Why We Take Things Personally and How to Stop It

By McKensie Shiner

Taking things personally can be an easy and addicting mindset to fall into. Generally, everyone has done so at least once in their lifetime.

Taking things personally can be easy if you are mistreated or disrespected. Your first thought may often be what did I do wrong or what is wrong with me?

However, most times, it’s not actually you that’s at fault here. It’s easy to tell someone to not take things personally, but to actually not is another story.

It’s only normal to feel emotional when someone raises their voice at you or says something unkind, but with a little work and reassurance to your mind, you can turn your thinking around and better be able to handle these situations.

Here are a few things to work on that may help you stop taking things personally:

  1. Stop worrying

It’s a common thought to wonder what others think of you every day. Your mind can race with what-ifs if you live to please others, though. From the outfit you wear out with your friends to the food you choose to eat on a date, neither of these leaves room for comment from someone else.

At the end of the day, your life is your life. If someone doesn’t like the top you wear out or judges you for a meal you order, that’s their own insecurity creeping up on them, not yours. Live your life how you choose and don’t worry what everyone else has to say.

2. Work on your confidence

Though it’s easier said than done, one reason we take things personally is due to confidence. If you tend to point out your flaws to yourself every day, and someone else comments on them, you’re only going to feel more reassured about what’s bothering you.

By working on your flaws and learning to accept them, you are drastically improving your confidence and your ability to brush things off that happen to you. After all, it’s your body, and you only get one, so you have to learn to love it.

3. Don’t join the game

The worst thing you can do in this situation is to fire back at someone who attacks you. It may seem like it will make you feel better in the moment, but by disrespecting someone who just hurt your feelings, you’re at their level now, and that’s somewhere you don’t want to be.

Instead, ignore them, delete their message, block them, and move on. The best thing you can do is just give them no response and close them off to you.

4. Don’t jump to conclusions

As mentioned earlier, it’s very common to assume something is wrong with you when someone says or does something hurtful to you. It’s easier to ask yourself what you did wrong than to think logically and understand why the other person did it.

Most times, we’ll never actually know why people do the things they do. For that reason, it’s always easier for us to learn to not take things personally than to try and piece together the puzzle of someone else’s actions.