There are quite a few moments in our lives when we feel hurt or offended, which usually come from the way other people make us feel. Often we may take into account any remark or comment we hear, and assume that if a certain thing is said or done it is to personally offend us; the children haven’t cleaned their room? They obviously don’t care about me; my co-workers are being inconsiderate? It's apparent that they don’t want to work with me.
However, these are often thoughts that have no basis in reality, and they only cause us harm and prevent us from progressing in life. The following 8 tips should be read whenever you feel anger, pain or disappointment, as they’ll help you stop taking things personally, see the full picture, and feel more peaceful and secure.
Most people see the world from their narrow perspective and think first of all about themselves and the problems they face. Therefore, the way they behave and the words they say often attest to what is happening in their minds and hearts, regardless of you or your behavior. You may have done a great job at work but have not received positive feedback because your boss is dealing with a problem in another department or even with a personal problem that’s bothering him.
Another example of this principle can be a case in which a good friend forgot to call you because she’s distracted by financial difficulties. Always assume that there is more than one explanation for others’ behaviors toward you, and do not automatically assume that it was a mistake you made or lack of affection for you. Remember that the way others treat you is their problem, but the reaction to this behavior is your problem.
Do you feel that you can’t keep up with your chores at home or tasks at work? Think for a moment, especially on your busiest days, how much time from your stressful day do you devote to anger and resentment, and attempting to reconstruct conversations you’ve had with others?
The decision to try to think as little as possible about the behavior of others will give you peace and freedom of mind, and you’ll be surprised to find that you’ll end up with double the energy and you’ll feel much better. The goal is not to take this decision to extremes and ignore any advice or comments from the environment, but to use your intuition to guide you in deciding which comments are worth considering, and when one extra thought about it is one thought too many.
It makes sense to examine your behavior from time to time and try to understand whether you are doing your best, but remember that you can’t control others' thoughts no matter how much you try. In fact, trying to please them can in some cases waste time and cause you great distress. If you are constantly looking for a "middleman" to check what a third party thinks of you, stop doing so. This is just another task that you're adding to your to-do list, which is usually destined to fail and will only take up more space in your mind.
Continuing from the previous point, although this sentence may be our greatest fear, it is important to remember and relate to it: The world is full of different people, and regardless of who you are and your qualities as human beings, you will never be in a situation where all the people around you will love you the same, or even at all.
In some cases, it is due to factors beyond your control. Maybe you remind them of someone that they didn’t get along with, maybe your personalities just don’t mesh well. The best thing you can do is continue to be nice to them and behave normally. It may be that in time they’ll open up to you and maybe they won’t, but you must accept and prepare for both options
In some cases, what hurts us more than anything is not a comment from a random person, but rather criticism from someone we value and look up to, like our boss or our partner. This criticism may have been made after we made a mistake at work or changed something in our relationship with our spouse, and it is also possible that this is criticism you don’t agree with.
In such situations, it is very easy to get hurt because we assume that these are people that know us well and therefore it must be right, but such a response can only make you feel sad and frustrated. Try to develop the ability to take critique seriously, without being offended by it. Analyze what happened, listen, ask questions, and then conclude whether this is something you want to change in yourself.
On days when we wake up in a good mood, full of energy and self-confidence, we manage to react better to others’ rude behavior, and sometimes we may not even notice it. On the other hand, on days where we don’t necessarily feel good, wise or strong enough, every word can make us feel that the whole world is against us.
Stop referring to your self-worth as a derivative of what others think of you: Remind yourself every day that you are loved, successful, and talented enough regardless of the opinions of others, and if you turn this self-patting into a regular habit you can attribute less weight to what others think.
Feel like other’s opinions affects your self-esteem and make you doubt yourself? This may well be due to the fact that you lack additional positive feedback in your life. Try to find things you can do outside of your regular work schedule or agenda that will make you feel good and thereby increase your confidence in yourself.
It can be a new hobby, volunteering, or helping friends you haven’t seen in a while. Anything that’ll remind you how talented you are and allow others to be impressed or grateful. This will bring joy to your life and thereby reduce the weight of other people’s negative comments or opinions.
Are you angry at how others treat you in cases where you feel you don’t deserve it? Once you’ve reminded yourself that it is very possible that their response comes from problems that they are dealing with in their own lives, try to think of the person as a baby rather than an adult: Would you be angry at a baby crying because he is tired or a dog barking because it is hungry?
Exchange your anger with forgiveness and even empathy, be nice to rude people and even offer to help them. Even if that doesn’t work, the fact that you chose to deal with the problem politely and didn’t make yourself a victim will make you feel much better.