Stop Taking Things Personally

Does someone else's bullying personality make you feel like you're worthless? Do you mistake people's antics for subtle insults? This article will highlight some ways in which you can remain unaffected by others' opinion of you, whether it's a weird look, a teasing remark, or direct


Give the benefit of the doubt. If you have a habit of taking things personally, it means that you're apt to assume someone is directing some form of aggression towards you specifically, when they might be just joking around or having a bad day. It might be your instinct to react, or curl up into a ball emotionally, but pause for a second. Maybe it's not about you. Learn how to gain control of your emotions. Don't jump to conclusions.

Refocus your attention. When you take things personally, you shift your attention from what they said or did, to how you feel. Unless you move on from that point, it's likely that you'll ruminate, and the negative feeling will be amplified. Instead, focus again on the other person.

      > Look at how the person treats others. They might tease, pick on, or even insult everyone they cross paths with. Some people are just antagonistic like that.

      > Consider their insecurities. Could they feel threatened by you in some way? If so, don't feel bad for being your awesome self. Think about how you can help this person feel better about themselves.

      > Keep in mind that the other person may have poor communication and emotional management skills. Imagine that there's an inner child acting out, because the person hasn't learned how to deal with things in a mature way. It's much easier to be patient and feel compassionate when you visualize a learning child at the helm of their behavior.

Remind yourself that you don't need anyone's approval. If you're especially sensitive to people's behavior towards you, to the extent that you regularly overreact, it might be because you've got a strong radar for rejection. If you pick up on any kind of displeasure, you worry that you're doing something wrong, and you want to fix it eagerly and anxiously. But just because someone isn't happy with you doesn't mean you've done something wrong. In many cases, it means that person isn't happy with themselves, and expects you to fill in the blanks (which is impossible).

Speak up. Let the person know how you are feeling. They might not realize how hurtful or aggressive they seem and how it is affecting you. Use "I" statements. If this is recurring, use nonviolent communication to (hopefully) put an end to it, and resolve any underlying issues.

Stop taking compliments personally, too. If you base your self-worth on how much people compliment and validate you, then you're basically allowing others to decide how you feel about yourself. If someone compliments you, it's no more personal than a direct insult. They're simply calling it how they see it, and that may or may not be accurate--only you can be the judge of that. So if someone is positive towards you, that doesn’t make you a better person, it makes them a better person, because they're taking the time to be supportive and encouraging. Your value, your self-worth remains unchanged, because it's something that comes from within.

Be Assertive Without Being Arrogant

Assertiveness is a very important means for communicating your needs in a way that is fair to both yourself and to others. Unfortunately, for some insecure people, assertive people are sometimes threatening and it is easier to label them as arrogant, selfish, or unhelpful when they receive the answer "no" or when boundaries are made clear by the assertive person. In particular, those with manipulation, neediness, and trust problems can see assertive responses as undermining their own agendas and will seek to respond with negative critiques of an assertive person's behavior. This is where it can get a little tricky for the newly assertive convert but it's no reason to suddenly start worrying that you are arrogant!


Check that you are using assertive communication appropriately. If you are new to assertiveness, or you're not feeling your usual self because of illness or stress, etc., you might be resorting to techniques that are more aggressive, passive aggressive, or making assumptions where there are none to be made, rather than being assertive. A quick check you can do is to think back through your comments and stance with the person in question and write down what you said. Read it back: Does it sound to you as if you were being assertive, or otherwise? Be honest - it's about you!

Check the context. Sometimes factors come into the equation that shouldn't. Race, gender, married status, age, disabilities, illness, and so on can sometimes cause a person to assume that you have an "attitude", rather than an assertive style of communication. If you suspect that this is the situation, continue with your assertive communication and consider whether it is worth raising your concern that your status might be causing negative responses from the person accusing you of being arrogant, or whether this might even be something actionable in your workplace, school, etc. environment.

