It’s in our nature to care what other people think about us. It’s part of a survival mechanism that helps us to fit in with the family and societal groups that we are part of.
However, it really sucks when some of those within our groups say and do things that are really annoying, offensive, or just plain nasty. It can seem at times that they are purposefully out to get us, are pushing our buttons just for their pleasure, or that they are just totally disconnected from the effects their words and actions have on the feelings of others.
And yes, you are human, and as such you were born with feelings. At times those feelings are going to be hurt because of the stuff that others are saying and doing to you and around you. And so now you are realizing that this sucks and are wondering what you can do about it!
Fortunately, there are many proven ways in which you can reduce or eliminate the negative effects other people are having on you. So let’s explore 11 of the best….
11 Ways You Can Learn Not Let Other People Get To You
1) Don’t Take The Opinions Of Others Personally
We all have opinions, which are things we say that are not necessarily based on reality…. and we all say things that not everyone is going to agree with. The people around us are no different from us in this respect.
So if you consider that not everything you say and do is going to go down well with all those around you, you should be able to accept that other people, will at times, say and do things that won’t resonate with you as well.
Yes, we’re all human, and we tend to have an opinion about everything… even if we have no facts to back up our opinions. This won’t stop us from trying to convince others that we are right and they are wrong! And when others try to force their opinions on us, and we strongly disagree, we may let it get to us. We can end up feeling hurt, unappreciated, belittled, resentful, etc.
However, isn’t a far better to just let others have their opinions and not try to change them? If you think about it, much of your distress is caused when you try to convince someone else that you are right and they are wrong.
Instead, just let it go…. Allow them to think what they want and just continue with your ‘well-thought-out opinions.’ In this way, there is no arguing, no conflict, and no stress.
So what if they don’t agree with you about some stuff, and you don’t agree with them all the time… why should you care so much about this that you will let it ruin your day? Just let it go and do the best thing you can… which is to get on with living your life in the way that suits you best.
2) Be More Empathetic Towards Others
What other people say and do tell you more about them than it does about you. You may be taking their dissatisfaction with their life personally when it was never about you and has nothing to do with you.
Other people go through crap in their lives as well… it’s not only you! Maybe they have just gone through a breakup, lost a loved one, or failed an important exam. The point is, you are not walking in their shoes and so you don’t know what they have just experienced that may have influenced them to behave in ways that are upsetting to you.
So instead of taking it personally, why not take a moment to pause and try to work out where they are coming from? Are they trying to ‘get to you,’ or are they just so self-absorbed in their own crap that they are unaware of the effect they are having on you?
If someone is upsetting you and it’s out of their general character, I suggest you try to understand what’s up for them and how you may be able to support them. Otherwise, if someone is pissing you off regularly, just limit the time you spend around them, or better still, remove them from your life… because, honestly, nobody benefits when someone is antagonizing them all the time!
3) Focus On The Stuff You Have Control Over
You don’t have control over when it’s going to rain. However, you do have control over how you react to the rain. You can dance in the rain or you can be annoyed that you got wet! How you react is always your choice, and it is no different with the people in your life who are getting under your skin. You can never have control over what other people say and do, and nor should you want to! (Would you want other people to have control over what you can say and do?)
You do, however, have additional choices available before you get to the point of reacting. Using the example of rain, you can check the weather forecast before going out and be prepared with a raincoat or umbrella. Maybe you could take the car instead of walking or even just stay indoors… or be excited that you have the opportunity to dance naked while having a free shower.
The same principles apply to those people who annoy you…. You could avoid them altogether or limit contact with them, don’t assume that their opinions are correct or of any benefit to you, or just ignore the things they say and do that upset you and move on.
Ignoring them works especially well for people who are intentionally out to piss you off. Once they realize that they are not getting their desired results, (you being upset) they will eventually give up and change the way they interact with you.
4) Accept Responsibility For The Way You Are Feeling
Your feelings and emotions are yours! They are not called somebody else’s feelings for a reason. They are sensations that are born within you as a result of the thoughts you are having about what is going on inside your head and in your environment.
And the good news is, if you are not feeling good, you can change your emotional state by changing either what you are thinking or what you are doing.
Unfortunately, too many people choose to dwell in a negative state and continue to rehash over and over again the negative stuff that brought them down in the first place.
Maybe someone in your family has rubbished an idea you have for a business that you consider will be good for you…. So what! Just ask yourself, do they know everything? How’s their life working out for them? Do they even fully understand this business or why you want to do this?
There is a ton of things to consider before you let someone else’s opinion bring you down… and then you shouldn’t let them get you down anyway just because they don’t agree with you. Maybe you could try to understand their argument and use it to your advantage to make your situation better.
Either way, no one has any power to make you feel anything. It is only your attachment to, or opinion about, what they say and do that causes you to react and feel negative emotions. So… just stop letting others affect how you feel and accept that your feelings and emotions are important and that you should focus on doing whatever it takes to remain in a good feeling state as often as possible.
5) Know Yourself And Create Clear Boundaries
We all have limits to what we think is acceptable. However, those boundaries are not the same for everyone. They vary because of culture, socioeconomic status, religion, experience, and a host of other factors. And this means that we all have different expectations of how we would like to be treated.
This means that you won’t go to places where the values of people are going to challenge your views of what’s acceptable, and you will limit your contact with others who have a boundary set that exceeds and continually challenges your own.
This can also mean setting up boundaries around your time, energy, and relationships…. The more you know yourself and what triggers you, the easier it becomes to set clear boundaries and limit exposure to people, events, and situations that are going to trigger you.
