How to NOT Take Things Personally: A Practical Guide

Written by Christine Kane

Last week, I had lunch with a freelance writer who is interviewing me for a regional women’s magazine. Before the interview began, she related a situation that has left her drained and unhappy about a non-profit program she founded. As I listened, it became apparent that each of the people involved took each other’s miscommunications personally. Then, they told their “story” to other people who believed it. Those people continued the stories by passing them along to create a full-blown drama.

We’ve all done this. Some of us can catch ourselves taking things personally. And some of us don’t know how to shift it. We wonder why we take things personally and how we’ll ever get out of that mindset.

Though I’m far from being fully detached, I’ve come a long way on this path. Compared to where I once was, I feel like the Buddha. There’s nothing like the entertainment business to teach you – in a big way – how to not take things personally.

The Benefits of Not Taking Things Personally

The biggest benefits of not taking things personally are self-awareness and clarity. Being centered and grounded while knowing that only you can dictate whether or not you’re on track or whether or not you’re successful is a reward in and of itself. Anyone who has experienced this state of being knows how good it feels. Once you get a taste of it, you’ll strive to be in that state more often. Even when you get thrown off, you’ll relish the knowledge that you get to choose whether or not to remain stuck. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”

Your Story is Rarely Correct

The first step in breaking the habit of taking things personally is to observe the stories you tell yourself. These stories have nothing to do with facts. They’re all about your translations. Do you spin a self-righteous tale about how you’re doing good things in the world and the evil right-wingers are closed and greedy? Do you have a good victim story about how you’re the sensitive one and people are cold and hurtful to poor souls like you? Do you feel rejected by situations that aren’t at all about rejection? Begin noticing if there are recurring threads woven throughout your personal stories. Begin asking yourself if there’s any truth in them at all. And ask yourself how you’d behave if they simply weren’t true.

Once you begin to notice the stories you tell yourself, breaking the habit of taking things personally can happen through some simple practices and courageous actions.

How to Not Take Things Personally

1 – SWSWSWSW

This stands for “Some will. Some won’t. So what? Someone’s waiting!” It means that some people are going to love what you do. Then, there will be those who visit your blog, look at your paintings, listen to your songs, read your poems, review your resume – and they’ll shrug and say, “Yea, not so much.” So what? Somewhere out there someone is waiting for your gift. And if you have to keep working on your craft, or wait a little while, that’s okay!

2 – Remember that people are busy

People are busy. They may not have time for you. Young musicians complain because they try to book a venue, but their emails weren’t answered. They give up. And they get resentful. I tell them the same thing: People are busy. It’s not personal. They just don’t have time to answer every email. (Revisit #1.)

3 – Email is instant. Use accordingly.

Email creates fabulous opportunities to take things personally. (Blog comments, too.) The quickness of our culture has removed much of the etiquette that some of us would normally expect. Most people just “fire it off.” If you get an email that hurts or feels personal, take an hour or so to chill out. Then re-read the email in a kind narrator’s voice. Be careful with the temptation to over-dramatize someone else being in a hurry with his email or comment. For some people, email is quick and easy. It is simply a tool – not a way to make you feel okay about yourself!

4 – Begin each day with presence and proactive-ness

How you begin your day often sets the tone for the day. If you start the day by opening your email and launching your browser, you are opening yourself up to external stuff – some of which may trigger you. Start instead with creative and proactive activities. Some possibilities: meditation, yoga, going to the gym, writing a blog, writing a song/poem, doing morning pages, writing down goals and intents, creating your day in advance. Start with a strong foundation of honoring yourself each day.

5 – Create a “Good Mojo” file

Create a “Good Mojo” folder in your email. Create a file called “Good Mojo” in your file cabinet. Fill these files with kind emails and loving cards from friends or co-workers or fans. If you’re taking things personally, you may as well rummage through these files to find the good messages, the words and cards from people who love what you do. Start keeping this folder and use it when you need it.

