Personalizing is taking something personally that may not be personal. When one takes everything personally, stressful events feel like consequences of something one personally did…they feel they somehow deserve the consequences. Although, someone who is blunt may express their opinion about something, as they may always do, but someone who takes things personally may be hurt by this person’s words, even when the blunt person did not intend to hurt the other person.
The first tip for personalizers is to realize that not all set backs are the end of the world. If you feel rejection, that is okay, even normal. Although, we need to keep in mind that this feeling of rejection does not mean that you are never going to be successful one day.
Remember that negative feedback can be useful to improve work, not to point out all of your mistakes. You are talented and skilled!
Second, be kinder to yourself. Give grace to your own mistakes and imperfections. If you can learn to be nicer to yourself about your imperfections, you won’t automatically jump to feeling attacked when other people make comments.
Next, it is important to accurately label emotions you are feeling. Emotions drive thoughts and behavior. Emotions often trigger personalizing. When you can label your emotions accurately you are able to better manage thinking and behavior. Then the next step is to practice. Imagine situations in which feelings of rejection are likely. Now put yourself in that situation. What should you do or think about in this situation? After having this imaginative practice, now it is time to learn through doing. Experimenting through real life situations.
The root cause of this personalization is often due to attachment anxiety. Personalizers often want to please everyone. They want to be accepted and loved by everyone. The solution is to attempt to be warm to people but maintain better boundaries. It is not your job to please everyone.
I hope these tips help. Remember you can work towards healthy lifestyle change. If you or someone you know would like some life coaching in this area please contact me.