Be an active listener. Letting people know your boundaries and feelings while at the same time allowing them space to talk, discuss, and open up about their feelings is important. Assertiveness is about give and take; you take a little of their time to clarify your feelings and you give a lot of your time to hear about theirs. Remember that a good listener is also a flatterer and it's hard to find arrogance in that!

Be humble and modest. Assertiveness and humility make a fine combination. An assertive person doesn't need to shout "Me, me, me, look what I did!" from the rooftops. Assertive people are remembered because they stand firm, their needs and interests are clear to others, and because they are reliable; they also frequently become a form of role model for others seeking to assert themselves effectively. Take this role to heart but don't boast, big note yourself or become pushy, no matter how clever, popular, or successful you might be.

Remember that assertiveness techniques take time to learn and nobody gets it right all the time. Apologizing is a good response to a failure to communicate assertively though and there is always space to reopen that door to better communications.

Don't take negative comebacks to heart. When you are faced with one of life's more challenging personalities, the best thing to do is to not take it personally. Sometimes it is your self-assurance that is a cause of irritation for less secure people and their response is to try and weevil their way in through criticism. This is never a reason to fall back into old patterns of unhealthy communication styles. Simply reassert whatever your point is and choose to leave it there. It is something they can work on with the full enlightenment on where you stand.

Seek the middle way. Sometimes if you're placed in a position of having to choose between differing viewpoints in a group, there might be accusations of arrogance against one division by the other. Always consider the possibility of being able to acknowledge both sides of the argument and finding the middle way to draw the concerns together. You don't necessarily have to solve the situation but you can be a powerful facilitator to the group finding an answer to its division through your assertive communications. In such situations, inform everyone that the situation is not one for blame, not one for recriminations, and not one for finding fault. Instead, help people to see that there is a chance for compromise by showing them where each has made assumptions about the other or the facts of the situation, while still upholding your own belief or opinion. And suggest that they have another look at things to reach a compromise.

Stay Awake at Work

Whether you partied all night, stayed up with a newborn, or lost sleep while finishing up a project, now you're at work and you're having a difficult time staying awake. You promise yourself that you'll get more sleep, if you can just make it through the day without being discovered by your boss with your eyes closed. Here's how to have a good sleep. If you want to go to sleep at 8.30.


Use your sense of smell. A strong scent, good or bad, can make you more alert very quickly. Aromatherapists often recommend essential oils of the following plants to stimulate the nervous system and reduce fatigue (open the bottle and take a big whiff when you're feeling drowsy):

> Rosemary.

> Eucalyptus blue gum.

> Peppermint (a study showed that smelling peppermint can lower fatigue by 15%, increase alertness by 30% and decrease frustration by 25%.)

> Coffee (beans or brewed, study has shown that simply smelling coffee can awaken a person)

> Scots pine oil.

Of course, not all of us have essential oils stored in our file cabinets, but using hand lotions or burning candles with these same scents could help. Herbs like rosemary and peppermint can
often be found fresh or dried at a grocery store; for a little pick-me-up, take a pinch and roll it between your fingertips and smell it. Alternatively, if there's any chili powder around, take a (careful) whiff of that.

Use acupressure. Massaging any of the following points will improve circulation and ease fatigue

> Top of your head (lightly tap with your fingertip).

> Top of the back of your neck.

> Back of your hands (between thumb and index finger) .

> Just below the knees.

> Earlobes

Take a power nap. If you have the time, sleeping for just 15-20 minutes can increase your alertness by leaps and bounds if you have a cup of coffee (or any other form of caffeine) right before you fall asleep.

Expose yourself to bright light, preferably natural daylight. Your body's internal clock, its circadian rhythms, are regulated by your exposure to sufficient light. Even if you're in an environment where there's artificial light, brighter is better. If you can step outside (even on a cloudy day) or look out the window for a full minute, you'll be more alert. Wherever you work, see if you can replace the light fixture or add a lamp that will brighten your workspace.

