It is natural to desire to be respected. Humans are social animals and want to be appreciated by their tribe members. It’s natural for criticism to be hurtful, Taking Things Personally, and cause emotional pain. In a recent study, scientists examined the responses to videos that involved social evaluation.
Researchers examined the activity of 37 participants as they watched videos that showed people expressing basic emotions. The results showed that criticism hurt everyone.
Some comments and actions may be offensive. However, if your emotions are hurt often or if you assume someone intended to harm you emotionally, you might be inclined to take things too personally.
Learn why people take things personally and what to do if you feel like taking them too personally. Learn how to take things more personally.
What is it that makes people take things personally?
It is normal to be concerned about others’ opinions about you, but not so much that it becomes a hindrance. Many factors contribute to our personal view of things.
1. Negative self-talk.
It’s easy to tell ourselves that we are not good enough or that it’s always our fault. We will believe the negative comments about us even when they aren’t.
2. Childhood trauma.
Our feelings of shame and humiliation can be caused by a lack of emotional support as children or being blamed for our actions.
3. Poor self-esteem.
People with low self-esteem often worry about what other people think. They might take it too personally.
4. Anxiety disorders.
Social anxiety sufferers are extremely afraid of being judged or embarrassed.
Perfectionists often find it challenging to discuss their flaws because they have unrealistic expectations about their appearance.
6. Fatigue or stress.
When you are not in your best mood, it is easier to misinterpret someone’s comments.
7. Emotional sensitivity.
If you are highly sensitive, you may take things more personally.
How to tell if you’re taking too much personally.
We often forget to appreciate the compliments we get, such as “Oh, you look great today!” Sometimes, we focus too much on the flaws people discuss.
You might be upset that your boss says you are unprepared to take on a larger project. You could have a new perspective and take his criticisms as constructive criticism.
Signs that you may take things personally
These are signs that others’ opinions are influencing you:
- To be happy, you must have the approval of others.
- You are not a good listener and don’t need to apologize.
- You can’t establish or maintain boundaries as a rule.
- A mistake in behavior is your character flaw.
- You are afraid to say no to requests.
- All harsh remarks about yourself are genuine, and you should take them as a compliment.
- It is easy to get defensive or angry.
- It is easy to obsess about recent conversations and can interfere with your daily activities.
Rumination is a way to hold on to a perceived negative conversation for too long. Some people find it helpful to replay what happened so they can imagine a different response. Some people find rumination a way to remind themselves of their weaknesses. Overthinking can lead to disempowering. Rumination may occur in cases such as obsessive-compulsive disorder.
One study found that ruminating can increase and prolong negative moods, interfere with problem-solving, and impact people’s anxiety and depression. Rumination can also limit or interfere with the effectiveness of psychological interventions. It was also found that ruminating can increase stress levels.
How to stop taking things personally
Here are some techniques to use if someone offends your feelings.
- Practice emotional resilience.
- It would help if you gave people the benefit of the doubt because it is possible that you misunderstood their words.
- Ask the person for clarification.
- Don’t worry about what other people think of you.
- Recognize your strengths and give yourself credit.
- Mindfulness can help you stay present and reduce stress.
- Write down your thoughts.
- Recite positive affirmations for yourself.
- Get mental healthcare treatment from a licensed therapist.
A Word from Mind Mentor
It is normal to take things personally from time to time. If you are constantly offended or upset by comments from others, it can impact your mental health. It’s important to recognize when you react unreasonably to someone’s words or perceived slights. If you are experiencing verbal abuse or notice someone trying to hurt your feelings, it is time to reevaluate your relationship. A therapist can help you distinguish between minor criticisms and emotional abuse.