Updated: Nov 16, 2021
“What people think of you is not your business.” - Deepak Chopra
Agreement #2 in Don Miguel Ruiz’s book, The Four Agreements is Don’t take anything personally. When I first read it I literally laughed out loud. I mean, if I don't check myself on this, I tend to take absolutely EVERYTHING personally! Someone can merely look at me in a certain way and somehow I find a way to make it some kind judgment of me. So, here’s what he says on this:
Whatever happens around you, don’t take it personally… Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. All people live in their own dream, in their own mind; they are in a completely different world from the one we live in. When we take something personally, we make the assumption that they know what is in our world, and we try to impose our world on their world. Even when a situation seems so personal, even if others insult you directly, it has nothing to do with you. What they say, what they do, and the opinions they give are according to the agreements they have in their own minds… They can hook you easily with one little opinion and feed you whatever poison they want…
So, what I do now when I find myself taking something personally (which, as I said, is all the damn time!) is to deconstruct it and try to figure out what’s going on in my own little internal world that got me “hooked.” Because I can’t do shit to change another person; all I can do is look more closely at myself. Maybe whatever they’ve said or eluded to is something I believe to be true. Maybe that’s something I can work on. Or maybe it’s just plain ol’ bullshit, and I need let it go.
And most of the time, it has nothing to do with me, and it’s something I can just let pass through me. People have their own shit that they’re dealing with and their own way of seeing things that have absolutely nothing to do with you. Which is a relief, ‘cuz, ya know ... that's one less thing to worry about!
Spiral level: Meh, Pretty Darn Good, Great
Use when feeling: People, ugh, frustrated, uneasy, down on self