Karen's Blogs

Blogs are brief, to-the-point, conversational, and packed with information, strategies, and tips to turn troubled eaters into “normal” eaters and to help you enjoy a happier, healthier life. Sign up by clicking "Subscribe" below and they’ll arrive in your inbox. 

[No unsolicited guest blogs accepted, thank you]

To Take or Not Take Things Personally


We’ve all experienced the ouch of “taking things personally,” but what does the term mean? I saw a movie decades ago where someone told someone else, “Well, don’t take it personally” and she responded, “I’m a person, so how can I not take it personally?” The fact is that we can avoid doing so and will benefit from ditching this reaction.

Taking things personally means being offended or upset by what someone says or does. However, we have a choice to not be offended or upset. We can avoid it by thickening our skin and giving a different meaning to what others say or do. As I’ve said a million times, just because someone says something to or about us—even if our name is attached—it’s about the speaker, the message sender, not us, the receiver.

If someone tells me I’m a bad person because I drink alcohol and will burn in hell for it, I’m not offended because I don’t believe in heaven and hell and think the person scolding me is ignorant and has questionable critical thinking skills. If a person puts me down for being old, Jewish or female, I feel similarly: that there’s something very wrong with them. Part of that something is that they’re highly judgmental, an unhealthy trait.

We can shift from being offended or upset to being detached by doing the following:

  • Consider the speaker. If I deem someone knowledgeable and mentally healthy, I give what they say more credence than someone I think poorly of. If the person is ignorant (willfully or not) or has emotional problems, I’m skeptical of caring what they say about or think about me. 
  • Weigh what’s said. If I value someone’s opinion, I’ll take in whatever they say and determine if it has merit. If my best friend told me I was doing a lousy job of taking care of myself, I’d listen right up. If a stranger said  it, especially if they seemed to have poor self-care, I’d let their comment go in one ear and out the other.
  • Discern if someone is projecting their own judgments onto me. If someone tells me I’m bad for eating ice cream because they feel bad about themselves when they do, I know their comment really isn’t about me, but about their irrational beliefs. Identifying projections is a great way of reducing feeling hurt.
  • Have compassion for judgy people because they’re judgy with themselves. When someone makes a judgment about me or others, it’s likely that they’re hard on themselves. I know what that feels like and how unproductive it is and feel bad for them. Plus, just because they’re judgy doesn’t mean they’re right.

Practice these strategies for not taking things personally and you’ll feel better about you.





What Makes for a Great Childhood?
Does Everyone Really Want Cake?

By accepting you will be accessing a service provided by a third-party external to https://www.karenrkoenig.com/

This website is owned and operated by Karen R. Koenig, M.Ed., LCSW. It contains material intended for informational and educational purposes only, and reasonable effort is made to keep its contents updated. Any material contained herein is not to be construed as the practice of clinical social work or of psychotherapy, although adherence to applicable Florida States, Rules, and Code of Ethics is observed. Material on this website is not intended as a substitute for medical or psychological advice, diagnosis, or treatment for mental health issues or eating disorder problems, which should be done only through individualized therapeutic consultation. Karen R. Koenig, LCSW disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained on this website. This website contains links to other sites. The inclusion of such links does not necessarily constitute endorsement by Karen R. Koenig, LCSW who disclaims any and all liability arising directly or indirectly from the use of any information contained in this website. Further, Karen R. Koenig, LCSW, does not and cannot guarantee the accuracy or current usefulness of the material contained in the linked sites. Users of any website must be aware of the limitation to confidentiality and privacy, and website usage does not carry any guarantee or privacy of any information contained therein.