Again, this comes down to an understanding that you can’t control other people, but you do get to choose the people that remain in your life.
6) Practice Mindfulness
Learning mindfulness is a great way to improve all aspects of your life. With practice, you will learn to be more acutely aware of what is happening at the moment. You will learn to differentiate your emotions from the emotions of others around you, and you will also develop the ability to pause and think before reacting.
The ‘pause’ is a crucial element in being able to control your emotions. Pausing allows you to assess a situation without judgment and then react most appropriately… and the most appropriate way will invariably lead to you making the best out of any situation and therefore you will end up feeling good.
Mindfulness, when practiced often, allows you to reframe your perspective so that you can view things as they are, as well as from the perspective of the other person. This will give you the opportunity to consider various responses, as well as enable you to remain calm and centered even when faced with challenging situations.
7) Become Passionate About ‘Growing Yourself!’
Life wouldn’t be the same if it didn’t challenge us. It’s the challenges that propel us forward to think and become greater than we currently are. And without something to stimulate us to move forward from where we are, we would stagnate and lead a very boring existence.
So, instead of looking at everything that you don’t like as something that you need to avoid, you could look at the challenges you are facing as an opportunity for personal growth and development. You will soon come to learn that it is not only ok, but it is desirable to be outside of your comfort zone at times.
It’s when we are faced with contrast that makes us uncomfortable that we are inspired to make the situation better…. Didn’t like walking everywhere, someone invented the bike, and then the car, and then airplanes. Don’t enjoy working out complex equations with a slide rule, someone came up with a calculator and then computers….
Growth is encouraged when we want things to be better than they currently are, and this is as true on an individual level as it is on a societal level.
8) Engage In More Activities That Build Self-Esteem
The more you go out of your way to do things that build self-confidence, inner strength, and resilience, the more you will be able to cope when others say and do things that are offensive to you.
The more you ‘put yourself out there’ and find out that you can handle challenges, the more you come to understand that there is nothing that can break you…. (unless you allow crap to get under your skin.)
This ties in with the previous point but goes further in that it advocates that you seek out challenges because you understand that every time you learn to overcome something new, the world becomes a much friendlier place for you.
Regularly challenging yourself with exercise, meditation, creative activities, and just having lots of fun will build ‘immunity’ so that others are not able to negatively affect your well-being because of their inability to deal with their own issues.
9) Practice Forgiveness And Move On
Sure, you can choose to continue to be a victim of what others are doing ‘to you.’ How’s that working out for you so far…. Does it feel good in any way whatsoever?
Or… a much wiser alternative is to just let their insults wash over you and dissolve into the nothingness from where they came. Yes, just let it go, forgive them for their lack of understanding, and get on with having a great day. (If they want to continue to dwell in their negativity, let them…. It is after all their choice and that’s none of their business.
‘Holding on to anger is like grasping a hot coal with the intent of throwing it at someone else; you are the one who gets burned.’ – Buddha
They are the ones that are suffering, and the only way that they can inflict suffering on you is if you allow yourself to be drawn into their negativity. Forgiveness and compassion are much more enlightened choices under any circumstances.
10) Allow Others To Live Their Lives In The Way They Choose
So they are opinionated, angry, ignorant, thoughtless, vindictive…. and whatever other judgments you can come up with.
Maybe some of it’s true, at least from your perspective! And what about you? Are you perfect?
Hmmm…. However, not being perfect is not a problem. Perfection does not exist when it comes to humans and their egos. We all have a mixture of positive and what we perceive as negative traits. So what? That’s just how life is.
Should we judge others based on what we consider to be right and wrong? And if so, shouldn’t we accept their judgments against us as equally valid? After all, aren’t they human just like us, trying to get by the best they can in a world that often doesn’t seem to make any sense?
…. If you want to make your life easier, you will allow others to be who they are, and if you don’t like who they are, or they are treating you badly, just choose to not have any contact with them!
It’s not your job to police what others say and do. All you can do is choose if you have contact with them and then if you do, how you will react.
Make a wise choice and look after your own well-being first, because there is nothing more important than the way you are feeling….. and by constantly choosing good feeling thoughts, and actions, you will have a great life experience.
11) If You’re Still Struggling, Seek Advice From A Professional
If you have tried some of the above methods to strengthen your character or limit your exposure to others who are getting at you, and you are not achieving the relief you desire, then you could seek the support of other people.
Talk to someone you trust about what you are experiencing. It may be a family member, close friend, or mental health professional. They are likely to be able to offer different perspectives on what is happening as they are looking at your issues from outside of the ‘problem.’
They may then offer advice that you had not considered on how to better cope with the situation.
Conclusion: How Can I Not Let Other People Get To Me
– You are not a monk or a Vulcan like Spock. You have feelings and you deserve to be treated in ways that are acceptable to you. And it is the same for everyone else.
– You do not have control over what other people say and how they act, so sometimes it’s better to just remove yourself from their sphere of influence.
– Every person seems to have opinions about so many things that they know very little about, and yet they may try to insist that you accept their opinion…. However, what other people think is none of your business, unless you make it your business. Sometimes the best course of action is to just let it go or walk away.
– You can develop resilience by intentionally putting yourself into situations that you are uncomfortable with. This is the best and fastest way to expand your comfort zone and realize that there is nothing that can break you….. unless you give up and accept defeat.
– Don’t get sucked into pointless discussions about stuff you don’t have any control over. Just focus your energy on the stuff you can improve and that you enjoy doing and immediately your life will begin improving.
– If you stop focusing on the negative stuff and instead turn your attention to all the good things in your life, you will immediately begin feeling a lot better.