As human beings, we define who we are through the relationships we have. Most of us interact with a variety of different people throughout our daily tasks, whether it is our most intimate relationships or strangers passing by. How involved we are with certain individuals will color the level and intensity of our interactions with them. In life, we have people we get along with well and then people whom we do not. The people we don’t get along with well are harder to connect and communicate with, and may take our emotions on a bit of a rollercoaster.
Taking things too personally seems to be the default mode that most of us were set to at birth.
Taking things personally does not have to be a norm in your everyday life. If it continues to be, however, it could cost you both success and happiness.
When we take things too personally we are giving certain individuals more power over us than they deserve or should have. You are allowing someone to question what you feel and believe.
So, instead of just reacting when someone pushes your buttons, below are steps to consider when you find yourself caught up in an interaction/ confrontation where you feel your integrity is being challenged.
The Meaning of the Relationship
Ask yourself how invested you are in this individual. Once you answer that question, see if you always need to agree with him or her to not make waves, to go alone to please this person and keep good peace. Are you afraid that there is a high price to pay if you disagree or challenge them? Do you really need this persons approval?
Put Yourself in their Shoes
By putting yourself in the other person’s shoes, you can get a sense of what he or she is feeling/thinking/trying to convey to you. Try to see if this is the way they interact with everyone or just you. See if they usually act to be critical, to insult, to blame, or shame. This person has most likely not yet mastered how to communicate in a healthy way. They might even lack normal social skills and feel the only way to be heard and paid attention to is to be rude or aggressive in their language.
Don’t Jump to Conclusions
Try and not assume someone is judging you or criticizing you directly. Maybe they aren’t referring to you at all, but rather about them. It is that individual projecting their own perceptions onto you. It is about them, their issues, their needs, and their desire to control you and/or situation.
A solution to this is to pinpoint what makes you feel vulnerable. Once you are aware of your sensitive spots, the things that trigger your emotions and reaction, you can then prepare yourself for future interactions with the person.