How many times in your life have you heard – ‘Don’t take it too personally.’ Have you ever wondered what it means?
From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English to take something personally is to get upset by the things other people say or do because you think that their remarks or behaviour are directed at you in particular. For example, Don’t take it personally; she’s rude to everyone.
The common belief here is that it is something that is caused by other people. I beg to disagree. Don’t believe me – let’s try the following example.
Let’s say you are walking down the street and almost every other person on the road comes up to you and says, ‘You are limping.’ What would you do? You will disregard and probably say something like, ‘What’s got into everybody? They are all crazy.’
Now, Let’s say you are walking down the street and every other person on the road comes up to you says, ‘You are not a good employer or an employee, or a good husband or some variant of this.’ What would you do?
The chances are that most of would be wondering something like, ‘How did they know?’ or ‘I knew it I shouldn’t have done that thing or this thing?’
Moral of the story is that we take it personally only if we believe there is a grain of truth to it – if not, we think it is a stupid thought. So, only we are responsible for making things personal. Others act as a trigger for what we already know is true inside of us.
Instead of getting upset or annoyed the best course of action is to express gratitude to the other party for helping you know yourself better and work towards coming to peace with it. This is easier said than done because, in these type of scenarios, we are our own worst enemy. We tell ourselves the same thing over and over again. But, when somebody else tells us the same thing we get offended. We have forgotten that we are not that voice or inner mind chatter. We let it guide us wherever it takes. We should separate ourselves from the voice – listen to it and make a logical call on whether it is something I need to work on or is the voice just spouting utter nonsense. We have lost ourselves so much that we believe that the inner voice is who we are. And let’s admit it the voice has very little work except to keep commenting on everything true or false. That’s its reason for existence, and we have done a great job of making it our practice to go along with the voice. No wonder we are so tired all the time.
Imagine following a monkey on a tree – if you followed the monkey everywhere instead of focusing on your destination you would never get to your destination but yet you would feel like you have done a lot of work and chances are you will be exhausted.
Are you at peace with what the truth inside of you?