Taking things personally is an act of obscurity- that we all take part in regularly. We get upset by the way someone spoke to us, their tone- the angle of their eyes…
People look at you through the lens of their own personal values and conditioning. It’s hard to believe that their lens has absolutely nothing to do with you and yet this is what we imagine.
We take things personally because we want other people’s behaviour to say something about who we are. But how can it?
Take the scenario of Richard and Lucy. Richard treats woman badly because that is how he was brought up, his father poor behavior toward his mother became ingrained.
Lucy and Richard begin to date. Once all the fan fair died Lucy can’t understand why Richard is so cold and nasty.
The speech blurb in Lucy’s mind looks something like, “Richard treats me like sh*t because I’m … I should be more … so that he will treat me better”. But take those spaces and fill them in with any two words you can imagine, because this is what we do, we fill in the blank spaces with our wounds.
The reason Richard doesn’t treat Lucy well is his own sh*t it has zero to do with Lucy beside the fact that she allows it. “She is looking at me like that because she thinks “…” something related to her, not you.
As a culture, we are taught to take things personally. It is a tough behavior to break out of but it’s imperative. People’s actions, values, and judgments are their own, and essentially we have no control over them and no action is ever to do with us.
We are anally sensitive to how other people especially our loved ones respond to us. But if we made the choice not to take it personally it may free us to just be who we are. Don Miguel Riz’s wrote about it over ten years ago in his book, The Four Agreements, a worthy read. His second agreement is- never take anything personally- ever! Simple but essential.
Never take anything personally.
Next time you think it’s personal rather think, what is the point of me taking this personally? What does this person values have to do with me? When you take other people’s behavior personally it only serves to make you feel worse about yourself and what is the point of that?
Use the story you tell yourself to tell you more about your own personal wound and what you fear- what you fear is not who you are.