Most of the time how people react to us is not personal, not to us anyway, it’s their own battle that they’re fighting and we just happen to be at the receiving end of it. There’s that quote, we’ve seen it many times, “Be Kind. For everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about,” but it’s true. Many times the person themselves may not know the battle their fighting and they may think their battle is with you. It’s not. We also can take on that battle thinking when someone lashes out at us, or disappoints or hurts us, that it’s personal, typically, it’s not. At the end of the day we are all responsible for ourselves, we are all responsible for how we act and react in any given situation, our job is us, what we say and do, not what others are saying and doing. If someone hurts us, taking it personally is like taking on someone else’s battle, we cannot fight for them, so our job really is to express how we feel, see if an understanding can come from that conversation, and then letting it go. We all at some point have, and will, hurt people in our lives, or let them down, as I’ve written about in the past, people can’t always be who we want them to be, and, we can’t always be who people want us to be, and when that happens, it’s not personal. If we’re feeling like every action that is done is a personal attack on who we are, or meant to hurt us, there is work to be done on our part, work that will make our walk through life an easier one, as we stop thinking and reacting like everything is our fault, or meant to hurt us. So, how do we stop taking things personally?
1) Find Our Own Self-Worth. Stop worrying about what other people think of you. What’s most important is what you think of you. If you are confident in who you are and how you conduct yourself with others, knowing your true intention while treating others with respect, then you have no reason to take things personally. When we walk through life with self-doubt, or self-hatred, we place importance, or use other’s approval to give us confidence, or to feel fulfilled, so when we don’t get a positive response we feel deflated or let down. Find confidence in yourself, of who you are and what you have to offer, you are enough, find a way to accept and embrace that.
2) Stay Right-Sized. Often we can put too much emphasis on people, places and things, making them more important in our lives than ourselves. Or, we, in an attempt to protect ourselves, blow our own sense of self up to epic proportions, so when someone does or says something we don’t like, we immediately take it personally and get hurt. Keep yourself and the situations in your life right-sized, give them the appropriate amount of attention or value in your life.
3) Live A Full Life. When we live a full live we are too busy living our life to care about each reaction or seemingly negative reaction that we encounter. We’re not dwelling on each interaction and over analyzing what was said or done, we’re busy, we’re on to the next and not looking for problems where there aren’t any. Engage in life, do the things you love, with people you love, and make sure your life is well-rounded, putting all of your eggs in one basket is giving too much power to that one basket, spread yourself around, try new things, challenge yourself to get out and engage with life, when our life is full, the small things fall away and we no longer have time to dwell on them.
4) Stop Giving Your Power Away. When you depend on others to make you feel good about yourself you’ve given your power away, and, you become reliant on the unpredictability of those around you to make you feel good about yourself. That’s your job. Never give others that power over you, never let them be your sole source of self-worth and love, you will be constantly let down, that job is yours and yours alone, find your own self-worth and what others say and do becomes less important because you know who you are and what you intended to do.
5) Perspective. Find a way to look at the situation from the other person’s perspective. Not to make excuses for their behavior, but to maybe come to an understanding of why they may have reacted that way, finding compassion, or understanding for those around us can help us see things through their eyes, and not only not take what they’ve said and done not personally, but may also help you understand them better, and, by sharing with them, you may even be able to help them walk through the issue that caused them to act out in the first place.
When we live life as our true selves, when we have found love for who we are and our lives, what is said and done around us becomes less important. If our intentions our true, and we set out to be good and kind and that’s not how it was received, that’s disappointing, but it’s not our problem, and it’s not personal. Be confident in who you are and what you offer, if there is a misunderstanding, and they do happen, then talk it out, if someone has made a judgment about who you are and what you’ve done, all you can do is speak your truth, if that’s not enough, let it go. Remember, as you may struggle with your own battles, so does everyone around you, and when someone else’s battle is brought to yours, remember, it’s not personal, you just happened to walk into the middle of a battle without a weapon on a battlefield you are not meant to be on. Wave the peace flag and walk off the field.
SLAY OF THE DAY: Do you often take what others say and do personally? Why do you think you do that? How does it serve you to do that? How does it hurt you? Write down 5 examples of situations where you took things personally. Write down why it felt personal. Only looking at the facts, was any of it actually your fault? What part did you play in it being your fault? Do you think the other person realized they may have hurt you? Do you think intended to hurt you? Do you still feel like it was personal? I challenge you this week SLAYER to let things go, to focus on you, not those around you, and fill yourself up with what makes you feel whole, with what makes you feel strong. Go out and do your best, do good, and stop worrying about what others think and do, know who you are and what you are and know that is enough. SLAY on.
S – self L – love A – appreciate Y – you