The Art of Not Taking Things Personally

not taking things personally, life coach, coach, communication, sensitive

March 3, 2014 | Posted in Communication, Information, Relationships | By

Have you ever had a friend, lover, family member or colleague do a complete 180 on you and lash out at you out of nowhere? How did it make you feel? Was it intense, confusing, hurtful, irrational, and/or baffling?

Today’s lesson involves not taking things personally. Ah, but this is impossible you say! Not so much…

More often than not we think others’ unreasonable or unkind behavior is directed at us, and yes, sometimes it hurts a lot; and yes, sometimes it is quite unjust. However, let’s take a second to evaluate what is really going on and how to get out of the “taking things personally slump.”

Releasing the Burden

First of all, when someone unjustly lashes out at you, you immediately feel a pit in your stomach. We have all been there, it’s uncomfortable at best! The quickest remedy to get past this horrid feeling, besides having compassion for yourself, is to have compassion for the other person, as they are probably not very happy with themselves and their current situation. Your compassion does not weaken you. Instead it allows you to release the burden that another has placed upon you. Give your strength and power back to yourself where it belongs and consciously choose to rise above. It’s not easy but I imagine you have enough of your own problems, why take on another’s as well?

Remember, that individual is living in their own egocentric point of view, which means it has nothing to do with you in the first place! We are the ones in control of how we perceive and interpret things. If someone is lashing out at you for an unjust reason or saying things that simply aren’t true, then why do we take this to heart when it is their invalid opinion?

Next time someone is directing anger, frustration or rudeness in your direction try these steps out.

  1. Take a minute to think if it is actually about you. Do not over-analyze and do not strike back even though it feels awesome in the moment to get even when someone is speaking like they have a few bolts loose.
  2. Clear up any miscommunication if need be and see things from a new perspective. A lot of our problems are based simply off of not understanding the exact meaning of the message being delivered.
  3. Hear what they are actually saying instead of what you think they are saying so you do not jump to false conclusions that cause more harm than good.

And if they are spewing mean and hateful things, what does that say about you? Not much. What does that say about them? A whole lot.

Unsurprisingly, even as a Life Coach I have been personally pained by the incredibly unkind words of others, even those I called best friends, but I learned to evaluate what was actually being said and take what was true, if there was anything true within the particular conversation, and disregard the rest because that anger clearly had nothing to do with me but a lot to do with them feeling inferior and vulnerable. This will also teach you to limit your interactions with toxic people. Your circle may grow smaller but it will be a powerful one in the end.

You Don’t Have to Drink Someone Else’s Poison

Never let someone else’s poison influence how you see yourself. Being quick to judge another on unsound fallacies is unbeneficial and wrong, being quick to judge ourselves on the same is lacking common sense and self-destructive.

At the end of the day, it is indeed a reflection of them, not you. With that in mind, only you can define yourself and only you can dictate how you feel.

“No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”-Eleanor Roosevelt

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