“I take things too personally” is a remark I hear frequently from my patients, associates, colleagues, and friends. Many people become hypersensitive, defensive, and full of self-doubt because of this problem.
If you fail to get an invitation to lunch, a party, or a wedding, do you take it personally and then doubt yourself and your popularity?
If someone else gets the contract, do you believe you have failed to deliver?
If your boss forgets to say good morning, do you automatically think that he/she is angry with you?
If your spouse comes home crabby, do you feel responsible, guilty, irritated, defensive, or crabby yourself?
If your guests want to go home early, does that immediately suggest they dislike your company?
If your daughter is unhappy, do you start concluding that you have to be unhappy in order to show her how much you care?
If several of your colleagues are going to lunch together and you are not invited, do you worry they will talk about you at lunch?
We can have our whole day ruined because someone else’s behavior rubs off on us and we feel responsible. We find that whenever someone else is upset, we feel great pressure that somehow we are to blame. As a result, we take their behavior personally, which makes us defensive, anxious, miserable, and insecure.
It is important to gain some understanding as to the root of this problem and look at some possible reasons why we become hypersensitive and take things too personally. With this understanding, you will gain some valuable perspective on how to handle the problem more effectively.
Consider these roots of taking things too personally: Read more
How do we start effectively coping with our anxiety, fear, catastrophizing, awfulizing, and obsessing?
How do we live with less, manage in the meantime, do the maintenance on our relationships that matter, stay strong, and begin strategizing about our next chapter?
Our world has been profoundly shaken with the latest virus that has impacted our lives in the last few weeks. This pandemic is spreading quickly around our planet and as a result we are continually being updated by the media with some very scary and disturbing developments.
Many thousands of people are becoming globally infected with Coronavirus (COVID-19)
Many people are dying from it
We know entirely too little about how it spreads and who is likely to be infected
Treatment and vaccines have yet to be developed and will probably arrive in a year or longer
Testing initiatives and services have been limited
Schools, businesses, sporting events, entertainment venues, large meetings, modes of transportation, et al are being closed until further notice
Some entire countries are now being required to stay indoors at home
The escalation of the problem continues and it appears that we all have to be concerned about protecting ourselves from the possibility of infection
Many people are so anxious that they are cleaning out stores of their supplies of toilet tissue, food, water, home supplies, disinfectants, etc.
And, perhaps worst of all, many of us are beginning to panic, resulting in a variety of reactions… shock, disbelief, fear, agony, sadness, guilt, weakness, anxiety, obsession, anger, helplessness, suspicion, and frustration
This international pandemic crisis has created a huge distraction from our daily routines.
Many of us are experiencing loss of income, requirements to remain quarantined, and dilemmas on how to remain safe while trying to stay strong, and keep the business of living at some level of functional.
In addition, there exists a significant disruption in our perception of control of our own lives. Because unpredictable is now the new normal, and many of us are also in the deep end of the emotional roller coaster, we can be easily distracted from our work, our responsibilities and our focus. What can we do? How do we stay focused instead of constantly worrying or remaining hostage to the latest newsbreak?
It appears that the most contagious habit that is sweeping the country today is the use of the word “LIKE.” It’s a disease that is infecting everyone.
IT’S LIKE DRIVING ME LIKE CRAZY!
I have been thinking and reflecting about how it all started… slow at first, back in the day. Then gradually increasing the infection to young people, to these days, like today, everyone and I mean like everyone is like speaking this way. Both genders from elementary school kids, to young adults, to middle-aged people, and even “distinguished” people, you know the like gray-haired set.
When did it like start? As far as I can remember, it started during the 1950’s with “beatniks” like Maynard G. Krebs on the TV show “Dobie Gillis” where Maynard said with cool style in the coffee house, “It’s like cool, man!”
Fast forward to the 1980’s when young girls in San Fernando Valley became increasingly infected with a speech pattern called “Valley Speak” which became a 1983 movie “Valley Girl,” followed by a hugely successful movie in 1995 called “Clueless.” “Like I’m sure…”Read more
In my many years in this profession, I am continually amazed, amused, and ultimately bewildered with how often people fail to practice Common Sense.
Most all of us know what Common Sense is. It is obvious, pragmatic, practical, logical, prudent, and reflecting sound judgement. It is often right in front of our face! It’s so OBVIOUS, WE KNOW WHAT IT IS.
Though we know what Common Sense is, too many of us fail to actually apply and practice Common Sense. We drop the ball when it comes to DOING WHAT WE KNOW.
Something happens when we snatch a rationalization from the jaws of logic. We stall and lie to ourselves that we will get around to doing it real soon.
Instead, we continually practice insanity. We keep doing the same thing again and again with the illusion that if we keep doing that same thing we will encounter a different result. INSANITY!!!
Sometimes when you encounter people you will notice that they seem to have the “Magic.” They have that idiosyncratic special gift of personal genius that makes them powerful, influential, entertaining, persuasive, and seemingly supernatural.
People with that gift make us happy, laugh, excited, entertained, and willing and eager to buy what they are selling. A popular term about people like that is “he can sell igloos to Eskimos!”
Have you ever looked at how they do what they do? Have you ever noticed what makes you get so impacted and persuaded when they are around?
I call people like that SEDUCTIVE and you will often pay good money to get the experience of being SEDUCED!
Replace bad habits with good ones… and add common sense
Most of us want to be happy and successful, and yet rarely do we receive any education or guidance on how to achieve those competencies.
Happiness is routinely connected with good, close, and functional relationships.
Success is often connected with having fiscal literacy and being good with money.
As you get older and continue to experience the way life is, you will learn some lessons about what is really important. Among the lessons we learn are perhaps the two most important; how to be happy and how to be successful.Read more
When You Want Connection and Reinforcement from Others
Do you want to be complimented, loved, admired, and respected?
You may be unaware that you are continually preventing the very thing you want.
After several decades of experience in my psychotherapy practice helping people to achieve much more functional lives and satisfying relationships, it is clear to me that virtually everyone wants the same thing. Read more
Most of us want to be happy, and yet, too many of us are consumed with our crankiness, fear, depression, feeling unloved, insecurity, being miserable, feeling inadequate, feeling betrayed, etc., essentially being wrapped up in chronic unhappiness!
In addition, I am often struck with the large population of people who are persistently stuck in unhappiness. These malcontents are often whining, bellyaching, criticizing, obsessing, bleating, condemning, catastrophizing, awfulizing, and complaining.
I believe that people will keep choosing familiar routines like this simply because they are familiar, regardless of whether they like it or dislike it. Some examples of this are below.
You go to the same restaurant and order the same item on the menu. This routine is common and it is a great habit if you really like that restaurant and that particular item on the menu. Some of us do!Read more