Yes, Ok, you’ve probably heard this one before…and yet…I bet your bottom dollar that to some degree you still take things personally! That is after all why we have an ego…to take things personally! I learnt this teaching at least eight years ago…and I still learn from it daily…so don’t dismiss this, sit with it for a while, contemplate it and begin to notice which people and situations tend to push your buttons and that’s where you need to go to work…Learn to take nothing personally, because it isn’t.
Before we take action in our lives we need to clear up our own back yards somewhat…and learning to take nothing personally is a great place to start.
Have you noticed how easily people take offense and get upset over even small things? It is almost as if they are waiting to be upset; always ready to fire off a nasty remark or to play the victim and sulk. One of the main reasons for this is that we have been conditioned by society to attack, criticise and complain if things are not going exactly as we would like them to go. Many people have an attachment to self-importance, to Be~ing right and to Be~ing a victim of the circumstances in which they find themselves, all of which is a favourite obsession of the ego.
If we want freedom from this restrictive obsession, we need to learn how not to take things personally. In fact, as we master this art of Be~ing in the present, we learn to take nothing personally.
The next time you find yourself bothered by someone’s actions, remember this: nothing anyone else does is because of you. Nothing.Feeling bothered by someone’s actions? Nothing anyone does is because of you. Nothing. Click To Tweet
It may look like it is because their actions are directed at you and it feels personal. But people are quite capable of Be~ing unpleasant without even thinking about it. What others say and do is nothing to do with you. It is a projection into the world of what is going on inside of them; their unresolved issues. This individual perception is built around beliefs, assumptions, opinions and values that have shaped their lives for better or worse.
The same applies to us. When we can see this and understand how people’s motivations are based on past experiences, we can come to the amazing realisation that although unpleasant things may have been said and done, or we are subject to another’s unsavoury actions, it is not personal to us even though it may be happening to us.
This is a challenging idea to hold as we have been trained in the opposite direction; take everything personally, prepare to attack in return and feel like a victim. The good news is that, with a little practice, many of our upsets can disappear as we release and forgive.
The rare individual who understands this can hold him or herself above the negative opinions, judgments and actions of others. This has nothing to do with superiority; that’s just another manifestation of the ego. Instead, we can act with detachment by not allowing our emotions to get “hooked” by others. We can see what part of us was wounded and reflect on what beliefs were Be~ing challenged about who we consider ourselves to be. With time and patience we can choose to let it go and return ourselves to peace; for this is our natural state of Be~ing.
From this perspective we are more able to gain clarity, consider options and become better able to produce results in line with our most valuable goals and dreams.
Unfortunately, most people cannot help but take things personally.
Thus, they often feel the need to defend themselves: reacting with verbal attacks, or retreating in anger with a bruised ego, which rarely improves a situation. Be~ing able to set aside what others are saying or doing does not mean you become a passive victim to their unpleasantness. Be~ing able to step beyond your ego of defensiveness or attack gives you a huge advantage, even if it’s just Be~ing able to return to a genuine inner peace. Often, what opens up is a new way of approaching the person, situation or event from a more effective place. This takes practice, and results in the honing of new skills that can rarely happen when we are taking things personally.
When we allow ourselves not to be clouded with judgment and victim thinking, we can reach up to our higher values of compassion and integrity in designing positive ways forward. This alone can create a transformation in our lives, from intimate relationships to business decisions.
Next time you sense an argument or disagreement emerging, consider how you could reduce differences of opinion by saying “Yes, and…” instead of “No, but…” and observe how the conversation flows.
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