Keep yourself uncomfortable. Stay on your feet as much as possible. If you have to sit down, get the most uncomfortable chair you can find. Try not to sit in anything that will make you sore if you stay there. Make sure the back is upright, forcing you to sit up very straight. Don't allow your head to rest on anything--your hands, the desk, the wall.

> Stay cold. If it's a little cold, take off your sweater or jacket so you stay on the chilly side. Open a window or put on a small fan, pointed at your face.

Exercise at your computer. Just because you're sitting down doesn't mean you can't use your muscles.

Avoid a full stomach. Munch on snacks all day, rather than having a big meal. The key is to not get a spike of sugar intake (followed by the inevitable crash). The same goes for caffeine. Break your consumption down into small doses.

> Apple - the sweetness and tartness in the flavor, along with the "crunch" will perk you up in a healthy way

> Sunflower seeds still in the husk (put a small handful in your cheek and crack them open one at a time, using only your teeth and tongue; this will require just enough active thought and tongue movement to prevent you from dozing off, and the salt of the sunflower seeds is invigorating and stimulating; spit out the sunflower husks into a paper cup as you go, as quietly as possible so as to not disturb others around you).

> Raisins.

Listen to music that's energizing to you; if possible, dance or sing along, even if you just bob your head or hum. Music that's irritating or jarring to you can also work. Just make sure to use headphones so you don't disturb your co-workers.

Every thirty minutes, do one of the following, Physical activity for 2-3 minutes (jumping jacks, push-ups, jogging in place, or walk around)
Splash cold water on your face

> Drink an ice cold glass of water (the coldness picks you up, and guarantees you getting up every half hour or so to go to the bathroom; you won't fall asleep on a full bladder)

> Brush your teeth

> Chew gum. Chewing gum stimulates muscles in your face, increasing blood flow to your head, helping you stay alert and awake.

Feel Fresh After a Long Trip

After a long day of traveling, you are bound to feel tired and dirty. There is no way to travel without getting fatigued, but there are ways to help you feel fresh after a long tip that are quick and


> Splash cold water on your face. A clean face always makes you feel clean and refreshed.

> Comb your hair. It's best to wear your hair up in a ponytail or bun if you can. Wearing your hair up will help minimize knots and that greasy hair feeling.

> Brush your teeth. It's amazing how fresh you feel after brushing your teeth and your breath smells good too.

> Keep the amount of makeup you are wearing to the bear minimum. Wearing lipstick, mascara, and eye shadows have a tendency to smear and will give your face a tired and dirty while on a long trip.

> Rub moisturizer on your face, arms, hands and legs to help you relax and feel refreshed.

> Eat mints or chew on chewing gum. Sometimes it's not handy to brush your teeth and eating mints or chewing gum will help freshen your breath. Drink something cold. There's nothing better than a cold lime water to help your relax and cool off.

> Remove your shoes and massage your feet. Putting baby powder on your feet will minimize sweating and help them smell good.

> Most important, keep a positive attitude. If you think fresh and positive, then chances are you will feel fresh.

Motivate Yourself

A simple guide to getting back up after a tough figurative


Think through a set of goals that sound like what you want, and try to be specific. The key to most motivation remains setting goals, but you can't just pick any goals.

Make it general. Let's say you want a Corvette specifically, are you really saying you want a new car, or maybe just a car you can stop worrying about? Getting yourself to a reliable car is a goal that is easier to achieve and accomplishes the need you had from the get go. This is not copping out--no one needs a Corvette.

Do this with all of the goals you have, do not simply pick ones that sound good like most people pick New Year's resolutions. If the goals you set for yourself make your life easier or more rewarding, they are probably the type you need to focus on.

Cut pictures out of the car that you want, or the TV, stereo, golf clubs, whatever you are aiming for, and put them up somewhere you can see them every day. On the fridge door, or on the wall next to the computer. When you look say "That's my car" or "That's my TV". Visualizing these items as yours will help keep you motivated.

