For What it’s Worth Friday – It’s Not Personal

I unofficially started this “series” last week when I talked a bit about a book I’m reading – The Four Agreements.

I touched on being impeccable with your word and how important that is – both words to/about others and to/about ourselves… We’re our own worst critics ya know… In fact, it is our own self criticism that is the barometer for now we allow others to treat us.  It’s an interesting concept that I never really considered before now.

Thinking back on some of the … darkness from my past… I allowed certain behaviors because I somehow, subconsciously, believed I was worth nothing more. An interesting concept is that when a person treats us better than we treat ourselves, we allow this behavior even if they treat us negatively. If a person treats us worse than we treat ourselves, that’s when we remove them from our lives…


This week, I’m moving on to the second agreement –

Don’t Take Anything Personally
2nd Agreement

I was about to say that I struggle with this one… truth is I struggle with them all. But THIS ONE?

What if…

What if someone else’s words or actions are NOT a reflection on anything we did or didn’t do but rather a mirror to where that person is in this exact moment? {and a mirror to our own insecurity/fear/opinion/belief}

What if the silence from your Bestie doesn’t mean you have offended her but rather that (a) she’s busy (b) she has nothing to say (c) she forgot her charger and the battery is dead (d) her kids bogarted her phone and she never saw the text (e) she’s exhausted and can’t deal with your crazy right now (f) she meant to respond but got dist… OH LOOK!   A Squirrel!! …. racted…

What if the moment your significant other rolled over and faced the wall instead of you meant nothing more than they were tired? Or weren’t feeling well?  Or were stuffed up and that was the side that felt best to lay on…. and not that they were somehow upset or less interested in you.

What if a random driver cutting you off in traffic meant nothing more than they were in a hurry and not that they were somehow out to get you or conspiring to make you late…

What if your coworker “ignoring you” meant nothing more than that they were focused on their job or personal issues or their own demons and had nothing to do with you…

What if a cheating spouse wasn’t a reflection on your worthiness of love or ability to be a good spouse or desirability but rather their own insecurity or damage from a past situation…

On a logical note, I’m well aware that the universe doesn’t revolve around me… so why is it that when interacting with others, we assume that their actions somehow are caused by us?

What if… people really were impeccable with their word and we could trust that if we had done or said something that was interpreted in a negative way, they would communicate this in a loving way… What if we were impeccable with our word and shared our fears and insecurities and became a bit vulnerable with those in our lives.

I’m not suggesting you follow the dude that cut you off in traffic to tell him how that made you feel… that’s just silly… but instead of making up a scenario in your head about how another person’s actions are DIRECTLY related to something you said or did… or some inadequacy you are feeling… what if you were honest – with yourself and with the other person?

Don’t take anything personally.

We shouldn’t care what others think… and yet….

I logically know that I have no control over the opinions of others, and yet… I’m egoic enough to believe that I have some sort of power over their feelings.  Which is silly seeing how I’m not even in control of my own at times.

This whole line of thought reminds me of something that I read somewhere…

What other people think of you is none of your business. You can’t change it, you can’t control it. The only thing you can control is your reaction to it.

I don’t know who said that but it makes a lot of sense.  Ironically, isn’t that what we are teaching our kids?  To stand on their own.  Believe in themselves.  Don’t worry about what others think…

Too bad I suck at taking my own advice.

My challenge for this week – for myself and for you should you choose to play along – is to simply be aware when taking other’s opinions and actions personally.  Not gonna change overnight but recognizing a problem is the first step, right?


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