What people say and do to you is much more about them, than you. People’s reactions to you are about their perspectives, wounds and experiences. Whether people think you’re amazing, or believe you’re the worst, again, is more about them and how they view the world.
Incredible amounts of hurt, disappointment and sadness in our lives come directly from our tendency to take things personally. In most cases it’s far more productive and healthy to let go of other people’s good or bad opinions of you, and to operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.
Watch Your Response
In fact, whenever your response lacks a mindful level of acceptance you’re likely taking things too personally. And you’re not alone. We all make this mistake sometimes.
If someone does something we disagree with, we tend to interpret this as a personal attack…
• Our children don’t clean their rooms? They are purposely defying us!
• Our significant other doesn’t show affection? They must not care about us as much as they should!
• Our coworkers act inconsiderately at work? They must hate us!
• Someone hurts us? Everyone must be out to get us!
Some people even think life itself is personally against them. But the truth is, almost nothing in life is personal – things happen, or they don’t, and it’s rarely all about anyone specifically.
People have emotional issues they’re dealing with, and it makes them defiant, rude, and thoughtless sometimes. They are doing the best they can, or they’re not even aware of their issues. In any case, you can learn not to interpret their behaviors as personal attacks, and instead see them as non-personal encounters that you can either respond to with a peaceful mindset, or not respond to at all.
Here’s what you need to remember…
Mantras for NOT Taking Things Personally
Like you, I’m only human, and I still take things personally sometimes when I’m in the heat of the moment. So I’ve implemented a simple strategy to support the practice of watching my response, as I’ve outlined above. In a nutshell, I proactively remind myself NOT to take things personally. Anytime I catch myself doing so, I pause and read the following mantras to myself. Then I take some fresh deep breaths…
1. You can’t take things too personally, even if it seems personal. Rarely do people do things because of you. They do things because of them.
2. You may not be able control all the things people say and do to you, but you can decide not to be reduced by them.
3. There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you detach from other people’s beliefs and behaviors. The way people treat you is their problem, how you react is yours.
4. Take constructive criticism seriously, but not personally. Listen, and then operate with your own intuition and wisdom as your guide.
5. You are GOOD enough, SMART enough, FINE enough, and STRONG enough. You don’t need other people to validate you – you’re already valuable.
6. If you truly wish to improve your self-confidence, self-esteem, and self-worth, stop allowing other people to be responsible for them. Stop allowing other people to dominate your emotions
7. All the hardest, coldest people you meet were once as soft as a baby. And that’s the tragedy of living. So when people are rude, be kind, be mindful, be your best. Give those around you the “break” that you hope the world will give you on your own “bad day” and you will never, ever regret it.