When people disrespect you or do not treat you well, it is easy to take their behavior personally, to blame yourself and think you have anything to do with someone else’s behavior. Taking things personally is emotionally draining, and an unnecessary, constant reevaluation of your self-esteem. There’s a difference between being reflective and constantly taking slights personally, one is productive and lends itself to self improvement, the other is the opposite. Not taking things personally gives you more control over how you respond, your emotions and your energy level.
Here are a few ways to stop taking things personally:
1. Stop Worrying About What Other People Think!
At the end of the day, it really is not anyone’s business what people think of you, or anything else. You should worry about what you think of yourself, and what people you know love and care about you think of you, and that’s it. Strangers and acquaintances volunteering their opinion of you has nothing to do with you, and everything to do with them. The sooner you do not care what other people think, the more liberated you will feel, and you will have more of a sense of self.
2. Know Your Worth!
You’re not going to believe what other people think and say about you, when you know who you are, and you like who you are. Having self-confidence, and knowing your self-worth is the foundation on which everything else is built: your achievements, your relationships, your ability to keep going when life and work gets tough. Doing the work to have self-confidence, and self-worth is the best work you will put in. The dividends will show in every aspect of your life, personally and professionally.
3. Don’t Jump To Conclusions!
When people make a judgement about you, or critiques, they are rarely about you. “In fact, it’s almost always about them, their issues, their needs, and their desire to control you and/or a situation,” writes Dr. Abigail Brenner. To help manage your response to confrontation, know what you’re sensitive about, and what triggers your emotions so you can prepare yourself if someone mentions them.
4. Let Things Go!
Frame painful experiences as lessons, on how to be stronger and how to better navigate bad situations. Do not let them make you angry or bitter, use them to make you better and move on. Holding on to pain does more damage to you than to the other person. So learn to let things go, make more room for joy and happiness.
5. Fill Your Calendar!
If you are busy, it is hard to find time to think about other people and what other people think. Fill your life with family, friends and work that brings you joy, and prioritize accordingly. Chances are, the strangers and acquaintances that are passing judgment and making critiques are not going to cross your mind.
6. Don’t Climb Down!
When someone disrespects you or is cruel to you, the worst reaction is to reply with more negativity and toxicity. Do not climb down the rabbit hole, and be part of the problem. It may be satisfying in the moment, but it won’t be in the long term, and will likely be something you regret. Take the high road, and let it wash off of you.