Have you ever heard the statement “Don’t take it personally, it’s not about you”?
Even though this statement is usually true, it’s a hard statement to accept and believe when we have been hurt by people we care about.
Taking things personally can affect our self-esteem. It can trigger our insecure side and feelings of unworthiness. We can feel that being treated bad is justifying our belief that we are just not enough or worthy to others. But we do have a choice, we don’t have to take things so personally and we can manage our reactions.
Here are 5 ways to stop taking things so personally:
- Have a strong sense of self: Knowing your worth will help you realize that other people’s behaviors and actions are not about you. It will help stop you from second guessing, assuming that you did something wrong and creating a story in your head.
- Know your triggers: There will be certain things from your past that stay with you and can be triggered when you’re feeling hurt. My childhood had me dealing with many self-centered people who were close to me. When I met up with self-centered people in adulthood, it immediately triggers me. A great way to realize you are being triggered is through mind-body connection. We can tell when we are being triggered by how it affects us physically. Do you tense up? Do you get a headache? Does your stomach start turning? Pay attention to the physical reaction when near people who trigger you.
- Set boundaries and limitations with people who trigger you: Make sure the boundaries and limitations are healthy for you. For example: We can limit the amount of time we spend with a person or what topics we discuss. We can choose to see certain people in large groups to avoid the one-on-one conversation.
- Ask yourself what is the story you are telling yourself? When we get hurt or upset, we create a story of why it happens. Most of the time the “why” is based on our past experiences, not based on truth or fact. We make an assumption of why someone ignored or hurt us. Then, we run with it and create a full blown story without even knowing the truth.
- Remember the hard truth: We can only control ourselves and our reactions. We can’t change how others treat us, but we can decide to avoid people who make us feel bad. We can also remember that their behaviors/actions are a reflection of themselves and what they are going through. Don’t make it about you when it doesn’t have to be.
About the Author: Diane Lang is a Therapist, Educator and Positive Living Expert. She has dedicated her career to helping people turn their lives around and is now on a mission to help them develop a sustainable positive attitude that can actually turn one into an optimist, literally.
Through her two books, “Creating Balance & Finding Happiness” and “Baby Steps: The Path from Motherhood to Career.” Diane has been speaking and empowering parents and adults nationwide. She is also an Adjunct Professor in Psychology at Montclair State University, located in NJ, where her college work includes mentoring students for personal issue advisement.
As an expert in her fields of therapy, Lang has been featured in the Daily Record, Family Circle, Family Magazine, Working Mother Magazine and Cookie Magazine, seen on NJ 12 TV, Good day CT, Style CT, The Veira Network, CBS TV and “Fox & Friends”. She has also participated in a reality based Internet show, ourprisoner.com, hosted Generation X-tinet. In addition Lang writes a blog for Pazoo.com.