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There are some people in life who are overly sensitive and tend to take remarks that are made and turn them into a personal attack.

People in life who are overly sensitive

There are also times when a manager or supervisor has to have a talk with an individual about something they might have done incorrectly and that person becomes upset and takes the issue far too personally. 

Self esteem has a lot to do with how people handle different situations.  Somebody with high self esteem would take the advice of the supervisor and utilize it to better him or herself.  Someone with high self esteem would not take a general statement and take it out of context; they would brush it off and go about their day.

Everybody, however, is prone to, at one time or another, to take something that is said far too personally.  We all have off days where we are over-sensitive and sarcasm can be confused with reality.  Generally, however, the mood swings back into the norm and hurt feelings are mended.

Steps to Build Self Esteem

Since the problem of taking things too personally is derived from low self esteem, one needs to know how to build their self esteem in order to overcome this problem.  Self esteem is how you see yourself or how you value yourself.   People with low self esteem see themselves as not being good enough or they don’t feel like they fit in.  

They are constantly looking for affirmation from peers and supervisors and often are hesitant to speak up for themselves.  The question is, then, how does somebody build self esteem?  The first important step is that the individual needs to recognize that he or she has a problem with self esteem; once that has been achieved they can move on to the next steps to reverse low self esteem into high self esteem.

  • Step outside the box

It may be nice and cozy and safe in that box but in order to build confidence and self esteem you must be willing to enlarge your personal space.  You need to experience things that are out of your norm. 

  • Make a list

Make a list of things you don’t like about yourself and then set a realistic goal to change those things.  If you want to lose weight, set a goal to lose however many pounds you want to lose.  If you have a list, it’s much easier to reach your goals because you have the words in front of you.

  • Learn how to say “no”

Many people with low self esteem will agree to almost anything just to get the approval of the other person.  Learning to say “no” gives you power and with that power it builds your self esteem.

How Does This Apply to Taking Things too Personally?

The image of one’s self is vital as to how they think others perceive them.  If an individual thinks they are not competent to do a certain job, their supervisor will not give a difficult task to that person for fear that the task will not be completed.  Self worth is so important in living and working in society; it is the key to success and or failure. 

When the individual has built a higher self esteem and has a more positive view of themselves, they learn how to handle critiques by supervisors or sarcastic comments that they once took out of context and applied them as a personal attack.  As they slowly expand their personal space and begin to step out of their box or comfort zone they begin to have more confidence in themselves.  They are given more difficult tasks and as they meet the demands of those tasks their self esteem builds even stronger as their self worth gets higher.

How to Handle a Negative Situation

Every day that you are out among all the people in society, at some point during each day you will come across a negative situation.  It may be something out of your control or it may be something within your control.  How you handle that situation makes all the difference in the world and helps you to not take the negative situation personally.  Here are a few things you can do to help avoid taking things too personally.

  • Give yourself a time out

Step away from the situation and think about it before you react.  Try to see both points of view before you begin blaming yourself for the situation.  Examine within yourself what is causing you to think you are to blame.  Once you have had time to reflect on the situation, you will be more confident in how you handle it with confidence.

  • Look people in the eye

Making eye contact sends the message to the person you are talking to that you are confident and strong; when you lower your head or look away from them this shows your weaknesses and some people will use this against you.

  • Learn to say “No”

If you have portrayed yourself as somebody with low self esteem, people will use that to get you to do things you would rather not do.  It is important to learn how to say “no” in a polite but confident tone.  This will shock your co-workers or friends but they will soon catch on that you will no longer be taken advantage of.

  • Communicate

If somebody makes a comment that you think pertains to you personally ask that person to repeat what he or she just said.  If they were being sarcastic they will explain it to you; if they were being serious, this gives you a chance to reply to the comment in a confident manner and lets the other person know that you will no longer be the butt of his or her jokes. 

Sometimes in our weakness, something somebody says cuts us to the bone and our feeling get hurt.  It happens to us all from time to time but allowing it to continue to burden you down will cause you a lot of stress in your life. 

If there is somebody who continually seems to be belittling you, ignore them and go on; they are looking for a reaction from you and if you don’t give them that reaction they are looking for, eventually they will stop trying to push your buttons.

You have to stand up for yourself, have good self esteem, like the person you are, and recognize what it is you need to work on so that you can stop taking things so personally.