6 – Be willing to look like an idiot: Communicate

Recently one of my best friends and I planned to meet each other at a certain time in city we were both visiting. I called her when I was on the way, and in the conversation she said that I could “just go shopping outside of her hotel and she’d come down and meet me later.” Every part of my being shouted, “She’s blowing me off!” I hung up the phone feeling hurt. My drama-queen story-tellers were in the wings putting on their costumes. Before they got on stage, I called her back and I said, “Okay, I’m not trying to be pushy or weird here, but I feel like we had these plans and I don’t understand what happened.” She interrupted and said, “Oh, I’m so glad you called back to clear that up! I got the sense that you needed time and space, and I was trying to let you to have that!” Because I got a little brave and was willing to look a bit needy, we both got to laugh at our miscommunication.

If something feels strange or out of balance, check in with the other person. Take the responsibility. Say, “This may sound strange, but…” Or “I’m afraid I may have said something out of line. Is that possible?” Most people – not all – will be grateful that you cared enough to clear the air.

Note: This is not an appropriate technique in certain professional situations. If, for instance, someone has rejected your work for a gallery or a showcase, refer to #1 above. Don’t call a gallery owner (or promoter or record producer) back and say, “I sense you had some hostility towards me and I’m just checking in because it really hurt my feelings.” Not good.

7 – Beware of collusion

In the situation above, I could’ve chosen not to call my friend back. I could’ve called another friend and vented. I could’ve said, “I’ve come all this way to meet her and what does she say…?” The other friend could get hooked into my story, and we’d waste a whole tonage of energy investing in it. Not worth it. TAKE NOTE: Colluding is the best way to perpetuate the pattern of taking things personally. It takes a deep and committed discipline to shift out of this pattern. That’s because much of what we call friendship in our culture is little more than disliking the same people and staying stuck in our own versions of the truth and requiring that our friends agree with us. Collusion is rounding up people who believe your own illusions. Stop it.

8 – Make a list and move to the next thing

Many of us strategize for the one big thing that will be our “saving grace.” This is a veritable petri dish for taking things personally. You apply for a scholarship to one MFA program. You send your article off to one magazine. You ask only one producer to make your CD. There’s a better way here. Before you send yourself out into the world – be it resume, scholarship, grant, producer, publication – make a list of many options. List all of the publications, grants, employers, options, etc. Move down the list if someone says no. Find that someone who’s waiting.

9 – Shut up and listen

When you listen and quietly observe, you often find that you had it all wrong. You may actually see humor in how you can take everything so personally. Sit down on the floor, lean against a wall and quietly listen to your own breathing. Or, when you’re in a conversation with someone else, stop and listen. Really deeply listen. Try practicing this in every day conversations that aren’t emotional. This will prepare you for moments when you are taking something personally.

10 – Use unemotional language when you communicate

Phrases like “Well, you’re the one who…” and “You took that all wrong!” are inflammatory and do little to help a situation. Try to use language that’s not about the emotions and not about pointing fingers. “I think I didn’t communicate this well so let me try again.” Or, “I’m not sure I understand you. Can we discuss this on the phone?” The challenge is to communicate with unemotional language. Kind of a “here’s the facts ma’am” approach. Write out your desired outcome for the conversation. Get clear inside yourself, and then talk with the other person.

11 – Eat enough. Sleep enough.

Being tired or hungry will always make you more sensitive or irritable. Don’t try to function well if you’re hungry or if you haven’t slept well.

12 – Let the deeper goal be what motivates you

Who you become on your journey is far more meaningful than what happens to you. If you learn how to get beyond taking things personally by witnessing and then choosing a different response, you will eventually become unshakable. You can lose all your money; you can get rotten reviews of your recent work after being lauded for the last one; you can get fired tomorrow – but you can’t lose who you are. You can’t lose your essence. When you become someone who is clear and centered, you will have the tools to move through life no matter what happens externally.

