Taking Things Personally – Peace of Mind Tips!

Peace of Mind Tips1 - medDecline to Take the Things that Others Do or Say Personally.

The life skill of not taking things personally (or not making it personal to you) ties into both responsibility and choosing not to take offense.   Whatever someone else does – whether it involves you or not – it’s about them.  It’s not about you.  Their actions behaviors and words are about themselves and their own “stuff.”  Even if a person has targeted you specifically with a comment or action, it’s ultimately about them.

Personal green 3d realistic square isolated buttonYour life will change dramatically for the positive when you can recognize that fact, adopt that perspective and get it at an emotional level.  Things become so much easier because you no longer have to get caught in any negative judgments or feelings about yourself.

Taking Things Personally

The only reason that you would take something personally, is that you have some fear, insecurity, negative judgment or belief about yourself that gets triggered by what the other person says or does.  It might be something like, “I’ll never be liked and accepted.” or “I’m a bad person.”, or most commonly, some form of “There’s something wrong with me.”

filterYour insecurities, judgments and beliefs about yourself, others and the world act as filters for your perceptions and experiences that color everything that happens to you.  You filter everything that comes in through them – usually unconsciously and interpret what others say or do through them.

An example of how that happens might be if someone gave you a compliment about your appearance.  But instead of taking it as a compliment, you might filter it through your own insecurities or negative judgments about your looks and hear it as a put down.

The reality is that you don’t have to make the words or actions of others mean anything about yourself whatsoever!  So when you take something personally, you’re making yourself feel bad, but blaming it on the another person.  You’re giving someone else power over how you react and feel.

But that other person is just reacting and behaving based on their own set of filters of perception – their own fears, insecurities, beliefs and judgments.  At either a conscious or unconscious level, they’re being driven by dozens of factors that have nothing at all to do you with you personally.

It is true that your beliefs, judgments and behaviors may interact with that other person’s beliefs, judgments and behaviors in a highly charged way.  They may react to your particular bundle of “stuff” in a negative way.  But that still doesn’t make it personal to you.  They would have reacted and interacted in that same way with anyone else who had similar “stuff” to yours.

Not taking things personally is about recognizing that others are responsible for their own choices and behaviors.  And that you’re responsible for your own choices and behaviors, especially in terms of what you’re going to make something mean – or not.

What You Can Do

Romantic girl dreaming at sea coastIf you find yourself taking things personally, just take a breath, let it go and enjoy the rest of your day.
If you need a little more support than that, here’s a simple exercise you can do.

  1. Take a breath and tell yourself a few times: It’s not personal.  These words/actions are not personal to me.”
  2. Turn your attention inward and tune it to the little voice of your intuition or inner wisdom.  Then ask:
    1. “What am I making this mean about me, what’s the fear, insecurity or negative judgment I have about myself that is triggered right now?”
      When you recognize what it is, claim it.  Say to yourself: “This is my own stuff that’s triggered, these are my feelings.  Their words/actions have no power over how I feel.”
    2. “What different meaning can I choose to make about these words/actions that does not make them personal to me?”
    3. “Is there anything else I need to know about letting this go?”
  3. When you’re done with the questions, take a deep breath, and as you exhale, imagine letting go of all the meanings and judgments.  Then spend a few moments giving yourself some loving acknowledgement and reassurance.
  4. Go enjoy the rest of your day!

filtersTaking things personally is really a choice.  You’re responsible for your own filters of perception that color your experiences with meaning. So you’re also responsible for changing the filters if they don’t produce the kinds of experiences you desire.

Letting go of your negative judgments about yourself and others is a proven way to remove negative filters from your awareness.  It’s also a sure way to lighten your load by helping to relieve stress mentally and emotionally, so that you can feel clear, confident and just plain good about yourself!

Letting go of negative judgments is an important part of the process of forgiveness.  To find out how simple forgiveness really can be, I suggest that you read my recent book, The Forgiveness Handbook – A Simple Guide to Freedom of the Mind and Heart.  It will help you dispel any misconceptions you might have about the real purpose, power and intent of forgiveness, so that you can set yourself free of the bondage of the past.

Also, make sure to get these simple yet valuable Peace of Mind Tips delivered your inbox every week.  Just enter your name and email in the box to the right.  I’ll send you a free “Self-Love, Compassion and Forgiveness” guided meditation audio to help you start to become more self-accepting and peaceful right away!