Day after day we deliberately accept in our minds the venom of poisonous people with devastating consequences. Once in our minds, this venom annihilates our self-confidence and destroys our self-esteem and feelings of anger, hatred and resentment flood our minds. Cause: taking things too personally. Cure: living without the influence of other people’s opinions. Are you taking things personally? Are you letting other people’s opinion and behaviors define your true self?
We go through life as we had a target hanging from our necks. We feel as if we were inoffensive deer grazing peacefully in the woods surrounded by heartless hunters waiting for the perfect moment to pull the trigger. Suddenly, that moment comes, the world freezes, the watch stops, and bang! Perfect shot, straight into our heads, we lie motionless, presumed deceased. The world begins to move again, we breathe, we are alive, we survived, but the scars are bleeding, the pain increases, and suddenly the pain becomes anger and the anger commence to rule our lives. Resentment becomes our ally.
The problem is that our constantly need for acceptance and our desperate search for everyone’s approval has become a necessity in order to maintain an acceptable reputation to society, and this reputation, or our own reputation about our own selves is severely affected when we encounter ourselves being the target of someone’s attacks, that is the main reason why we take things so personally, because that person is preventing us from achieving our goal of being accepted by every single human in our society. It damages our ego, diminishes our self-confidence and put ourselves at the edge of collapse.
“What other people think of you is not your business. If you start to make that business your business, you will be offended for the rest of your life.” – Deepak Chopra
Therefore, taking things personally and unhappiness are connected. But, is there such thing as an everlasting happiness? Well, There are many keys and ideas of how can one be happy, but this question continues to be an existential doubt for most of us. However, through the years we have discovered important keys to unhappiness. One of them is taking things personally, when we do this, we expose ourselves, we put ourselves in a place of extreme vulnerability, putting our own happiness in someone else’s hands. When we take things personally, we condemn ourselves to a life of misery and resentment, we sabotage our own capabilities of achieving all our dreams and goals, and we deny ourselves the possibility of having a happy life.
When someone attacks you in any way in the end they never have something personal with you but rather they have something personal with themselves. The only time when you can take things personally is when you have attacked them or hurt them in any way first. For example, let’s imagine the case where you insult someone else’s mother, if the person gives you a punch in the face, you can take it personally, nevertheless, in the end, it always comes down to the fact that someone’s reaction and behavior against others is never something personal with them but with their own selves, no matter if they think they have an excuse for acting that way.
“There is a huge amount of freedom that comes to you when you take nothing personally.” — Miguel Ruiz.
Not taking things personally from the people that surrounds you is not something we can learn overnight, but is rather an every day commitment, but there is nothing more rewarding that gaining that level of freedom and become immune to other people’s opinions, immune to other people’s criticism, immune to other people’s judgements, immune to other people’s aggression. The real truth is that other people’s behaviors and attitudes toward you do not define nor categorize you, not damage your reputation, do not condemn you, but they rather do all of that onto them. Every actions and behaviors, every thoughts and opinions of others are only a reflection of their own souls, they do not indicate who you are, but they indicate who they are. Therefore, do not take things personally, and you will have found the key to your own personal development, you will broaden your limitations and you will declare, loudly and fearless to the world: “I do not seek to belong, I do not seek to be accepted, nobody defines me nor limits me, I am immune to the poisonous souls that seek to destroy me, I am an utterly and completely free soul.”
Learn to not take things personally, release your soul from the need to get everyone’s approval and become immune to other people’s criticism, opinions and behaviors and you will have discovered one of the keys to success and your personal development.