How To Not Get Affected By Small Things

We all know that constantly sweating the small stuff will make us feel down in the dumps. So why is it so addictive to do so and how can you break this bad habit? This article will discuss a few ways.

Here are 5 tips that will help you not to get affected by small things:

  1. Don’t take everything seriously. Learn to laugh at trivial matters and don’t look for a deep meaning in everything people say. Take things at face value and don’t be over-analytical.
  2. Learn to forgive. We all make mistakes and say things we shouldn’t. Learn to overlook the faults of others.
  3. Speak openly with others. Discuss the things that are bothering you with others so that you can work towards a solution.
  4. Think long-term. Ask yourself, will this matter still be an issue in a week, a month, or even a year? Thinking about the bigger picture will help you to put things into perspective.
  5. Change your expectations. Stop expecting everything to run smoothly in the day. Mentally prepare yourself for changes to your routine.

Putting these 5 tips into play will help you to stop fixating on the little things that annoy you.

What can you do to avoid becoming overwhelmed by little things? Identify them! Doing so will help you to work on having a more carefree attitude. 

See if you can identify your personality amongst the following descriptions:

You Take Things Too Seriously

Picture the scene. Someone makes a lighthearted joke about you at work. Everyone laughs, including you. Then when the moment has passed you sit wondering how much truth there is in what has been said. Is that really how everyone views you? What could you possibly do to change?

Have you ever found yourself in the above-mentioned scenario? Perhaps daily or even many times a day? Do you often find yourself thinking back on the meaning behind what someone has said or how they acted?

It’s true, people do from time to time say things that could be interpreted in two ways. But there is also a chance that what has been said or done was to be understood plainly as it was presented.

Do you find yourself replaying conversations and events in your mind? Do you dwell on the events that seem to be of little or no importance to others? Then consider the following tips that will help you shake this habit:

  • Stop being over-analytical. Don’t waste time torturing yourself over why someone said or did something in a certain way. Force yourself to absorb information in the way that it’s presented to you. Don’t dwell on possible double meanings or hidden agendas.
  • Learn to laugh at jokes. Focus on the lighter side of life.
  • Fill your headspace. Listen to feel-good music playlists. Hit the “play” button on a playlist in your mind when you feel like negative thoughts are trying to take over.

You Find It Difficult To Forgive

Do you find it difficult to forgive others? Ok, perhaps saying that you forgive someone is easy. But forgiving and then forgetting? Now, that’s a different matter altogether.

The truth is that being unable to forgive makes it easier for small things to affect you. Why? Because you remember the bad that others have done to you and things start to accumulate in your mind. 

When you hold grudges, the intensity of the wrong gets deeper and deeper with time. Here’s an example. Perhaps you are mad at someone because of the way they said something. But over time, your feelings escalate. Suddenly, it’s not only the way someone said something that upsets you. It’s now also what they said and maybe even what they did afterward.

Forgiving is a great way for you to let go of the load and not allowing yourself to be affected by small things. Not only is forgiving great for you, but it also helps the other person shed guilty feelings. 

Besides freeing up space in your mind, is forgiving good for anything else? Yes, it is! Forgiving also comes with a wide range of health benefits. Here’s some of them:

  • Fewer symptoms of depression
  • Improved heart health.
  • A decrease in headaches and migraines.
  • Stronger immune system.
  • Decreased stress levels.
  • Lower blood pressure.

Even if you don’t feel like forgiving someone, you should go for it! Your health depends on it!

You Don’t Open Up To Others

Do you find it difficult to open up to others and let them know how you feel? Don’t worry, you’re not alone! We can all find it tricky to say how we feel, especially when the truth hurts. 

Why is it so important to open up to others? Take a look at a few reasons:

  • When you don’t open up it makes it tricky for others to know how you feel. If you’re not honest with others you will never be able to discuss the things that are bothering you. It is easier for someone to offer a solution to your problem when they can understand the whole picture.
  • When you don’t open up people will keep hurting you time and time again. Why? Because you’ve never expressed how you feel about a matter. 
  • When you don’t open up it makes it hard for people to trust you. No one likes to be friends with someone that’s cagey. Being honest with people will help them to be more drawn to you. 

As you can see, opening up to others is not just beneficial for building stronger friendships. Being honest will help you to tell your friends the things that are bothering you. Once they know, they can work through problems with you. They will also be on guard not to repeatedly do things that hurt you.

You’re Not a Long-Term Thinker

Ok, first off the bat, let’s define this term. What is a long-term thinker?

A long-term thinker is someone that thinks about the consequences of their actions. They will also think about how other people’s actions affect them. They will think about how things could affect them today, tomorrow, next month, and even beyond.

A short-term thinker does the opposite and is more concerned about the here and now. A short-term thinker will be concerned about resolving problems as they arise. These types of people tend to be more impulsive and think on their feet. 

So why is it beneficial to be a long-term thinker? Well, if you are, then you will be able to put the small thing that is bothering you into perspective. It will help you to see it as what it truly is – a small thing. Nothing much to be concerned about. 

