Don’t Take Things So Personally


  • “Calmness comes from not taking things so personally.”
  • Do you want to ease your stress and stop taking things so personally in your life? In this episode, learn how to shift your mindset to stop the judgment and negativity that steals from your joy each day. 
  • “Once you can remind yourself of that personal offense mechanism, you’ll notice overall in your life stress just decreases.”
  • Have you ever been so frustrated about what you see in the media, or in your personal relationships, that the negativity stayed with you all day? Then this episode is for you! Discover how to take things less personally and have more control over your emotions.
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[The following is the full transcript of this episode of The Brendon Show. Please note that this episode, like all TBS episodes, features Brendon speaking extemporaneously–he is unscripted and unedited. Filmed in one take, The Brendon Show has become one of the most viewed unscripted, direct-to-camera self-help series in the history of YouTube. It has also been the #1 Podcast in all of iTunes and is regularly in the top podcasts in Self-Help and Health categories around the globe. Subscribe to the free motivational podcast on iTunes or Stitcher.)

Calmness comes from not taking things so personally.

Not taking things so personally. How critical is this? Guys, we have become a Twitter nation. You know, we become a culture that completely takes things super personal, escalates them into, you know, very aggressive language, high levels of accusation, and assumptions. We just immediately go from, you know, a simple incident igniting a fury of cancelation and aggravation. And I really believe it’s because you if you are consuming a lot of social media, are being conditioned, how many times per day every time you do this. Every time you do this on social media, every single scroll, every single swipe is a judgment. Your brain is being taught. OK. Is this relevant or not? Judgment? Do I like it or not? Like literally, do I like to press like it or not?

Judgment. Is it worth actually giving us a hard judgment? Every single swipe, every single scroll is an automatic training of the brain to be judgmental. Why do we have a culture that takes things more personally and is more judgmental against other people? Because our culture has been trained by the tens of millions of times that we have to swipe or to scroll through things to either get that like or love button or not it creates a speed of judgment in our lives against others. And about how we perceive ourselves. And so we have a culture that now takes things. Everything is so personal because everything is judged at a heightened degree, binary good or bad, like or dislike, and it’s poisonous. It’s killing us.

1. Be Conscious About Your Triggers

And so I think it’s really important. What do you tend to get triggered by? What causes you stress or anxiety? And if you could look at it, a lot of it is what you feel are personal attacks where suddenly you feel very defensive and that defensiveness leads to stress and anxiousness because you feel like you have to defend yourself against other people. Maybe your husband says some accusation or maybe someone says something on social media. You’re like, was that a dig at me? And all of a sudden it’s like, was that against me?

And a lot of people all day long, they’re carrying that. They’re defensive all day long. And that’s why they’re stressed, right. Imagine if a warrior is standing at the gates of the palace and every person that walks by, they see as an immediate stressor, as an immediate threat. They’re queued up all day. They’re stressed. They’re anxious all day. Right. It is just churning in their stomach these thoughts of what if these horrible things happen in their brain? That’s what it feels like for many people as they go throughout the day because they’re so worried that their personal feelings are going to get hurt or that their personal reputations will be destroyed, or that they’re having to be in a place of defense. And by the way, I don’t play light about that. Some people really are. They have a very toxic person in their life, though I don’t like to use the word toxic. I like to usually talk about, oh, this person, this person has a set of behaviors that make you feel a certain way. And with that set of behaviors, sometimes we don’t want to be around them anymore.

But to minimize yourself and being around them. But almost everybody I know takes things too personally. They get so worked up. Everything is an affront against them. Oh, you criticize my work. Well, your work sucks, you know. Oh, are you saying I didn’t get that exactly right? Well, you’d understand 5000 other things.

2. Avoid Reacting Defensively

One editor and defensive people tend to be weak people. And I don’t mean that I am weak mentally. I don’t mean that I am weak in terms of awful judgment. I mean, they feel that way.

They act that higher level of defense you feel, the more threatened you feel, the more you start to feel like you’re losing control and strength because it’s sapping you. The more you feel personally offended by things. The more sapped of energy you become. And I think this is so important. If you take personal offense to everything, if you’re so precious with feedback, where every piece of feedback you get all worked up about and upset about and or everything your friend says about your house or your clothes or your hair or your makeup or your weight or your kids, instead of judging so fast about what someone said about you and how you’re going to feel about it.

3. Lengthen The Timelines Of Judgement

I would love for you to link then, the timeline of judgment. So if something says I like, if I feel slighted by something or I feel angry about something, someone said, I’ll go hop.
I’m curious about that. I don’t know how I feel about that. Let me stay with that for a while. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow. And you know what, when you say I’ll see how I feel tomorrow, tomorrow, you’re rarely as offended by the thing, because tomorrow you look at it again, you’re like, “Oh, I think I was reading into that. Oh, I felt this way yesterday, but now I’m looking at it, maybe they didn’t mean that.” Maybe I should give the benefit of the doubt. Maybe I should explore this. And that immediately changes that anxious, stressful, freaked-out state that comes from taking things so personally.

Listen, I’m not a Zen Buddha. If you know, things can work. Get me worked up. No problem. Definitely. I still work on that my entire life. The most common recurring monthly goal of my life in my personal development has been patience. And I’m still teaching myself patience because I can still get worked up about things. Mostly, I talk about things when others are involved, not against me, but I feel like I’ve got to fight for others. I’m that person. I got to fight for other people. But I want to share with you a simple idea. That if you keep letting yourself get so offended by things all the time, we’ve got a length in that space between stimulus and response.

4. Give Yourself Time To Revisit

So could you give yourself a favor? I’m not sure how I feel about that. Let me revisit that tomorrow. If you can just write that down, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Let me revisit that tomorrow. That’s compartmentalizing, putting it over here. It’s scheduling it, I’ll deal with it tomorrow. It’s negating emotions or feelings. It’s just saying, you know what? I’m uncertain. It’s not applying a label or a judgment so quickly, because I believe when you judge less, you feel happier. We’re all judging one another, if we can do that, I promise we’ll feel better. It’s one reason I just feel I’m a happy dude. I don’t feel like anyone’s out there attacking me.

And if they do, I look at him like, oh, maybe there’s some truth to that. Maybe there’s some feedback there. Or maybe that’s completely irrelevant. I’m good. I move on to the next day. People say so all over the Internet about me and the people I love and I care for all the time. I won’t give up right away. I just go, oh, OK. That’s where that person is today. That’s what the person believes or thinks because they have limited information. That’s where that person is at the stage of their life. You know, they’re in a bad place that they would attack other people without knowing something.

OK, that’s about them, not about me. And I don’t need to be someone driven by childlike ego tendencies. I don’t want to. Is that I mean, aren’t you so tired of being personally offended all the time?

And once you can remind yourself of that personal offense mechanism, you’ll notice overall in your life stress just decreases.

You’re like, oh, I’m actually not that warrior at the gate in threat all the time from other people. I want to defend myself all the time. As soon as you get in that place mentally, things change.