{109 comments ... read them below or add one}

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{109 comments ... read them below or add one}

KT October 21, 2009 at 11:54 pm

This article really resonated with me. Thanks so much for your inspiration.

[Reply]

Nithya February 22, 2010 at 11:02 am

SWSWSWSW…

Dear Christine,

I must say its a great blog.. as i was seeking for different peoples approach to the problem I face, I came across ur blog.

I must say thank you.. its like u started a sentence/a thought for me..and I found my answer.. I have jotted it down for you below

Some will, some won’t, so what?, someone’s waiting as that is none but you. :)

Love
Nithya

[Reply]

Meredith Terpeluk March 25, 2010 at 8:13 am

Love this. It’s exactly what I needed to take the next step in my work…and reinstates everything I know I need. This is a keeper!

[Reply]

Courtney - Meylah June 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

This article really resonated with me. Lately I’ve been working on my communication skills. I think I’m too passive sometimes, so I’ve been trying to force myself to speak up if I’m in disagreement with others or at least vocalize my opinions more. It has been amazing and I really feel like it’s strengthening my relationships in whole new ways. Also, I love your recommendation to create a good mojo file. That is a brilliant idea & a great resource for when you need a little pick me up. Love it!

[Reply]

Patty Thorsen June 17, 2010 at 3:19 pm

Don’t take things personally??? Hmmmm….

I am not sure that I agree….although I laughed aloud, when I read, “shut up and listen”
[A friend gave me that advice, which I have heeded.]

OK, not engaging in self-torture, and not becoming bitter about little things in daily life, OK, I can endorse–embrace–that wholeheartedly….

But…

Without taking things personally, there is no hope for insight, growth, or sensitivity….

Without taking things personally, there is no hope of flourishing from “negative” experiences, or influences.

Now, taking things personally may not be comforting, at first.

But….

It seems to me that the very core of living–breathing–demands “taking things personally,” inhaling the world around us….inhaling all of the lessons available to us to live more fully…more authentically.

Many times I have learned from–been given insight regarding–experiences and comments that others lovingly advised me not to take personally. By negative experiences and comments, I am referring to those in my life that have been related to disabilities over which I have no control to change. Ignorance of others is not an excuse to make. To do so is to miss the opportunity to nurture positive attitudes and deeper understanding between each of us as human beings.

I will reread this, and try to apply it.

In my humble opinion, we need to engage in more “taking things personally,” not less.

[Reply]

Rachel Reply:

What you’ve said struck a chord in me. Especially the part about how taking things personally enables one to live more honestly, more genuinely. More authentically, as you mentioned. Its especially important if one aspires to be as true to oneself as one can be – not everyone has this aspiration. Some of the fakest people I’ve met are the ones who aren’t bothered with honesty – in fact, they hanker after material wealth and worldly success, and will do anything to achieve that; sod the honesty. I’ve found that the best lessons in life for me were always the times when I actually took things personally. Actually, I didn’t have much of a choice – the situation affected me so much so that to deny those feelings made things worse – the thinking became more intense, the feelings too. But those were the times when I actually “grew” or “progressed” onto a more evolved me. Then again, I’ve always been a bit more sensitive than many others, always felt things very intensely, and that is sort of like the fuel that drives me to improve myself, to live my life as fully as possible. It can also be a double-edged sword. Fear can cripple… and times when I’ve felt intense fear were some of the most traumatic times in my life, the ones which bring me the worst memories. Now to say “don’t take things personally” to me feels a bit like a denial of one’s feelings. I’m not sure if denial is ever a good thing. I don’t really think it is.

[Reply]

Melissa Reply:

I loved what you wrote. I have always been someone who “took things personally” and been criticized for this many times. I have read and soul searched and tried to figure out how NOT to do this to no avail.

