How to Not Take Things Personally?
When people disrespect you or do not treat you well, it is easy to take their behavior personally. It can be emotionally draining and unnecessary, causing a constant re-evaluation of your self-esteem. On top of that, the brain produces 50,000 thoughts per day, of which only 10,000 are positive. So, it means we are battling negative thoughts 80% of the time.
It is very hard not to let your ego take over and fight the demons in your head. It makes us think that others should consider our feelings. Here are a few tips on how to deal with these situations:
Think in Terms of We
Imagine you are driving slowly because you are trying to find a specific location and the person driving behind you starts honking and flashing their headlights. Most people would think the other person is just too impatient, but maybe the latter is in a rush, or you are actually going too slow. Putting yourself in the other person’s shoes and shifting from me to we can help see the intention from another perspective and, as a result, make space for understanding rather than irritation.
We have all had a hard day at work and want to go home to complain about it with our significant other. However, imagine that instead of listening, your partner is checking their smartphone. It can be challenging not to get upset but, instead of getting angry and having a big argument, if you open up and tell the other person how you feel without blaming them, you can increase your chances of being understood and having your needs taken into account.
Dr. Abigail Brenner, a psychologist who wrote an article about how not to take things personally at work on Psychology Today, mentioned that it is rarely about you when people are making a judgment or criticizing you. It is almost always about them, their issues, needs, and desire to control the situation. So, it is vital to be aware of what triggers your emotions to prepare yourself if someone hits a nerve.
When faced with a very frustrating situation, your initial response might be to lash out but take the time to rein in your emotions and assess what is happening before you respond. Close your eyes and take a deep breath while considering the likely outcome before reacting to any situation is probably in your best interest.
Take the High Road
When someone is disrespectful or cruel to you, the worst reaction one can have is to stoop to their level. It might be satisfying in the moment, but it will not be the case in the long run. You cannot fight such a situation with more negativity and toxicity.
Last but not least, take the time to self-reflect. Self-reflection is one of the hardest things to do as we live in a generation where we like to think that we are always right. However, we as human beings are flawed, and as we better ourselves, our relationship with others will improve. Hence, the better your relationship with others, the less likely it is for you to have an irritating conversation or situation with them.
To conclude, not taking things personally can be game-changing, as negative thoughts can take a toll on your happiness and your peace of mind. Let your energy go towards positivity instead of endlessly battling against the things that drive you crazy and can make you bitter. Please share with us in the comment section below the steps you take to not take things personally.