How not to take things Personally?
Self Help

How not to take things Personally?


It is human nature to desire Respect. Humans are social animals after all, and we all want to be respected by our tribe. Thus, it makes sense that receiving criticism can be upsetting and emotionally taxing. There is a sensitive side to every one of our psyches. Everybody has sensitive areas, so even a small push can feel more like a blow to them.

Read More: Why are Human Beings called Social Animals?

However, Criticism is an unavoidable aspect of life, and the ability to take constructive criticism without becoming overly emotional is a life skill. Acknowledging constructive criticism without taking offence not only helps us avoid feeling offended or ashamed, but it also prevents criticism from getting worse. In contrast, believing that, “You hurt my feelings so I’ll hurt you back” can increase conflict and suffering worldwide.

What Causes People to Take Things Personally?

Although caring about what other people think of us is normal, it shouldn’t get in the way of our progress. There are several reasons why humans take things personally, including:

  • Negative inner dialogue: We might tell ourselves over and over again that we’re not good enough or that we’re always to blame. Therefore, we are prone to believing unfavourable things spoken about us when they are said.
  • Trauma experienced as a child: Being blamed by our parents when we were young and receiving little emotional support from them might contribute to our belief that we are deserving of ridicule or shame.

Read More: How trauma affects emotional development in children?

  • The Pursuit of Perfection: Because they have unreasonable expectations of what they should be, perfectionists find it difficult when others point out their shortcomings.
  • Low Self-worth: Sometimes, those with low self-esteem worry excessively about what other people may think.
  • Problems with Anxiety: People who struggle with Social Anxiety are terrified of being looked down upon and humiliated.
  • Exhaustion or Stress: When you’re not feeling well, you could be more likely to take someone else’s remarks the wrong way.
  • Emotional State: A Person with an Extremely Sensitive Emotional State is more likely to take things personally than others.

How to Stop Taking Things Personally

Here are some strategies you can try if someone offends you so you don’t feel bad about yourself :

1. Regulate your feelings

You are aware that taking things personally at work might be bad for your career if you are prone to doing so. In the Corporate world, You’re always interacting with a wide range of people at work. You may have a manager who is constantly demanding more from you, clients to please, and deadlines to worry about. While occasionally feeling emotional is normal, it’s crucial to have self-control over your feelings. Remember to take a step back and think things through before you react to your emotions. If something goes wrong, keep your cool, take a moment to collect yourself, and answer when you’re feeling more in line with your best self.

Read More: State of mental health in the Corporate World

2. Admit that Blaming is a Reflection

It’s easy to take criticism personally. In addition to being verbally attacked, probably, you have also been held accountable for or charged with actions that you did not commit. Luckily for you, anger nearly always causes blame to be placed unfairly. People typically place the blame on others because it gives them a fast way out of feeling guilty and relieves them of some of the burden. It’s crucial to keep in mind that placing blame is a simple and uncomplicated strategy, so you shouldn’t take it personally.

3. Develop self-assurance

It will become clear to you that Confidence is essential in many facets of your profession. You won’t need to take things personally if you continue to have faith in your skills and what you have to give. Although it’s common to experience Imposter Syndrome, it’s crucial to keep in mind that you earned your position because you put in a lot of effort to get there. Have faith in your skills and realize that you’re right where you should be.

4. Avoid making assumptions

It is important to avoid Assumptions and Generalizations in team settings. Team members often take things personally when they make assumptions that may not be true. By assuming something, individuals are accepting it as true without sufficient evidence, which can lead to misunderstandings, tension, and irrational behaviour.

5. Turn criticism into an Opportunity for Improvement

Though some people may occasionally neglect to shape their comments respectfully and helpfully, Constructive feedback is more potent than criticism. You have two options if you’ve gotten criticism: either see it as a gift and use it as a chance to get better, or take it personally and allow it to get in the way of your Success.

6. Remain busy but Productive

You could have too much time on your hands if you find yourself assuming things. Taking things personally might result from letting your thoughts wander and not staying active. Your mind won’t wander around as much if you stay active, concentrate on your work, and maintain your confidence.

7. Adopt a Confident Mindset

Your mental health will suffer greatly if you worry about what other people think of you. Not only will you have to manage the rigours of your work, but you’ll also be holding yourself to a lot of unreasonable standards. You don’t need to worry about what other people think if you continue to be confident in your abilities and interactions with people daily. Additionally, it will support the development of sound mental health.

8. Identify Overreactions

Everybody occasionally has a bad day. Remember that someone else’s behaviour can be a reflection of their character rather than yours if you feel that someone has overreacted and it has offended you. Since overreactions are nearly always the result of external factors, it’s critical to refrain from taking the overreaction of another person personally.

In summary, learning how to handle criticism without taking it personally is crucial for growth. By staying calm, seeing criticism as helpful advice, and focusing on improvement, we can build resilience and better relationships. This approach empowers us to grow both personally and professionally, paving the way for success and fulfilment.

Citation +
  • Field, B. (2023, December 7). How to not take things personally. Verywell Mind.
  • Ross, H. (2024, February 6). How to not take things personally at work: 8 tips. Fellow. app.
  • Hendriksen, E., PhD. (2022, January 31). Walk the line between overreacting and underreacting. Psychology Today.

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