Anyone who has had serious issues with motivation knows that someone telling you to "stay motivated" is a bit daft, since you weren't in a motivated state to begin with, and as such, is hard to stay in. However anyone can get themselves motivated.

Make your goals in the very beginning small. If you write out a long list of things that are really valuable for you to do, and then you mess one up, you're going back to starting at zero and you will likely feel pretty badly. Instead make a list for each day, and at first, only put down maybe 3 or 4 things, a set of activities that might take you 2 or 3 hours.

If you can do that, then a week later start adding things in about an hour at a time and build up. It's like doing pushups in the Army, the first day you get there and feel terrible because you can't keep up with the physical training, but you build up to it. Goals and mental attitudes are the same way. You have to make it a series of small steps. Don't set yourself up for failure by reaching too high at first. You can always reach higher the next week. There's no limit here, so pace yourself.

Rely upon yourself for the motivation and the drive. Other people do not have and will never have the same vested interest in your success. Motivation and success is a function of habit. You must break your bad habit of procrastination, and replace it with one of good planning. The most successful people in the world aren't always the brightest, or the best looking, but no matter what other talents or gifts they have been blessed with, they have underpinning their self esteem a series of victories over tasks both large and small. This is how you learn anything in school, gain confidence dating, and everything else in life.

Don't just think that you're the best, prove it to yourself. Your opinion matters the most in your own motivation, but you know when you're pulling your own leg as to your accomplishments. It's far easier to just start dealing with your responsibilities and knowing, with an incredibly strong epistemic justification (by which I mean, you KNOW this) that you can handle what comes up because you have before, than trying to know you can tackle it because you're all warm and fuzzy inside. Warm and fuzzy accomplishes very little, but neither does beating yourself up.

Reward yourself when you complete a part of your task, your mind will recognise this and you will want to do whatever you did to give yourself a treat more.

Get back up if you fall. Start again. Start where you are comfortable. Getting back up to try again, no matter how small that task, goal, activity, errand, or whim; If you can complete it, you are already back on your way. Get up, don't look back. Cheers!

Exercise While Traveling

You are about to travel and your daily exercise routine will be thrown off. Taking too much time off may lead to lack of energy while the calories will continue to mount. The following will enable you to continue exercising while on the road. Although it may not be exactly the same as your routine at home, it will help in your efforts to lose weight or keep your energy level

Follow Before and During Travel Time

Stretch your entire body. Do this as often as possible.

Find open periods of time to stretch and walk about.

Run or walk quickly between airport terminals or into rest areas and restaurants.

Climb the stairs.

Squeeze your gluteus maximus muscles.

Raise your arms over your head.

Do punches.

Drink plenty water.

Evolve in Your Spiritual Practice

No matter what religious tradition you come from, having a spiritual practice allows you to develop as a person and deal with life's difficulties in a healthy manner

Steps to try:

> Keep a spiritual diary. A spiritual diary is invaluable to today's spiritual seeker. No matter what spiritual tradition you follow, a spiritual diary acts as the guru, or guide in keeping you on the spiritual path. Each day keep track of the total number of hours you spend in meditation, japa, pranayama, asanas, sleep, selfless service, etc. By doing this, you become aware of your strengths and weaknesses.

> Practice karma yoga or selfless service. By doing things in an unselfish way for others, we purify the heart and become closer to God. Karma yoga reminds us that we are all connected. By helping others we forget about our own problems, reduce our ego and learn to see things from another point of view.

> Practice asanas and pranayama. These yoga practices keep the body and mind strong and healthy enough to deal with daily stress. They also help us gain control over our thoughts. With a clear mind and more energy, we make better choices.

> Study spiritual books. We all need inspiration during life's trying times. These books teach us how to live in this world. They help develop our powers of discrimination which we need to decide what is good for us in and what isn't. This practice also helps to develop good character and ethical conduct.