One of the best books I have ever read is the 4 Agreements by Don Miguel Ruiz. It has brought me a great sense of clarity through my life and helped me get to a better place internally.
I know that may be a bit woo-woo-ish for some, but I highly suggest that everyone read it. It has given me greater insights to myself and how I deal with the world around me. Especially in how I deal with others and how they deal with me. One of my favorite of the 4 Agreements is the second one ‘Don’t Take Anything Personally‘. This one was a bit hard for me to manage at first but once I did it helped me so much! The basic premise of this agreement is that no matter what someone says or does to you you can not take it personally. Whatever they are saying comes from a place within them and has nothing to do with you personally. They may not like something you do, or the way you dress, or the things you say… but that is because of them and not because of you.
The way that others see you is not the way you see yourself. Their interpretation of you and how they see you is changed by their experiences, their biases, their beliefs and so they “see” you differently than you see yourself.
As an example, think of someone who is an online bully. You know the ones I’m talking about. Those people who sit in front of their screens and hide behind their keyboards having nothing good to say about anyone. They find people and articles online and use that anonymous platform to spew their anger, hatred and self-loathing onto others. You would call them trolls. And any time these trolls appear online there are always those who say to them “You must be an unhappy person. You must be miserable or a loser to feel you need to attack others like this.” Those trolls are saying what they say because of something within them that makes them feel they need to lash out. Should the person who is being attacked take it personally? NO. It’s an anonymous person on a screen. It doesn’t mean that the words don’t hurt, I completely understand that. But should an internet trolls words make that person feel bad about who they are? Should they allow those words to make them feel that they need to change? Hell no!
Reading this book and learning this concept of not taking things personally really helped me develop a better relationship with myself AND with my ex if you can believe that!
Today’s podcast is about remembering not to take things personally and how I had to remember this lesson very recently.