Do things other people say and do easily disrupt your happiness?
Can your entire mood shift because of one negative comment by a coworker or family member?
If this is true, it sounds like you are taking things personally.
Imagine these interactions on your morning commute to work….
An erratic driver cuts you off in traffic….the barista at your regular coffee spot is aloof while taking your order…..and then there was the rude person who didn’t acknowledge you and return your friendly hello when you got on the elevator.
When you finally reach your desk has your friendly disposition turned sour?
That’s because you allowed other people to dictate how you feel……..
When you take everything people say and do personally, you are setting yourself up for a life filled with suffering.
And if you want to live a life free of the constant judgment from others, you need to learn the following strategies:
Change Your Perception
Changing your perception takes the focus off of you — by removing the ego — and provides an opportunity to consider how the other person in the equation is feeling and what they may be thinking.
It’s easy to get defensive and irritable when you feel like a negative comment or action is directly related to you.
But instead, take a moment to consider all the facts……..
>>>Maybe the erratic driver was late for a job interview because her kid barfed right as she was leaving the house…
>>>The barista had nothing to smile about because his dog died that morning….
>>>And the person in the elevator? Maybe they just don’t think it’s important to say hi back when someone acknowledges them.
In essence, taking things personally keeps you tied to someone else and, in the extreme, can even make you feel like a victim.
Think back to your morning commute…..nothing any of those people said or did was a reflection of you. They were all too busy worrying about their own lives.
The person in the elevator?
It’s easy to assume there was something about you they didn’t like….your hair? the color of your outfit?
It’s absurd to think a total stranger can have a strong reaction based on something so superficial
More likely, they just don’t carry the same set of values that you do — saying hello back isn’t important to them.
And there’s a good chance they treat everyone that way…..not just you.
So allowing them to affect your mood is only extracting joy from your life.
Only you are responsible for how you feel.
Increase Your Confidence
Let’s just say the barista’s dog didn’t die and the reason he didn’t smile is because his coworker told him the last time you were in — you didn’t leave a tip. But you know you did leave a tip, and he just didn’t notice.
It doesn’t change the fact that it still has nothing to do with you.
And the only reason you care about how the barista is treating you is that his approval is important to you.
A good question to ask yourself is:
Do I really care what this person thinks of me, and will it matter in a year from now?
If the answer is yes, then speak to the person in question regarding the offense.
And if the answer is no…..then you can use that to move beyond the emotion of the moment.
Chances are, if you are confident with who you are, the opinions of others won’t affect you.
Because confidence increases the buffer between a negative comment or action and how you feel about yourself.
You’re in your own head, so you already know all your flaws. But it’s much easier to shrug off a negative comment when you’re confident because you know it isn’t true.
You get to choose how you want to respond to external stimuli.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.
And to be honest….other people aren’t thinking about you as much as you think they are.
Most people — like you — are thinking about themselves.
Improve Your Self-Awareness
Engaging in personal development serves to improve your self-awareness.
And being more self-aware is useful when it comes time to gauge whether or not an event requires you to take action or simply let it go.
Being cut off in traffic and scowled at while ordering a coffee unquestionably should not destroy your inner peace.
But, a boss who constantly criticizes you and makes it difficult for you to do your job?
……that might require sticking up for yourself and setting some boundaries — recalling the question…….will this affect me a year from now.