Do you Take things Personally

Are you the Sensitive kind?

While speaking to one of my clients recently, I noticed that he wasn’t his normal happy go lucky self. I’m normally very inspired by his outgoing and bubbly personality, so, being the curious type, I asked him if something was troubling him?

“I’m always so shocked at how the attitude of some people, can be so unforgiving, judgmental and rude”, he replied, “and what makes matters worse, is, I have NO IDEA what I’ve done to deserve this type of treatment”.

I could see this was something very difficult for him to deal with; Joe (not his real name) was one of the kindest, most thoughtful guys I’d ever met, he’s the type of guy who would go out of his way to help you, even if it meant putting his things on the back burner.

He’s like this because he believes in people, he sees them as good and trustworthy, and wants to help and assist them wherever he can and with whatever he can.

He went on to explain how betrayed and guilty he felt; because of the way he was treated by someone whom he thought was his friend.

Although Joe is not the sensitive kind, this kind of experience affects us all at some time or another. Wherever there are people there will be rejection, judgment, dislike, and rudeness.

Some people will like what you do, some won’t, some people will like you some won’t.

Here are 6 tips to help you stop taking things personally

  1. Strengthen your self confidence. Continually remind yourself of your strengths and abilities. Feeling proud of your skills and abilities is more important that the opinions of others.
  2. Always remind yourself that you don’t need anyone’s approval, you are your own master
  3. Communicate assertively. Let the other person know how you are feeling. Don’t be afraid to let a rude or disrespectful person know how their comments affect you negatively. Be aware of how you hold your body, how you use your voice. Relax your face and body, remember to maintain eye contact.
  4. Assess the situation. Don’t blame yourself or feel guilty when someone speaks to you in an aggressive or rude manner. Look at the situation, and realize that the person may be having a personal crisis. They may be having trouble regulating their own emotional state due to stress or hormones.
  5. Don’t jump to conclusions. Sometimes we base how we feel on past experiences and assume things about people and situations. Don’t exaggerate the situation by making things bigger than they are.
  6. Give the benefit of the doubt. Not everything someone says or does is directed to or about you. Sometimes it’s just your default conditioning that gets in the way and prevents you from realizing that it may just not be about you.
  7. Consider the other persons communication abilities. Keep in mind that the other person may not have learned to communicate effectively. They may not be able to express themselves. Learn to be patient and sympathize with them, much like a parent would with an emotionally immature child.

The second agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz’s classic book “The Four Agreements.” is “Don’t take anything personally”

Here’s what he says, “Even the opinions you have about yourself are not necessarily true; therefore you don’t need to take whatever you hear in your own mind personally…Don’t take anything personally because by taking things personally you set yourself up to suffer for nothing…when we really see other people as they are without taking it personally, we can never be hurt by what they say or do. Even if others lie to you, it is okay. They are lying to you because they are afraid.”

Mark Csabai

Mark Csabai is an NLP Life Coach in Bloemfontein, South Africa. He works with clients in and around the Free State to help them achieve more, manage stress, build self-worth, increase confidence, overcome fears and help maintain a better life-balance.