Being a long-term thinker will also help you to reason. You won’t allow your worry about small matters spiral out of control. Why? Because you will think about the impact that will have on your life.  It will force you to reason: “Will this problem still matter two weeks from now, in a month, or even a year?” “ What will happen if I allow this small thing to come between my relationship with someone?”

Thinking like this will assist you with letting go of the silly things that get under your skin. Once you consider the big picture, they don’t seem like much of a big deal.

You Have High Expectations

So, this may sound like a strange one. You may be wondering, why is it bad to have high expectations? 

Building expectations is like making a ladder for yourself. The higher your expectations the more rungs on your ladder. This ladder could help you reach your destination. But what happens if you make your ladder too high or you expect too much from someone? If they fail you, you will have to endure a long drop of disappointment until you hit reality. 

Now, I am not advising you to have zero expectations. But you must be reasonable. When thinking about what you expect from someone, consider the following factors:

  • The age of the person.
  • Their experience with their role.
  • Their relationship with you and how well you know each other.
  • The time frame that was given. 
  • Their underlying circumstances.

How can considering these factors help you to be more reasonable?

  • Age. Considering someone’s age will help you to be reasonable regarding their ability. You may be working with young people that seem very mature. But could a slip in their work ethic be due to the fact that they are somewhat inexperienced? Do they need more time to get to grips with everything?
  • Experience. If you are in a new work environment, you may not be aware of everyone’s background. Could you be expecting too much from someone who, like you, has just started at the company? 
  • Your relationship. Your relationship with others has a direct impact on what you expect from that person. Could you be more reasonable with someone that doesn’t know exactly how you like things? 
  • Time frame. If you find that you are disappointed by someone’s work it’s important to get all the facts. This should be applied when dealing with both family and friends. Could you be more lenient with someone that hasn’t had a long time to work on a project?
  • Underlying circumstances. Is someone you know performing below-par? Are there underlying circumstances that would explain why? Consider how many times have you needed others to cut you some slack when:
    • Going through a tough time at home.
    • Running late because of unforeseen occurrences.
    • Simply being human and making mistakes.

How Not To Be Annoyed

Ok, so it’s all well and good preparing to not let the small things that will pop up in the future affect you. But what if you are annoyed about something small now? What’s the best way for you to shake that feeling?

You should practice admitting just how small your problems are in the grand scheme of things. Take a look at the following list of small things that tend to bother us. When was the last time you allowed one of these things to get under your skin?

  • The person in front of your turns really slowly as they make a corner.
  • The shortest lane at the supermarket turns into the slowest of them all.
  • You post something hilarious on social media and instantly lose three followers.
  • People walk slowly down the stairs as you hurriedly commute to work.
  • The person in front of you allows the door to swing in your face.
  • A friend looks at their phone while they’re talking to you.
  • Your colleague taps their feet under the table at work.
  • Someone parks over the white lines in a car park.
  • Someone forgets to replace the toilet roll.

Now, there’s no doubt about it, these things are annoying. But just how irritated will you allow yourself to become? What if two or three of these things happen to you in one morning? Will you then be stuck with a face like a wet weekend?

Let’s consider what you can do to let these things slide. 

Talk About It

Did someone do something that got on your nerves? Was the seat left up on the toilet again? Don’t mumble under your breath and get angrier and angrier about it. Express yourself! There is no way for people to know what’s bothering you if you keep your feelings bottled up.

Of course, there is a correct way for you to express yourself, and doing so while you’re angry is not the best. What can you do? 

  1. If you feel angry, take deep breaths and talk about the matter when you feel calm. The last thing you want is for everyone in the office to find out how upset you are over something trivial. 
  2. Talk to the person that has upset you privately. This will save the person from embarrassment and will allow the two of you to speak openly.
  3. Write down what you want to say. If you feel like you cannot speak about the matter without exploding, take it to paper first. Write down the thought you would like to express and how. Recite what you would like to say before confronting the person. 

Be Patient

Now, there are instances where talking isn’t always the best solution. For example, you can’t tailgate the person that made the deathly slow turn off of the highway to their destination just so you can ask them what the hold up was. Similarly, you can’t ask the customer in front of you why it’s taking them so long for them to count their change. 

More often than not, we lose our cool because we are not being patient enough. How can you be more patient? Take a look at the following tips:

  • Leave earlier. You won’t be so frustrated if it takes you longer than expected to do something if you have more time to play with.
  • Plan for unexpected events. Mentally prepare yourself to lose a little time here and there. This will make it easier to accept time-wasting. 
  • Put yourself in their shoes. We have all been the cause of a slow-moving line at the supermarket at least once. And who could say they’ve never taken a slow turn off the intersection when lost? Did you appreciate other people being patient with you then? Then try to be patient in return. 

Let It Go

How To Not Get Affected By Small Things

An effective way of not letting small things get you down is to simply let them go. Did someone let the door swing in your face instead of holding it open? What can you do instead of thinking that that person has it in for you? What if someone parks over the line at a supermarket forcing you to look for another space? How can you resist giving that person the side-eye when they return to their vehicle?

Let it go. Make a conscious effort to not let yourself get upset by little things. Try to think about things from another perspective. 

