I’ve heard it time and time again. “Stop taking things so personally” they say. And I hear
them, but I don’t know how. I admit it, at times, I take things personally. We all do. If you don’t believe me, just go into any office and you’ll hear people venting to others about
something someone said or did to them.
I think that statement is a bit of a cop out.
If I have a problem, then it is indeed something that is affecting me personally. Because it is affecting me. When I’m told to not take it personally, it is dismissive and it puts the blame on me. I overreact or I am concentrating on the negative, etc.
I also take things personally because I invest a whole lot into everything I do. I am completely invested in my family, my work and my relationships. I remember hearing a friend say once that people accused her of having high expectations. She replied that she had them because she set the bar high for herself and when you do that you expect people to come up to your level. There is a lot of truth in that. When you put your heart into a project at work and someone completely dismisses it, rudely at that, it is hard not to take it personally.
However, while it might be okay to take things personally and recognize “hey, I put a lot into that project and that hostile individual just crapped all over it without any regard for my feelings,” the hard part is not acting on that. People are going to be rude, workplaces are going to be hostile and bosses are going to ignore that fact. That’s life. What I need to learn is to go into a situation and not let it show that I’m taking it personally.
When people attack you, remember this: it shows what they are made of, not you. When people are constantly rude to you, it’s their problem, not yours. You be the change you wish to see in the world. Walk away or smile or do anything except return the rudeness. It might be impossible to learn how to not take it personally. But you can learn to handle
any situation with aplomb and be professional and rise above it.
And after doing this a few times, the rudeness will probably stop.
Because if it is personal and that person finds that they aren’t affecting you,
they’ll find someone else’s day to