This one can be tough. Even on our best of days, if we walk away from an interchange, or get a message that is hard to decipher, we can easily lean into feeling insulted. We can immediately default into a thought pattern that affects our self-worth and plants doubt in who we are. Learning to not take things personally is a skill that can help us look at personal situations objectively. Here are 3 tips that we can practice:
- Ask yourself the question, “Is this really about me?” When we begin to look at the possible answer to that question, we often can see that it has less to do with us as we automatically assumed it did. Perhaps we are dealing with a cranky person, or someone who relies on unhealthy communication patterns. Perhaps we got stuck in the middle of an interchange that had nothing to do with us, perhaps someone’s misplaced anger or insecurity is landing on our doorstep.
- Vet it to a trusted friend. Using someone as a sounding board can help us to discover if we are reading too much into the situation. A friend can help us to decide if we are carrying more than we need to.
- Understand that we can make mistakes. Sometimes we have done something that has hurt or insulted someone. If our question to number 1 is that it is about you, then the person on the other end of the message has a responsibility to you to be honest, clear and kind about why they are upset at you. You can’t fix or repair when you are stuck in the position of guessing. Once you are in acknowledgement of the mistake, you can move to repair with a genuine apology.
Our goal with the challenges that come our way is to remain as objective as possible. This allows us to not own what isn’t ours, own what is, and not spend oodles of time ruminating before a solution can be found.
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