April 1, 2022

How to Not Take Things Personally

by Katelyn Redfoot

So you’re struggling with taking things personally. You try not to, but the words cut deep into your heart and leave a lasting impression that can be hard to shake off no matter what you do. 

While it can feel incredibly challenging to feel as if you can control how you react to the world around you, the way you take things personally is a choice. The sooner you can get on board with not taking things too personally, the better off your life will be.

Here are a few tips on how to not take things personally:

Practice self-distancing

The struggle that highly sensitive individuals have is they become personally invested in a situation or note of criticism. It is okay to take a step back and depersonalize whatever instance or comment you feel hypertensive too.

In these moments, see if you can zoom out the lens, viewing things from an outsider’s perspective. Becoming a fly on the wall will change your point of view from an immersed one to a more detached one. This step is a critical part of the process of learning how to not take things personally.

When you are less personally invested, it gives you a chance to take a new perspective and see that, just maybe, another person isn’t out to get you. Self-distancing will help you avoid getting caught up in negative emotions like anxiety, guilt, embarrassment, or shame

Take responsibility for your feelings

Understand that you cannot control others. Sensitive people tend to hold themselves to strong moral codes and recognize when someone “shouldn’t” have done or said something because they wouldn’t do it themselves.

Unfortunately, holding everyone else to this standard will not keep unwarranted comments or criticism from happening. And you likely already realize by now just how much that only impacts you in the end. So if you’re ready to learn how to not take things personally, you need to accept that even though you shouldn’t have to deal with something, you still have to.

Understand that people make mistakes

Sometimes people say mean things without thinking ahead or meaning to. Even if, again, this is something that you wouldn’t do.

If you truly want to know how to not take things personally, do not expect anyone to be perfect. Also, don’t expect them to never make any mistakes at all.

Suppose it gets to the point where they are repeatedly insulting or criticizing you – especially when unwarranted. At that point, they are no longer making a mistake. At that point, they are repeating a pattern, and it’s time for you to set some boundaries to protect yourself.

Give people the benefit of the doubt

Before responding in humiliation or anger, try instead assuming good intentions on their part. How do you know if their intent was bad?

When someone offers your advice, consider instead that they have your best interest in mind. Whatever the situation may be, most people who give input only want you to learn or grow or avoid going through the same struggles they have already overcome. 

Besides, compounding criticism by responding with negative emotions or self-talk only makes a situation infinitely worse. It doesn’t accomplish anything beyond hindering your confidence and mental state. 

How to not take things personally by asking for feedback from others

You might not know people who often readily insert their opinions in your business. In that case, to get better at learning how to not take things personally, sometimes you have to reach out and ask. 

Start small by asking friends, co-workers, or family for their thoughts about something you’ve been working on. How can you improve? How can you grow? 


Katelyn Redfoot

Katelyn Redfoot is an independent content writer based in North Carolina who offers ghostwriting, copywriting, blogging, and social media services. As a health and wellness advocate, she loves learning from and helping clients across the world share creative, relatable, and helpful content. Her goal is soon to take her writing on the road, traveling in a van with her fiance, Jason, and their dogs, Max and Summit.

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