How to stop taking things personally

Here are some practice tips from eastern wisdom to help you out

By Anjaan

Published: Thu 18 Aug 2022, 4:55 PM

It’s inevitable that you have expectations from people’s behaviour. This is natural. However, it’s also important to know that those exact expectations can lead to disappointment too. People will not always behave how you wish them to, and say things you want them to say.

This is when you start to take things personally and you end up blaming yourself for other people’s actions and words. It’s important to realise that other people’s actions and words have more to do with them and less to do with you. Taking things personally will impact your wellbeing, your peace and also your relationships. Here are some practice tips from eastern wisdom to help you not take things personally.

Tip #1: Release entitlement

You might think people owe you something and they should reciprocate your actions or your concern or love to them with the same intensity. Release this entitlement. Let people operate out of their own levels of consciousness. You can observe signs like:

• You feel people should do things for you because of who you are

• Your needs of how someone else should behave come before their needs

• You feel you deserve more than what you have in life

• You think you deserve special treatment

• When someone doesn’t give in to their demands, you create a scene

• You need praise, validation and admiration from others.

Practise treating others with love and kindness, no matter how they treat you.

Tip #2: Regulate your assumptions

Always have conscious communication. When you need clarity, ask for it, instead of letting your imagination run wild and creating your own narrative. Open communication is the best way to tackle any misunderstandings.

When you have unchecked assumptions, it can lead to having unwholesome thoughts and negative patterns that can throw your mind and life off balance. Yoga explains how the mind-body connect is inevitable and your thoughts and beliefs create literal changes in the cells of your body. Regulate your unchallenged assumptions else it will cost you your health, wealth, relationships, and work.

The way to regulate your assumptions is to offer yourself and the other person empathy and kindness while communicating with love instead of blame. Always give the person the benefit of doubt. Start questioning your beliefs and ask better questions. And finally, listen with full attention.

Tip #3: Opinions versus facts

You cannot control people’s opinions about you. It takes growing up for you to realise that those are simply their opinions and not facts about you. It’s not your burden to correct them or prove them otherwise. But it is your job to self-regulate to understand the difference between opinions and facts. Just because someone said it, doesn’t make it true, does it?

Of course, you might get disheartened when others say intentionally-hurtful things to you. It’s easy to think in your mind that those opinions don’t matter and don’t define you as a human being, but it’s harder to implement it. This is when you take the high road. This is when you take your remote control and don’t give anyone else the power to insult you. Someone else’s negativity should not cause reactions in you. You will never please everyone with your decisions, so don’t even attempt to.

What people think doesn’t matter

What matters the most is what you think of yourself. Learn to stop taking things personally by evaluating if you’re doing the right thing and offering value to the world, then you can care less about what anyone else thinks or says.

Your self-worth isn’t defined by a rating of approval from anyone else. Especially because nobody else knows your journey, what you’ve been through and where you’re headed.

As you learn to manage your emotions and not take things personally, you will start to enjoy absolute inner peace and this is my wish for you.

Connect with Anjaan across social media @MeditateWithAnjaan

More news from