Thank you for saying what you said about honesty and authenticity. Ironically as much as I take things personally I’ve always had a very good sense of humor and many people throughout my life have told me this. I’ve always been able to make people laugh. That being said; I think that my sensitivity and humor go hand in hand and if I was not so sensitive perhaps I wouldn’t be so funny. Does that make sense?

I could TRY not to take things personally but how else can i view them? The thing that’s hard for me is because i’m a fairly humorous person this also makes me a target. People WANT to joke with me and think I’m impervious to their jokes (which often times I find are not only not funny but hurtful). Just yesterday my boss asked me my opinion about something and I answered. He then went on to poke fun at me in front of others (totally unsolicited) and this hurt but I said nothing. Just a few minutes later he made a similar joke. I finally defended myself and said “boy you really have a high opinion of me, don’t you”? I know he felt bad. Later on that day he said something very kind showing his regret.

I don’t know. I think it’s a fine line. There IS so much inauthenticity out there that maybe it’s a balancing act. It’s not that we should try and force ourselves to deny our impulses. Hey somethings its NOT personal, and other times it IS . So shouldn’t we not try and override our own system? Sometimes it’s hard to know the difference and like the woman who was to meet the friend at the hotel it was good that she called back rather than write her own conclusion and internalize it. But even THAT scenario bugs me a little because if her friend was REALLY sensitive or more honest she herself could have offered this up rather than just saying “hey I’m gonna hang in my room while you go shop” because she could have have thought how her friend might have easily misinterpreted this. I don’t know. sometimes I feel I’d do anything to be LESS sensitive and other times I feel it’s a gift from God.

[Reply]

theodora Reply:

I can relate to the article and the comments above, but what Melissa said explained perfectly what’s going on with me too: because I make jokes all the time and enjoy making people laugh, they tend to think that Im not gonna get hurt by something they say, or that they can say anything to me with the excuse of “just kidding” and it will be ok..But my main issue about it (thanx melissa for helping me clear it out in my head!), is that the person who does this the most to me, and also hurts me the most when doing it, is my mother! Im 33 and I know I shouldnt be mentioning anything about my mother and she shouldnt have such an impact on me STILL, but it does and I know its lame..And its also scary cause we all know we’re gonna become our mothers, so Im terrified Im actually doing this too! Any thoughts are welcome :))

[Reply]

Beth Reply:

I really like your post.

It’s refreshing to see a different take on the issue, especially because it’s so insightful. If we didn’t take things personally, it would be difficult to find an impetus to do better in our lives in many ways.

One thing I would say is there is I wonder if there is a difference between embracing our experiences, and over-analyzing a person’s actions or reactions toward us. Giving anyone whom we don’t know well, or who doesn’t know us well, too much validity seems silly, since the reality of the world is much more complicated.

I wish more people spent time and effort thinking about these things – we could all be a little nicer to ourselves and others :)

[Reply]

Lenzo August 15, 2010 at 5:17 am

Dear Patty,

Self awareness which by definition means much of what you just described. I’ve taken things personally most of my life and it’s affected many of my relationships. When I stopped taking things so personally I felt better about myself and my life and relationships improved. Furthermore I don’t feel a nervous as I did when I took everything personally.

However I really do understand what you are trying to say. You are obviously a person with a high emotional IQ.

All The Best
Lenzo – Len

[Reply]

Gregory September 14, 2010 at 9:13 am

I am a person that tends to take things personally easily, but i can defenitely not agree with the advice written above. Furthermore, I feel completely misunderstood and hurt and will phone my friend to ventilate my feelings.

[Reply]

Mysticcrayon September 29, 2010 at 12:45 pm

So much of this really resonated with me, especially the bit about collusion being confused for friendship. Very very inspiring – I will be returning.

