Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Self-care strategy #5 - Don't take everything personally

So many times I get really worked up if people make a criticism of me or if they don't like me. I feel like I am not good enough, likable enough, smart enough, agreeable enough, that I lack social skills, patience, understanding, humor. I cringe when my flaws are verbally exposed by others.

I need to remind myself that nobody is perfect. Even those who seem effortlessly charismatic on the surface may feel insecure deep down. Overly charming people are either people pleasers or can be quite arrogant. People also assume a lot of things, especially if they come from a more homogenous culture. When they say, "This is how we always do things in my family/culture/country", I have to struggle not to snap back that "I didn't grow up in your family/culture/country and you have no idea what kind of (flawed) values were taught to me when I grew up. Your values do not universally apply to everyone in this world."

Decades of biting my tongue when others make quick judgements and criticism has made me seem overly aloof. I want to appear to be a warmer person but I think I have to allow myself to process everything that has happened to me rather than feeling bad when people say that I'm an adult now and can just suddenly make the switch to be totally confident and pretend my upbringing is over and does not influence me now at all.

When people make naive judgements I guess I need to  remind myself that they are lucky they grew up in a more conventional environment, but it also makes them understand less about the shadows and darkness in this world. It makes me more sympathetic to the less fortunate people. It feels burdensome but I have to find ways to accept my knowledge and experience as gifts.  


  1. Which reminds me of one of my favorite sayings " Don"t look for reasons to be offended ... just breathe ". ;)

    1. Thanks for the reminder Willow! It's something I should keep in mind!