Could the person that let the door swing in your face:

  • Be in a hurry?
  • Have a lot on their mind?
  • Not have seen you coming?

Could the person that hogged two parking spaces at the supermarket:

  • Be a learner, or just a really bad driver?
  • Be in a mad rush for work?
  • Not have noticed that they parked over the line?

We all make mistakes and we like it when people overlook ours. So why can’t we do the same for others?

Change Your Routine

What if you feel like you really cannot let something go? What if you have spoken to a colleague about an issue but they still haven’t done anything differently? Then it may be time for you to change your routine. 

Are you annoyed by someone tapping their foot constantly at work? Then why not change your desk? If you can’t fix the problem, move away from it!

Does it make you feel annoyed when people hog both sides of the escalator? Then take the stairs! 

If you change your routine, you will be able to leave annoying behaviors behind. Changing your routine may also help you vary your day-to-day.

Take Control

We are often ready to point a finger at a thousand people before one comes pointing back at us. Why’s that? We justify our opinions and are frustrated when people don’t think the same way that we do. If you find that you are easily provoked by small things then you are not alone. We all have a list of pet peeves that really wind us up.

Think about something trivial that has been bothering you lately. Is it fair to let other people take the blame for the whole action?

Picture the scene. You’ve been thinking about what you want to eat all day. When you get home you realize that someone has already helped themselves to it. What would you do? Would you allow that small morsel of food that you didn’t get to eat ruin your afternoon? What could you have done differently?

Of course, it would have been polite for the person that ate your food to check who it belonged to in the first place. But did you specify that it was yours? 

Consider the next scene. Two people are walking side by side on the sidewalk and you are walking towards them. They don’t make a single file and there isn’t enough space for you to walk by them. You almost bump into one another. This usually happens when people are really engrossed in conversation. But, will you take it personally? 

It would be prudent for others to keep an eye on who is coming down the sidewalk to avoid the collision. But, instead of waiting for everyone else to move, could you have taken the initiative? Has there perhaps been a time when you were that wrapped up in conversation and a stranger had to do the same for you?

Taking control of situations isn’t about shifting all the blame onto yourself. It’s about recognizing the things that both parties could have done differently. 

What can you do the next time you find yourself clenching your jaw over someone’s actions? Think about how you can go out of your way to prevent the same thing from happening again. Try to imagine what the other person might be going through. 

Develop Your Self-Confidence

Being a confident person is key to not being affected by small things. Here’s why:

  • Confident people learn to not let things bother them.
  • Confident people know how to let petty things go.
  • Confident people don’t take things personally nor too seriously.

Do you find that you are constantly getting yourself down by seemingly mundane issues? Then you will find it beneficial to work on your self-confidence. The following tips will help you to do so.


Self-affirmations are a great way of boosting your confidence levels. They should be positive and concise. 

To make the most effective affirmations try the following:

  • Place your affirmations somewhere you will be able to read them every day. 
  • Keep your affirmations short so that you can commit them to memory.
  • Favor “I” affirmations over “You” to make them more personal.
  • Keep all your affirmations positive. 
  • When including goals, make them short-term. This will give a realistic sense of achievement when reciting your affirmations.

Dress To Impress

It sounds obvious, but the way you dress can help you to improve your confidence levels. Your clothes don’t have to be expensive for you to make a good impression. Wear clothes that are well put together, clean, and ironed. If you feel better about yourself, it will be easier for you to let go of annoying things of little importance.

Get Regular Exercise

Ok, so you may be wondering what exercise has to do with anything. Doing exercise encourages your body to circulate those feel-good hormones around your body. What benefit comes with having enough of those pumping around your system? You will be able to put up a good front against pesky annoying situations!

Regular exercise will also help you to stick to your target weight. Who doesn’t feel good about themselves once they’ve hit their goal? Feeling good on the inside and being happy with your body will help you to brush off negative vibes.

Kill Negative Thoughts

Another confidence booster is to change your thought pattern from negative to positive. Make a conscious effort to think positive thoughts even when it’s difficult. How can you do so?

  • Change your media intake from negative to positive. If sad movies are bringing you down, then watch more comedies. Keep a tab on how much time you spend reading sobering news stories.
  • Listen to upbuilding music and make a playlist full of songs that make you happy. Listen to the music when you are feeling down in the dumps.
  • If the books you read are making you feel low, change them! Try reading something more lighthearted.

Be Kind

Another surefire way for you to boost your confidence is by being kind to others. 

Let’s face it. No one ever feels good about themselves after making a sarcastic comment to a colleague at work. You never come away on top after losing your patience with a member of staff at the supermarket.  Don’t make a habit of having to deal with the low that comes with losing your rag. 

Be kind to others and you will feel more self-confident. When you are kind to others, they will be more inclined to be kind back. Receiving kindness from others will help you to feel better about yourself. It will also give you reasons to feel more confident. 

Improve Your Posture

Be determined to reflect confidence on the outside. You should do so even if you don’t feel it on the inside. If you do then others will be more inclined to speak and act respectfully towards you. This will also minimize how many annoying small things you have to put up with each day.

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