It’s all about you. No, really, it is, at least in your own mind-it is personally based on how you see things. And for the most part, that’s normal.

We each see the world through our own unique lens. All that we encounter is filtered through our experiences, perspectives, and mindset. So, in a way, everything is personal.

However, troubles and possible dysfunction arise when this simple reality transforms into a bit of paranoia. Many of us feel as if the words, actions, and thoughts of others are all to be taken to heart. This can lead to serious anxiety and problems making and maintaining connections. And it’s gotten even trickier thanks to that little device you’re staring at all the time.

Life Under the Social Media Lens

You post on Facebook. An acquaintance adds a comment that challenges your post. Then another friend “likes” the challenging comment. Surely, that last exchange can only mean that your friend secretly hates you and is finally letting the world know.

This scenario is funny — meme-worthy, you might say — but it contains some unfortunate truths. The era of smartphones and social media often feeds our insecurities and transforms them into one offense or another. Now, more than ever, we must learn the skills required to stop taking everything so personally.

7 Things You Can Do To Stop Taking Everything So Personally!

  1. Slow Down and Stay Present

Much of our anxiety lives in the past and/or the future. You can rue the past. You can fear the future. We often have negative future fantasies that lead to anxiety. Why not make positive ones? You can choose the outcome because they are fantasies-why not make them positive fantasies?  There is another option as well. You can choose to be present in this moment. Right here. Right now.

  1. Don’t Feed the Trolls

In terms of social media, you are under zero obligation to engage “trolls.” Unfortunately, there are some folks who enjoy nothing more than bothering strangers. They are masters at creeping into your mind and staying there.

  1. Question Your Assumptions

What are your expectations when it comes to personal interactions? It’s healthy to re-examine your assumptions—especially if they might be leading you into a dark place. Remember it is your choice how you want to look at something.  If you look at something negatively you will feel bad.  This is not suggesting to over-compromise. But re-evaluation is always a good idea.

  1. Step Away from the Phone…and the Computer

Take a break. It’s not only possible; it’s super helpful. Cultivate new, healthy habits. Time spent at the gym is time not spent ruminating.

  1. Talk to Trusted Allies About Your Perceptions

Leave the echo chamber of self-fulfilling doubt and shame and get some outside perspectives. Talk to your friends and family and get a second opinion…or three. Consider talking to a professional (see below).

  1. Help Others

You can’t be anxious and paranoid if you’re too busy doing something amazing for someone else. When you encounter those struggling for basic necessities, it offers a different lens. You will instinctively make it all about them!

  1. Check Yourself

People don’t think about us as much as we believe they do. This is ground zero of the whole “taking everything personally” thing. Sure, there are times when another person’s behavior is directed at you. But, truth be told, they aren’t even thinking about you the vast majority of the time.  They are in their own little world just as you are.  Most of what we see in the world is our on projection-how could it be anything else?

Get an Outside Perspective

The tendency to take everything personally is not to be taken lightly. It’s not always easily managed. By now, it should be clear that we need input other than our own feelings. Our beliefs can often be self-affirming. Friends and family, for that matter, have their own biases. Personal interactions can be a jumble of miscommunication, misunderstandings, and misinterpretations.

Talking to a counselor is an opportunity to get an informed opinion from someone with your best interests in mind. Therapy sessions can offer balance by giving you a space to talk openly and teaching you how to focus on your own reactions to life’s twists and turns.

Posted by Counseling Wise on May 14, 2018