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How to Stop Taking Things Personally

Working in schools means working with people, all day, every day. People can at time be prickly and unpredictable. Whilst we never know what is going on in somebody else’s life, it can be very easy to take things personally.

Often it is the INTENT that we are presuming about the other person’s behaviour that leads to us taking things personally. However, often the same behaviour can be interpreted differently. The following suggestions are made to help you to stop taking things personally.

Reflect on the assumption you are making about why they are behaving that way.

Try to take comments or criticism in a constructive way. Ask yourself if there’s any truth in it and what you can learn.

Try a different perspective. Could they have a different intention behind their behaviour? Are you being paranoid? Have you assumed the wrong intent? Ask yourself how an unbiased outsider would see the situation.

Ask yourself what else the comment or behaviour might mean. For example, if someone doesn’t smile or say hello, they might be shy or absorbed in their thoughts.

Realise that other people’s rudeness is not about you. When someone is rude, it’s likely to be reflection of their own issues.

Your self-worth depends on you. It does not depend on what others say about you.

Realise that you can’t please everyone and assure yourself that this too will pass.