You Take Things Too Personally: 9 Ways To Toughen Up



taking-things-personally 2


You have feelings. Your feelings often get hurt. You take things personally. You end up feeling like S*it.

Why do you do this to yourself?

Imagine being tougher about the nasty, irrational things people say or do.


First: Why Feelings Are Hurt Easily

“We have been raised to value the opinions of others.” says Dr. Shefali Tsabary, and “few of us were raised to honour who we authentically are…Most of us were raised to honour what others thought of us.”

Because of this, we routinely hand our power, self-worth, and identity over to others who can control how we feel.

“…We [give] certain individuals more power over us than they deserve or should ever be allowed to have,” says Abigail Brenner, M.D.


8 Ways To Toughen Up

1. Understand Your Belief System. Your core belief system affects how you react to the world and the people you encounter. This idea comes from Marelisa Fabrega (whose example I have paraphrased:)

If I hold a door open for someone, I expect a ‘thank you.’ If they don’t thank me, they are rude. They are not only rude, they are proving, by ignoring me, that I’m not important.

There it is. Your belief system, ‘defining’ your self-worth.

Keep your belief system. Just be clear: it will be tested at times, that’s normal, and it’s not a reflection on you.

2. Stop Obsessing About What People Think of You. 

While it’s human nature to want to be liked, says Dr. Gary Trosclair, “… if you betray yourself to get people to like you, that causes problems that are at least as bad if not worse.” Instead, he says, “find your own people” – those who love you for who you are. They will insulate you from those who are less than pleasant.

3. Not Everyone Is Going To Agree With You. That’s Okay.

If you have opinions, a backbone, and don’t put up with bullsh*t, the price is occasional conflict with others. You need a backbone. If you have one, good for you. If you don’t, you may have a ‘people pleasing’ affliction (see here,) and that’s not okay.

4. Don’t Absorb Nonsense. Brush It Off.

Says author Don Miguel Ruiz, from “The Four Agreements.” “Taking things personally makes you easy prey for…predators, the black magicians. They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want, and because you take it personally, you eat it up….”

Don’t eat it up. Spit it out. Refer back to #1.

5. Choose Peace.

If there is a person in your life who consistently drags you down and hurts you, a tough stand may be necessary. “I have had to remove people who are “energy vampires” from my life…” says Sahil Dhingra, “not necessarily because of them, but also because I deserve peace.

6. Know This: It Isn’t About You

Remember this: “Hurt people hurt people,” says Sahil Dhingra. That is about them. Not you.

7. View A Situation Optimistically, Not PersonallyIf you have done your best for someone (such as holding a door for them, or far, far more) silently congratulate yourself for your good deed(s) – no matter how the other person decides to behave. As in, “Good for me, I did the right thing.” You are entitled to bolster your own self-esteem and acknowledge your own ‘good’ whenever possible.

8. Set Boundaries.“You are the only person who can take care of your feelings and emotional energy,” says Barrie Davenport. “So if you are easily hurt, you have to set boundaries.” That means anything from physically distancing yourself from people who are toxic, to completely avoiding their abusive phone calls or text messages.

9. Embrace Wisdom. “It is no one’s job to approve of or understand us,” says Dr. Shifali Tsabary.

That’s why it’s so important to find out why your feelings are hurt too often.

Caring too much about what others think is a problem. It is symptomatic of other afflictions, such as low self-esteem, shame, and guilt.

Feeling hurt is normal. But it is not productive. Taking things personally is not constructive. If you can learn to understand why you are vulnerable, and change your perspective, you will feel stronger and be more resilient.

Most importantly, you will less prone to negative emotions that bring on anxiety and depression.


This entry was posted on Saturday, July 1st, 2017 at 12:28 am and is filed under Posts. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

leave a comment

While I don't publish all comments, I welcome and appreciate your feedback and participation. If you'd prefer to keep your comment 'private,' please use my contact form (located on my website menu) and indicate this. I will happily respond to all comments and questions.

Are you struggling with
the stress in your life?

I offer unique coping tips not found elsewhere.
I've been there.

  1. Subscribe to the Stress Bubbles Blog - free, right to your inbox!
  2. Follow me on facebook for inspirational quotes, mental health updates, and laughs
  3. Follow me on twitter for real time commentary, engaging chats, special shares.