Why do I take everything personally?

Why so I take everything so personally? Like an email from my therapist that is quick and to the point, I think: “oh, they are mad at me, they don’t like me.” It makes me want to cut. My husband asks if I can please push the door to so that the light from the other room isn’t so bright as he is trying to go to sleep, and then I feel like I want to cut. My sister calls one of my acquaintances a dick and I feel that they are a really nice person and I don’t know what to say, and I feel hurt, and so I cut. I text a friend asking how they are and they respond with a short text and don’t return the question and it makes me sad and feel rejected, and I want to cut. I text another friend and tell them I miss them and see that they didn’t respond to my last two texts that were all the way back in April and I feel hurt and rejected and it makes me want to cut. All these things seem so tiny to me… but why do they feel so big? Why do I feel things so deeply? And why do I take everything so personally? Why am I so afraid that my therapist doesn’t like me, or that when they don’t have time for me I take it personally even though I know their schedule is just full? Why does it feel so embarrassing to show that these tiny things hurt me, and I feel like I have to hide that I’m hurting? And why can’t I just get these thoughts out of my head and move on and go to sleep? It’s like these thought just won’t leave my brain and I keep going over and over and over in my head and staying up late at night cuz either I don’t want to sleep or more like I feel like I won’t be able to if I try.


Your mind is telling you one thing, and your emotions are shouting in disagreement. It sounds like you associate troubling intentions with the actions of others. For example, someone doesn’t respond to a message. There are multiple possibilities as to why your message hasn’t been answered. The person may be overwhelmed with stuff to do and the emotional demands of others. However, you may interpret the lack of response to the other person not caring, or being upset with you.

As you’ve indicated, “these things seem so tiny,” but the perceived intentions behind those things mean a great deal to you. I think you’re a very sensitive person who tries to see beyond the words and actions (or lack of them) to the subtleties or nuances behind them. Could it be that this sensitivity is connected to insecurity? Could this insecurity lead to negative conclusions about the actions of others?

I think you’re trying really hard to do and say all the right things, so it hurts to believe that someone might think you’ve done or said something that wasn’t quite right. You’re sister has a different opinion about one of your friends, so feel as though your judgment is in question. Someone doesn’t answer a message, and it’s easy to worry that the person has drawn a negative conclusion about you. Your husband talks about closing the door, and you feel as though you should’ve already taken it upon yourself to do that.

Although other people are involved, is it possible that you are judging yourself negatively, and attributing those judgments to others? It’s like saying, “I feel bad about my own behavior, so others must feel the same way toward me.”

Don’t get angry with yourself for not being perfect. Humans make mistakes, and forget stuff. Sometimes it’s embarrassing. Everyone gets embarrassed sometimes. Sometimes people become friends by sharing embarrassing stories.

One huge thing to consider is your level of self-acceptance, and belief that you’re a good and competent person. That fact remains a constant, regardless if you find yourself embarrassed sometimes. If you have a solidly established awareness of your own decency, you’re less likely to feel as though others are thinking poorly of you.

Talk to your therapist about your fear of and feeling of rejection. I think it’ll help.


Can you try to make a list of possibilities and possible reasons when you’re feeling overwhelmed? There are always many reasons for someone’s actions, and maybe it could help you to think of those reasons that don’t involve you?


@Wings Thanks for your thoughtful response. I’m sure a lot of that is true, and that it is a lot of insecurity for sure. I will bring that up to my therapist-thanks for your time.

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@Sita thanks for the idea. That sounds like a good way to kind of de-escalate my thoughts so they are a bit more grounded in reality. Thanks.


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