Six reasons that make us too vulnerable

We often hear such unhelpful advice as “Don’t let them push you around!”, “Stop criticizing yourself so much,” and, of course, “You just have to learn to let things go. Of course, those around us say this in good faith, but they’re missing the point: the reasons for our vulnerability may have a serious psychological basis.

Psychologist Nick Wignall tells us why we are so hurt by some situations, and how to learn to deal with it.

Social perfectionism

This means that we can’t stand the very thought of others seeing our flaws or mistakes. Thinking that we must always look good in the eyes of others, we constantly worry about what people think of us. And then we inevitably begin to take things too personally.

But it’s okay to be wrong. And it’s okay to worry about what others will think. After all, we are a social species and our main advantage is our ability to coordinate and cooperate. No wonder the opinions of others are so important to us. The key is not to be too critical of ourselves. See how close your concerns are to the truth, rather than judging yourself.

Motivating Through Negative Internal Dialogue

We know from childhood that the only way to succeed in life is to be hard on ourselves. We inevitably get into the habit of constantly having a negative internal dialogue to motivate ourselves, but we actually only set ourselves up for failure. This habit leads to anxiety, low self-esteem, and increased vulnerability.

If we encounter criticism or unexpected feedback, negative internal dialogue causes us to constantly contemplate failure:

Instead of “I need to work harder on this aspect of my work,” we tell ourselves, “I’m a failure.”

Instead of “He’s disappointed in my work,” we think “He’s disappointed in me.”

Don’t take criticism personally – don’t treat a mistake in action as a personal flaw. Cognitive restructuring and self-compassion will help you get out of the habit of having a negative internal dialogue.

Fear of Pride

Christian morality teaches us that pride is bad and even sinful. But to be proud of ourselves is not necessarily to set ourselves above others. It is enough just to embrace one’s strengths. Psychologically speaking, having a healthy sense of pride in ourselves is very helpful.

When we take things too personally, we overestimate other people’s opinions and undervalue our own. A healthy sense of pride helps you deal with unfair criticism-just take some time to remind yourself of your good qualities.

The inability to be decisive

Since childhood, we hear how important it is to be nice, kind and accommodating, to put the wants and needs of those around us above our own. As a result, we care about others and forget about ourselves, eventually starting to take things too personally.

If we constantly neglect our own needs and desires while caring for others, it will be very difficult to teach ourselves that we are more important than those around us. When we hear criticism about ourselves, we automatically think that it is fair and that we are not as significant.

Determination is the ability to say what we want and don’t want by being honest with ourselves and respectful of those around us. The more determined we become, the more we value ourselves and stop being too vulnerable.

Confusing our own explanations

We usually take a situation to heart after we hear criticism about ourselves. The upset seems to be caused by the other person’s words, but it is not.

According to cognitive mediation theory, it is not events that cause emotion, but our thoughts about those events. When we react emotionally to something, it is not what others tell us about it, but how we explain the situation to ourselves.

In order not to take things personally, pay attention to how you feel about what is happening. Try to give yourself a more realistic explanation of the situation or refrain from them altogether, and over time it will become a habit.

Frequent communication with the wrong people

As children, we learn about ourselves through the people around us. But when we become adults, the people around us, especially those with whom we spend more time, affect us more seriously than we are willing to admit.

If loved ones criticize you, your self-esteem suffers. The best, and sometimes hardest, step to help you become a less vulnerable person is to start spending time with other people. Making new friends, ending unhealthy relationships and setting boundaries for toxic family members is not easy, but it is important.