[Reply]

hysteric robin October 16, 2010 at 2:32 am

my mother is – I’m quite sure – the most hysteric woman in the world. I do love her, but somethimes I wish I could take her by the shoulders, shake her, and scream STOP DRAMATISING! (If I would do this she probably react somewhat like “you don’t understand, why are you being so arrogant, you are becomming just like your father”, and not talk to me for several months) so I understand how taking things personally can really twists your perspective on the world, and how it dammages your relationships.
I always said to myself “I love my mom, but I don’t wanna become like her”.
Guess what, over time I’ve become my mothers twin sister without realising it… (giving myself a sarcastic tap on the shoulder while I’m writing this)
I even take it as a personal insult when people say “don’t take it so personal”… way to go huh?
I really wish I could say each time “just stop, breath, listen, and then react like a normal human being” … but I just can’t… I’m the MASTER of ‘calling up a friend and spening hours of energy’ on something like ‘my boss thinks I work too slow’.
So I’m really eager to learn to stop my “taking-things-really-personal-to-a-skyrocking-level”

I completely understand the steps you explain, and I take your word on it that it would make life easyer and especially ‘calmer’…
But there is indeed one thing I keep asking myself… : if everybody in the world would stop taking things personal, and decide for themselves “I don’t take this criticism, I’m okay as I am” and therefor take everything unpersonal and in a not-affecting-me way…
what kind of cold business world would we live in then?

[Reply]

Create My Mind Movie November 16, 2010 at 3:07 am

This is a great post!

It reminded me a saying I heard once along the lines of “All anybody is ever really saying is ‘please and thankyou’.

I think it is healthy to keep this in mind with things that you can take personally. In today’s society, most people are absorbed in their problems and what is going on with them. If you can truly listen to what someone is saying whether than be coming from a place of anger and hurt – then you will be able to give them a gift rather than take it as a negative situation.

Thanks for the great post!

[Reply]

Rachel Reply:

I found the part about collusion thought-provoking. I do think its an interesting point, however I’m not sure if I agree that collusion is such a bad thing. Some of the most toxic friendships I’ve had in my life had very strong elements of collusion, but some of the best friendships I’ve had always involved collusion too. People get together to bitch or rant about the negative aspects of their life – that’s also part of friendship I think. When people get together to confide and commiserate in each other’s problems, trying to find a connection somewhere, a kindred spirit, that can also be a helpful way of helping people reframe their experiences, think and discuss it through, and perhaps eventually find a way out of those problems. In the process they grow along the way, help each other along the way, and the friendship becomes so much more meaningful and the intimacy shared cannot be duplicated and actually creates a sweetness out of the relationship. I do not believe in avoidance of “negativity” and feel that a true and long-lasting friendship that will grow and last has to involve some collusion. However problems arise in a relationship when collusion becomes the main focus and yet there isn’t a sort of lightening up or a gradual transition to positivity and a desire to look beyond the negativity to some gem within the negative experiences. I’ve found that such relationships for me will eventually break down or become distant. Sometimes it was because the dynamics of that friendship or just the life circumstances of both parties at the time made it difficult for the negative bitching to diffuse and for more light to shine through the relationship. Some friendships of mine have lasted a long long time because of our ability to grow together through experiences good and bad, to learn from each other, to share, to collude, but also to give each other a break when needed and to come back together again at another time when things are better and we are at a better place and want to talk about positive things rather than the negative. Those friendships which didn’t manage to grow past the negative experiences into the good never really amounted to much. That said, a great friend, one whom you could talk to whenever you are down, when you need a moan, or when you’re happy, or excited, is worth its weight in gold. You can take things personally, roll with the ups and downs in life, and at the end of the day you know there is this person who will always be there for you.

[Reply]

Anne December 7, 2010 at 8:13 pm

Hi Christine,

I just happened across this article when doing a google search, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that you were the author because I have heard you play (in Silver City, NM) and have “Four Legs, Good; Two Legs, Bad” (haha-funny song – love it!) and “Leap, and the Net Will Appear” on my iPod for spur-of-the-moment inspiration. Loved what you said, here, and will keep it handy as a very positive reminder of what really matters in life.

