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11 Habits That Pull You Out Of The Vicious Spiral Of Taking Things Too Personally

11 Habits That Pull You Out Of The Vicious Spiral Of Taking Things Too Personally

When I saw the Grand Canyon for the first time, I cried. It made me realise how tiny and insignificant my existence was compared to the greater scheme of things. Without perspective, we sometimes forget how small we are. We waste our time taking things personal, blowing things out of proportion and making it all about us. Taking things too personally is a slippery slope that can destroy our self-esteem. If you find yourself falling down a vicious spiral of taking things personal, here are 11 tips to pull yourself out.

1. Remember you are the size of a grain of sand.

Your house is in a city, in a state, in a country, on a continent, on Earth, in our solar system, in the Milky Way, in our Universe and so on. Translation, you are but a speck. Keeping our existence into perspective, knowing that our Universe is 13.8 billion years old and we live, on average, for about 70 years reminds us that taking things too personally is a waste of time.

2. Stop, think and respond.

Quite often our communication style is to react; we say or do the first thing that comes to mind. Controlling your response in any given situation allows you to reflect on what’s happening and calmly communicate with the person that might be getting under your skin.

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3. Make “I’m rubber and your glue, whatever you say bounces off me and sticks to you” your new mantra.

We’ve all heard this saying before. It means that you don’t really care whether or not a person is speaking ill of you. By letting things roll off of your back, you avoid the stress that comes with taking things too personally. Making it a mantra creates a personal reminder for you and no one else  — we’re here to avoid conflict, not create it.

4. Use Nonviolent Communication.

Nonviolent communication is also known as Compassionate Communication or Collaborative Communication. It was invented by Marshall Rosenberg in the 1960s and focuses on self-empathy, empathy and honest self-expression. It’s a four-step process based on (1) observation, (2) feeling, (3) need, (4) request.

For example: “Dan, when I (1) see dishes in the sink, I (2) feel irritated because I’m needing (3) the kitchen that we share in common to be clean. (4) Could you please do your dishes?”

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You’re not taking the fact that he hasn’t done the dishes, personally; you’re communicating how you feel without being irrational or demeaning. Find out more at The Centre for Nonviolent Communication.

5. Be okay with being vulnerable.

Allowing ourselves to be vulnerable by expressing our feelings can help resolve conflicts. When we talk things out and let ourselves be seen, we’re letting the other person know how we feel without taking it personal — much like we did in number 4.

6.  Realise that if someone isn’t saying nice things about you, it’s a reflection of them — and it’s nothing personal.

People who judge others or put other’s down to make themselves feel better have their own self-esteem issues. If someone is being unkind to you, remember that they’re probably behaving this way because of something that’s happened to them in the past of present; which has nothing to do with you.

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7. Learn how to be a passive listener.

Passive listening is when you’re sitting quietly and not responding to what the other person is saying. This relates back to being able to calmly respond to a situation without reacting and putting your foot in your mouth.

8. Learn to love yourself.

Improving self-esteem will allow you to not take things personal. The way we feel about ourselves is a direct reflection of how other’s feel about us. When we don’t speak highly of ourselves, why should someone else?  If you suffer from low self-esteem that’s affecting your daily life, seek out help from a psychologist, therapist or coach.

9. Ask for clarification.

We distort, delete and generalise information based on our personal values and beliefs. Someone might say something to us, and we might make it mean something completely different. By asking for a specific explanation, you’ll be provided with a clearer understanding of what is trying to be said.

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10. Ask for feedback.

There isn’t failure, only feedback, and we need that feedback to grow. After you ask for clarification, ask for feedback on what different strategies or approaches you could use next time.

11. Remember you’re only human.

Further to number 10, we all make mistakes. All we can do is learn from those mistakes and not take that feedback personally, so we can do better next time. When we stop learning and keep making the same mistakes, it’s time to seek help from friends, family, co-workers or mental health professionals.

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

7 Powerful Questions To Find Out What You Want To Do With Your Life

What do I want to do with my life? It’s a question all of us think about at one point or another.

For some, the answer comes easily. For others, it takes a lifetime to figure out.

It’s easy to just go through the motions and continue to do what’s comfortable and familiar. But for those of you who seek fulfillment, who want to do more, these questions will help you paint a clearer picture of what you want to do with your life.

1. What are the things I’m most passionate about?

The first step to living a more fulfilling life is to think about the things that you’re passionate about.

What do you love? What fulfills you? What “work” do you do that doesn’t feel like work? Maybe you enjoy writing, maybe you love working with animals or maybe you have a knack for photography.

The point is, figure out what you love doing, then do more of it.

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2. What are my greatest accomplishments in life so far?

Think about your past experiences and the things in your life you’re most proud of.

How did those accomplishments make you feel? Pretty darn good, right? So why not try and emulate those experiences and feelings?

If you ran a marathon once and loved the feeling you had afterwards, start training for another one. If your child grew up to be a star athlete or musician because of your teachings, then be a coach or mentor for other kids.

Continue to do the things that have been most fulfilling for you.

3. If my life had absolutely no limits, what would I choose to have and what would I choose to do?

Here’s a cool exercise: Think about what you would do if you had no limits.

If you had all the money and time in the world, where would you go? What would you do? Who would you spend time with?

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These answers can help you figure out what you want to do with your life. It doesn’t mean you need millions of dollars to be happy though.

What it does mean is answering these questions will help you set goals to reach certain milestones and create a path toward happiness and fulfillment. Which leads to our next question …

4. What are my goals in life?

Goals are a necessary component to set you up for a happy future. So answer these questions:

Once you figure out the answers to each of these, you’ll have a much better idea of what you should do with your life.

5. Whom do I admire most in the world?

Following the path of successful people can set you up for success.

Think about the people you respect and admire most. What are their best qualities? Why do you respect them? What can you learn from them?

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You’re the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with.[1] So don’t waste your time with people who hold you back from achieving your dreams.

Spend more time with happy, successful, optimistic people and you’ll become one of them.

6. What do I not like to do?

An important part of figuring out what you want to do with your life is honestly assessing what you don’t want to do.

What are the things you despise? What bugs you the most about your current job?

Maybe you hate meetings even though you sit through 6 hours of them every day. If that’s the case, find a job where you can work more independently.

The point is, if you want something to change in your life, you need to take action. Which leads to our final question …

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7. How hard am I willing to work to get what I want?

Great accomplishments never come easy. If you want to do great things with your life, you’re going to have to make a great effort. That will probably mean putting in more hours the average person, getting outside your comfort zone and learning as much as you can to achieve as much as you can.

But here’s the cool part: it’s often the journey that is the most fulfilling part. It’s during these seemingly small, insignificant moments that you’ll often find that “aha” moments that helps you answer the question,

“What do I want to do with my life?”

So take the first step toward improving your life. You won’t regret it.

Featured photo credit: Andrew Ly via unsplash.com

Reference

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