We have all experienced, at some time, a moment when we took something personally.  Someone might have said or done just the right thing that tests your own security with yourself and you take offense.  Someone might have called you out in a “jokingly” manner and you are left wondering what they meant by it.  There are many reasons why people say or do the things they do.  We may never know their true intentions, but we can choose to take it personally or not.

We may not even be aware that we have taken something someone said or did personally.  It took years of shame, feeling attacked, and anger before I realized that I was taking what others said and did, especially my loved ones, personally.  I used to get upset when friends would hang out with out inviting me, thinking that they purposefully did not call me because they did not like me.  I thought for the longest time that no matter what my family should always be nice, love and support me no matter what.  So whenever my family called me out, suggested I was wrong or take their bad mood out on me, I would feel ashamed, unloved and betrayed.  I lost trust in the only people that are my support system and security blanket.  It would then affect my mood because I would question their motives and wonder “how could they do this to me”?  I would become standoffish, retreat to my head, and start feeding my anxiety with insecure thoughts about questioning myself.  It would last until I had left the environment I was in while holding a grudge.  I would then avoid that person until I had forgotten the whole incident.  Literally, as I am writing this, I am realizing how often I let my own family break me down and how sensitive I am to people.

I am very different than my traditional family.  I have always pushed the limits and craved different things, but never acted on my own desires.  It wasn’t until I started following my own path and beliefs with pride and confidence that I started to create my own support system.  I became more secure and stable with myself that the things that I used to let get to me, no longer affect me.  I want to share some tips on understanding what it means to take things personally and dealing with it. 

  • Having confidence and believing in yourself overpowers any form of a personal attack.
  • Taking things personally is a waste of time and choosing to not react will only make you stronger.
  • Know that in the event someone says or does something to hurt or get a reaction out of you, with no reason, know that you did nothing wrong and it is not your fault.
  • If you do happen to take something personally, take ownership of that reaction, have remorse and forgive yourself.
  • Taking things personally almost always leaves you feeling defensive and upset.
  • The more you let go of people’s actions and words, the lighter you will feel and happier you will be.
  • You will never be able to control what people say or do, but you can always control how you react.
  • No one is perfect, including yourself, people will disappoint or hurt you, even your loved ones.