Thanks!
Anne

[Reply]

Joelle Prochera December 29, 2010 at 11:31 pm

Christine,

What wonderful and insightful advice. This article will heal relationships and save many from being damaged thank you for sharing yourself so fully. (I totally appreciate the story with you and your friend anf the shopping incident) Courage in communication leads to greater harmony 99% of the time. Keep up the great work.

Joelle

[Reply]

RaeRae January 10, 2011 at 8:11 am

I needed this and im glad its the first one that popped out from my google search. Thank you :) i have so much to work on, but im excited to get started.

[Reply]

LaWana January 20, 2011 at 11:44 pm

This article has helped me tremendously! After having a tough day at work (feeling belittled and wearing my heart on my sleeve) I was seeking advice on how to get rid of this demon of “taking things personally”. You said it best, “Who you become on your journey is far more meaningful than what happens to you.” and I will only get there if I learn to let things go!

Thanks Again,
LaWana

[Reply]

Romona Reply:

I completely agree! Im a person who wears her heart on her sleeve and its hard not taking things personally. I also like that line about it doesnt matter of what happens externally ect. its about the journey. I wonder how can i wear my heart on my sleeve but not take things personally? I guess work is work.. Im that person that always goes the extra mile and I find that part gets abused and used in life.. my biggest thing is fear of rejection and not having confidence in myself.. once I can truly back myself up then thats when I feel I can accomplish anything.. the second some one puts me down I automatically become negative about myself and then I start putting myself down.. but I feel if I let everything go Ill lose a sense of myself if that makes anysense..

[Reply]

natalia Reply:

perfect sense. if you have a vibrant, open, emotional nature in the workplace, it contrasts with the robots. I go back and forth between wishing to belong and become friends, showing too much, getting hurt, retreating, being seen as a quiet bitch, and back again. i hate it. But I guess it is the confidence factor. Who cares if certain people don’t mesh well with our way of being as long as one is true to oneself and good to others then it doesnt matter if not everyone approves of you. I have to work on my shielding so I don’t get hurt when I put myself out there, I don’t think retreating and becoming someone else is the answer.

[Reply]

awayday April 6, 2011 at 9:14 pm

Great blog and so helpful — thank you very much. Now bookmarked!

[Reply]

Lin June 17, 2011 at 8:38 pm

Love the article and everyone’s comments here

[Reply]

Natalia Siegert August 10, 2011 at 7:25 pm

Loved the article! It really made sense, it was practical and not too preachy. It also used common sense in a way that isn’t always obvious to most people, including myself. Thanks for the article, I will definitely follow your posts more often!

[Reply]

Beth September 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

This is the pick-me-up I needed for the day. Lately it feels like everyone, including myself, takes things too personally and fully believes in their thoughts, when the reality is so much more complicated. Maybe that clerk at the grocery store was having a bad day, maybe they’re tired of people being rude and are too drained to be kind in return. I’d rather use my brain power contemplating what I can do next to help myself, and help others. I will fail at times, sure, but we could all be a little less hard on ourselves.

I’ve bookmarked this page. Thank you!

[Reply]

AH October 8, 2011 at 12:32 pm

Hello,

I just ran into your blog and find it quite inspiring. thanks for your motivation and I’m hoping to go through your posts one by one when I get the time.

Regards,
AH

[Reply]

Charles Mausser November 25, 2011 at 10:52 am

This is fantastic!!! Thank you!!!

[Reply]

Dialashop December 9, 2011 at 11:13 am

I sometimes find it hard not to take thins personally when you work with pushy / forceful people that are un-coperative and try to put you down with their smart comments. This has happen on many occasions and I have to convince myself these people are the problem.

