Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Stop taking everything personally!

Everyone wants to be happy.  I don't think there is a person on this planet who really enjoys being upset.  The only problem is that sometimes we don't understand WHY things are the way they are.  Someone does or says something negative and all of the hard work we did that day to be HAPPY gets thrown out the window.  Just one negative comment can ruin 24 hours of positive thoughts.  Why is that?  Because humans take things personally.  We automatically process what we hear or see and think of how exactly it was meant for us.

The truth is, even if a comment or negative action IS directed at us, its not necessary to take it personally.  It is our own narcissistic minds that believe that we truly are the root cause for other peoples words and actions.  In reality, it has NOTHING to do with us.  Think about the last time you were in a bad mood.  Did you ever say something to another person that was harsh?  Is it THAT PERSONS FAULT that you chose those words?  Of course not, it was your own anger and criticisms that caused those words to come out of your mouth.  So why would you blame yourself for what other people say?  It is their own thought process that causes them to react in the way they do.

So what I want you to do is start refocusing on how you're going to react when someone says or does something that hurts you.

First off, do not ever assume you know why a person says or does something.  You cannot read minds, and if you can, you don't need this blog.  You have to always remember that people react to their own thoughts, not to yours.  It is what is going on within them that cause them to do or say things that can be taken negatively.  Think about what could possibly have happened in THEIR day/week/month/life that has lead them to this very moment.  Usually, people are cruel or condescending, not because of you, but because of the way they were raised and the events that have taken place in their lives.  They may have poor emotional management skills that have severely hindered their ability to rationally think about what they are doing to another person.  Some people take out their anger by putting it on other people.  None of that is OKAY, but none of it is your fault.  Do not victimize yourself because someone else is having a bad day.  Give them empathy, because you most likely know how it feels too.

My absolute favorite quote on this subject is from don Miguel Ruiz, the author of The Four Agreements.  He says that taking things personally "is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about me... The same way that you are the main character of your story, you are only a secondary character in everybody else’s story.”

He's so completely right.  Everyone else is living their own life.  If they are unhappy, it is not a reflection of YOU because it is not YOUR story.  do not ever let someone else interfere with how you control your mental well being.  If you haven't read it yet, I wrote a nice blog on how to stop judging people. (check it out HERE)  Taking things personally is another way we judge people.  If you want to stop, you have to understand that each of us has our own set of beliefs.  We were each raised to accept a certain level of moral standards for ourselves, but with 7 BILLION people on the planet, that is a lot of different beliefs.  If someone doesn't approve of YOUR beliefs, that isn't your business.  It is not your problem either.  It is their own expectations of themselves that cause them to criticize you. 

 If a professional body builder walked up to you and said "you're too weak" would you take it personally?  I wouldn't, because I'm not interested in being a body builder.  It doesn't matter what they think of me, because my life is on a different path.  Mine is a different story, and their opinion doesn't change me.  You need to look at ever single negative comment  in this way.  What that person thinks of you is none of your business, because this is YOUR story, YOUR life, YOUR path.  It doesn't matter if they would do the same, because they have their own story to live out.

From today on, whenever someone says or does something to hurt or offend you, remember that is it not your job to be hurt, it is your job to be the best authentic YOU there is.  You are not a victim unless you allow yourself to be.  You choose to take things personally and you choose to victimize yourself.  That is no ones fault but your own.  Take better care of yourself and stop taking things personally.

Peace, Love, and Happiness

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