Do people get under your skin? Do you get offended or sucked into arguments too often?
You might find greater peace of mind and confidence by refusing to take things personally. This article will show you simple and helpful ways to do just that.
What is “taking things personally”?
Taking things personally happens when you interpret feedback as if it were reflection of your personal worth.
It’s true, some comments may be about your worth as a person, but many comments may not be about you at all. When you learn to trust the difference, everything changes.
Here are some examples:
I don’t like that dress.
What’s this about? If could be about you. It’s more likely about thedress. And it is certainly a reflection on the commenter as well.
You did a terrible job on this report.
What’s this about? Again, it could be about you. It is certainly about what you did, the report. And yet again this one is a reflection on thecommenter.
I don’t like you.
What’s this about? It’s about you. It’s also a reflection on thecommenter.
Every comment related to you is always a reflection on the commenter, sometimes a reflection on you personally, and sometimes a reflection on something else, such as what you do or what you have. If your goal is to take things less personally, then you’ve got to assign meaning to comments accordingly.
The following three ideas may be help you implement these ideas!
1. Ask yourself: Is this something I should take personally?
First and foremost, raise your awareness. So often we take things personally on autopilot. Stop it. When you receive feedback, ask yourself how you should interpret it. You will not have a conscious choice about the matter unless you are consciously aware of your choice.
Too often we allow negative programming to sabotage us. If you are prone to interpret things according to the worst case scenario, thenpsychological attachments may be in play. Becoming more aware of our autopilot choices and changing them is essential in this case.
2. Take a brief trip to the other side of the equation.
Since every comment is a guaranteed reflection on the commenter, then understanding the commenter is always helpful. The commenter is the other side of the equation. If you know the person well, then you can probably imagine (if you take a moment) what might be contributing to his or her perspective. This may be incredibly helpful.
For example, let’s say that someone doesn’t like your cologne. You know this person and realize that his father always wore that cologne. He was abandoned by his father. And there you go. Of course he doesn’t like your cologne, but this has absolutely nothing to do with you.
Everyone has their reasons for interpreting the world the way they do. Most of these reasons bear no reflection on you whatsoever. Take the time to consider this before taking anything personally.
3. Separate yourself from your behavior.
People often comment on what you are doing. It’s all too easy to take these comments personally, as it is often natural to assume that we are what we do. If you don’t like what I do, then you don’t like me. This might seem like a tough one to overcome. However, when you take into account the other person you can overcome taking behavioral feedback personally.
Here’s why: Most people who give you feedback on your behavior are not intending to give feedback on your worth as a person. They may criticize your behavior, but still respect or even love you as a person. If you can take a moment and soak in this realization, then it might be much easier to accept feedback.
Your Greatest Enemy
The greatest psychological enemy to peace of mind when getting feedback from others is emotional self-sabotage. If you are prone to this, you’ll likely interpret any feedback in the worst possible way. This can actually develop into a habit that sets you up to feel bad on autopilot.