser and you apologise needlessly.
  • Don’t typically establish or uphold limits.
  • You’re hesitant to decline requests.
  • Take all criticism directed at you personally to heart and believe it.
  • See a misstep in behaviour as a weakness in your character.

Rumination involves keeping a perceived critical dialogue in your mind for an excessively extended time. Some people can envisage responding differently by replaying what happened. Overanalyzing can lead to disempowerment. Conditions like obsessive-compulsive disorder can cause ruminating.

Rumination, according to one study, can increase and prolong bad moods, hinder problem-solving, and have an effect on people’s levels of anxiety and despair. Additionally, it may hinder and reduce the efficacy of psychological interventions.

Benefits of Taking Things Personally

Although it may come as a surprise, there are benefits to taking things personally. By taking things personally, our loved ones and those with whom we have close relationships can tell what makes us unhappy. They may alter their behaviour to avoid offending you if they are aware of this.


Occasionally having your feelings hurt is also humanising and humbling.

How to Stop Taking Things Personally

Here are a few strategies you can employ after being offended so that you don’t feel upset when you get home:

  • Develop emotional fortitude.
  • Give folks the benefit of the doubt because it’s possible that you interpreted their words incorrectly.
  • Get the speaker to elaborate on what they just stated.
  • Put an end to worrying about what people may think of you.
  • Recognize your own accomplishments and skills.
  • To stay in the moment and reduce stress, try practising mindfulness.
  • Keep a thought journal.
  • Say encouraging things to yourself over and over.
  • Go to a licenced therapist for mental health care.

A Word From Verywell

It’s common to occasionally take things personally. However, it will start to affect your own mental health if you discover that you frequently get disturbed or offended by other people’s comments. Of course, it’s time to reassess your relationship with that individual

if you’re being verbally abused or realise that someone is genuinely attempting to harm your feelings. Consult a therapist if you need help distinguishing between constructive criticism and emotional abuse.