[Reply]

denise January 17, 2012 at 1:53 pm

This is so true. I believe it is because we are self centered and not Christ centered. My mom has always said you think people are looking at you but really they are not paying attention to you as much as you are paying attention to you. thanks for the article it is very enlightening

[Reply]

NorthAndover April 25, 2012 at 8:40 am

this is fantastic. i’m old and haven’t found a mentor and i’m sort of off the radar screen but find that the biggest thing in this/my life is “taking it personally”. Boy did i learn that. i’ve spent my whole life taking it personally and now it’s time (at this late stage) to get it! Thanks!

[Reply]

Jazmen J. May 15, 2012 at 10:16 am

This was so wonderful and timely! Just what I needed at the office :D

[Reply]

DD September 10, 2012 at 6:33 pm

I so enjoyed reading your wonderfully written article…..It simply made my (Mon)day!! Thank you tons for such a beautiful, useful, profound article. This article is going to be one of my ‘good friends’ from now! :-)

[Reply]

Andreas van Wyk September 27, 2012 at 3:53 pm

The way you start your day defnitely sets the tone for the rest of the day. Couldn’t agree more on the nutrition side of things. Look after yourself and it’s easier to not take things personally.

[Reply]

Hank October 13, 2012 at 6:04 pm

I enjoyed reading this blog. I have a tendency to take things personally, and I expect others to do the same towards my actions. I really enjoyed the glimpse of what’s past that unpleasantness. <3

[Reply]

Fiona Murray December 8, 2012 at 6:46 am

This is excellent! Thankyou! Just what I was looking for!
Fi.

[Reply]

Edwin Heida February 17, 2013 at 10:54 pm

Dear Christine,

Thank you for this excellent blog. I read through it after having searched the web for ‘taking things too personal’ and it’s given me some food for thought!

[Reply]

Lindsay May 19, 2013 at 12:01 am

Hi from 2013 :)

I rarely comment on blogs but this whole post was so spot on
I really needed this so it’s being bookmarked – thank you!

[Reply]

SG May 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Thank you so much for putting things into perspective for me! I especially liked the SWSWSWSW part, as I’ve become crippled by fear, second-guessing myself, wondering if people will really like my music. But this was a much needed push to try again and see what comes. In any case, I really just need to free up my to-do list and make more time for myself and other important things, so thank you for this wonderful piece of insight! The miscommunication and ‘email is instant’ parts were also helpful reminders. I’m so quick to assume and become hot-headed that I lose sight of what the person was really trying to communicate, or to clear up the misunderstanding. I hope to incorporate these nuggets of wisdom in my daily life from now on!

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marc July 13, 2013 at 9:11 pm

Very interesting article. I always used to work on the premise “Consider the source of a comment” and I find that that technique only works up to a point. I find it’s much easier to disassociate from the importance and/or validity of that particular individual,and have a more neutral stance, especially when offended or upset. You CANNOT deny what they said hurt you, but you CAN refuse to make yourself miserable by their comments. Hence the Eleanor Roosevelt expression. ANyway, a person’s opinion of you or your behaviour is merely an interpretation of THEIRS and might even reflect more on THEM tahn it does to you. Thanks for the article!

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Nik September 25, 2013 at 3:59 pm

Hi Christine, thanj you so much fot such a wonderful article. It makes so much of sense. It has really helped me.

Regards,
Nikhil
Fiji Is.

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Brian Douglas April 17, 2014 at 2:09 pm

This is going to sound crazy, but I actually take it personally when strangers laugh or look at me like they have trodden in something nasty… Take today I was going into the library, two guys looked at me, sniggered and shook their heads then walked off..

How do I not take that seriously when it was blatantly aimed at me, I am a 42 year old man, with depression and anxiety issues, part of me wanted to confront them, but in doing so it would let my anger out, and they would have won…

Instead I ignored them and unfortunately been dwelling on it far too much, it’s not the first time people have done this, when it continually happens you can’t help but take it personally…

Am I ugly, why does it happen so often? why are people always picking on me and singling me out…

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