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How to Stop Taking Things Personally: 16 Best Tips


Each one of us are different and think in a different manner. No two individuals are the same or have to deal with the same issues. In order to survive in today’s rat race, it is vital that we learn to have a brave heart and a strong mind. It is rather tough to work with individuals who take everything to heart and refuse to let even the smallest of things go. If you are someone who has the habit of taking things personally at the work place, then you should do your best to change yourself. If you do not stop taking things personally, then at the end of the day you are the one who will always be hurt.

stop taking things personally

Don’t Take it Personally Meaning:

1. Don’t take anything which is said to you to heart:

When someone tells you don’t take it personally, it usually means that he or she is telling you to not take what is being said to heart. Sometimes an individual walks up to you and gives you a piece of advice for your own good. You can take the advice in one of two ways. Either you can take it to heart and sulk about it through the week or you can take the advice in your stride and improve yourself over time. In the big bad world we cannot afford to think that everyone is going to spare our feelings just so that we do not get hurt. People are brutally honest even to the point of being rude.

2. ‘Take it in from one ear and take it out from the other’:

Not taking something personally means that you listen to what is being said without paying much heed to it. Rather than being flustered about what is being said, many people prefer to ‘take it in from one ear and take it out from the other’. People put this into practice when they are well aware of the fact that the person who is running them down is always hell bent on messing with their mind. So instead of getting into so many tussles it is better that you simply turn a deaf ear to it and do not let it play on your mind over and over again.

3. Do not let it affect you in any way:

Do not take it personally simply means that you do not let it affect you in any way. In the course of your career there will be people who will give you constructive criticism and then there are those which will give you destructive criticism. Based on what is said and the manner in which the words are put forth, you should either consider what is said or dismiss it. Either way you should not take criticism personally as it is only aimed at making you a better and able individual. When you take everything personally you are hindering your own growth.

Why do we take things Personally?

1. When the person saying it is someone we are close to:

Usually we take things personally, when someone who is close to us says something. We are unlikely to take into consideration or take to heart something which is told to us by someone who we hardly know. We are all well aware of the fact that we take the criticism and praise which is given to us by our family members and friends very seriously. This is because these are people who we love and care for. We feel honored when they praise us, but along with this we take rather personally the negative things they point out.

2. The matter talked about is close to our heart:

It is often noticed that we take things personally when something we care deeply for is talked about in negative light. For example: if you are passionate about a particular project because you have been working on it for a considerable period of time and someone comes and says that the project is rather sub standard and of an inferior quality then that is something which you are obviously going to take personally. This is owing to the fact that over that period of time this project has become a part of you and you have dedicated a lot of effort towards it.

3. We are sensitive in general:

Most often, we take things personally because by nature we are rather sensitive in general. Those individuals who are insensitive and hard hearted are never affected by those things which are said to them. The work place is made up of both sensitive as well as insensitive people. Rather than being any one of the two extremes it is a better idea to be a mixture of both and adapt yourself according to the situation at hand. Sensitive individuals are not merely emotional but they are also sensitive to the feelings of others. They never utter hurtful things themselves and that is why they take to heart hurtful things which are said to them.

How to Stop Taking Things Personally?

1. Improve your own self esteem before anything else:

If you master the art of not taking things personally at the work place then that is going to help you immensely in your professional life. It is often noticed that the younger workers are more prone to taking things personally, so if you are on the younger side and find it tough to not take things personally, then before anything else you should try and work on your own self esteem. If you are confident and sure about yourself then nothing will be said to you. Follow the dictates of your own mind, instead of being swayed by others’ words.

2. Try and develop a thick skin for yourself:

Surviving in the business world is no easy task at all. In this day and age if you are hyper sensitive and feel bad about every little thing that is said to you, then you will never be able to progress in any way. To go ahead it is mandatory to develop a thick skin for yourself and continue to work hard no matter what is said to you. This does not mean that you do not take into account advice which is given to you. It simply means that you listen to the useful things which are said in order to build you up and turn a deaf year to personal and petty statements directed at hurting you.

3. Talk things out with the person concerned:

If you feel that someone is constantly making personal remarks which are making you feel bad, then rather than letting everything take a negative toll on your mind it is better that you bring it to the fore front before things get out of hand. Talk it out with the person and find out whether he or she actually has some issue with you. Once you talk it out and solve the problem then the remarks will not continue to affect you and your work. If you are someone who clears things out in the open, you will find that no one will try any kind of under hand tricks with you.

4. Focus your mind on more important things:

At the end of the day you must realize that only those people who are threatened by you and know that you are rather sensitive will try and break you down by their unnecessary personal attacks. Rather than stopping down to their level at the work place you must rise above this pettiness. To show how mature you are, all you need to do is channelize all your energies into thinking about some other matter. Don’t let your mind have petty preoccupations as that is going to hamper your personal growth a great deal.

5. Avoid talking to petty and rude people:

People who are well polished and have good manners will always be wary about what they say. You will never hear then making controversial or hurtful statements. So if you find that someone is constantly making personal digs at you, it is advisable that you give the person the cold shoulder for a considerable period of time, till he or she learns to talk in an appropriate manner. Sometimes it is useless to confront certain people as they will never admit to doing anything wrong. So just focus on the work which has been allotted to you and don’t bother about anything else.

6. Do not think that everyone is victimizing you:

It often happens that there are some people who are hell bent on tearing you down; however there are some people who are so insecure that they constantly think that people are after them even when they are not. So try your best to not always play victim as if you keep having such an attitude then no one is going to want to work with you. When you work in a big company you need to act in a professional manner which is becoming of someone who is in your position. No company wants to be represented by childish employees.

7. Make yourself mentally stronger by meditation:

At times, when someone is taking jibes at you, it is a better idea to exercise your self control. For some of us exercising such self control is easy, yet for others, it is rather tough. In order to not take things so personally it is advisable that you make yourself mentally strong by indulging in meditation of some kind. Meditation has a number of benefits which will help you not merely on the personal front but also on the professional front. Those who are mentally strong are able to overcome with ease any problem which happens to come their way.

8. Do not be vulnerable in front of your co workers:

There are individuals in the business world who never mess with the strong workers and always try to prey on the weak. So in order to not take things personally in the work place it is advisable that you do not show yourself as weak. If you show yourself as strong no one will even have the guts to come up to you and tell you anything. You will be surprised at the number of people who will be willing to come forward and prey on your insecurity. So never make the mistake of divulging your secrets to co workers as chances are that they might use it against you at a later point in time.

9. Put yourself in the other persons shoes:

Rather than simply feeling bad at something which is said to you, before you take it to heart, simply put yourself in the other persons shoes and see whether they were justified in saying what they did or not. Think about if you might have made the same remark had you been in their place as well.

10. Keep a person’s nature in mind:

Lastly, just keep the persons nature in mind before you take something to heart. Think about whether he is like this with everyone or just you? If the person is stressed out and resorts to making personal remarks at such a time, then you need not worry about it at all, as that is just his nature.

After having gone through the ways on how to stop taking things personally, you have obviously realized that making this change is not going to be an easy task at all. If you put your mind to it and really try to harden you will realize that it is not that tough. As you gain experience in the corporate world you will naturally understand that you will never succeed if you constantly take things personally. Rather than letting petty personal things play on your mind, you should focus on the bigger picture and try your level best to make it big in life.