25. Don’t Take Things Personally
It took me nearly my whole life to admit that I’m pretty sensitive. I think part of the reason I was ashamed of my sensitivity was because I’d perceived it to be weak (a lot of movies after all painted it in a negative light – “don’t be such a crybaby” or “you’re so sensitive”). I later accepted and even embraced my sensitivity, but it has definitely caused me a lot of grief because I didn’t know how to control my inclinations of wanting to take things personally (even times when it had nothing to do with me). I internalized things way too much. For example, if someone told me they couldn’t go to my birthday dinner because something came up, I would automatically jump to an outrageous conclusion such as: they probably don’t think I’m fun or that they didn’t like me very much. I would subconsciously make it about me when in reality, it has nothing to do with me! Perhaps something really did come up for!
These days, I’m happy to report that I don’t take things that personally anymore – making me a happier clam! -and it was all thanks to these realizations in recent years that have helped kept my sensitivity in check:
1. People aren’t usually against you, they’re for themselves.
For example, if you find out that a genuinely good friend of yours gossiped about you, it’s probably because he/she was not strong enough to rise above peer pressure. While genuinely good friends shouldn’t gossip about you to begin with, also keep in mind that we are human with human weaknesses; even though the reality is that you could be one of his/her bestest friends, this friend might still find him/herself succumbing to their own insecurities – I.e. needing to be accepted – which unfortunately could mean gossiping about those they truly care about.
2. What others do isn’t so much a reflection of you, but a reflection of themselves.
For example, do you have a hater? I wouldn’t worry about them too much. I wouldn’t take it personally. From my experience, haters are more insecure or afraid and the only way they know how to cope is to bring others down. Thus, their hating only shows the kind of person they are, not the kind of person you are. Better put:
So, don’t take things too personally people. I will admit that sometimes it’s hard not to take things personally, but from my experience, in most cases, it has little or nothing to do with you. So brush it off. Ain’t nobody got time to be wasting unnecessary emotional energy 🙂
Inside La Mezquita in Córdoba, Spain