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Stop Taking Things Personally

Throughout my life, I have always been a very sensitive person. My sensitive side developed at a young age from being treated poorly at school and thinking people were out to get me. This in turn made me extremely sensitive and caused many problems with the way I handled things said to me and certain situations. Truthfully, up until last year, I really felt that I could not handle some of the jokes thrown at me in a group setting, or if someone said something rude to me, I always took it as a personal attack. There was never any sort of sense of perspective in my mind that these people were not trying to break me down and make me feel like less of a human. I discovered that this is a difficult way to live and makes nearly every interaction you have to feel like you are in survival mode. There is part of you always hoping there is no hostility or confrontation and a sudden sense of panic or shut down if someone makes a jab at you.

The thing I learned, cliché or not, is that it really is what it is. The things that people choose to say and the emotional outbursts they decide to throw at you are not your faults. This is simply a reflection of that person’s day, week, or month that has led them to this point where they feel like they need to make an issue out of a minute situation or say something hurtful in order for themselves to feel slightly better about themselves. It was not until I realized that we are the main character in our own story, not everyone else’s, that it became clear to me that no one really has it out to get us. The things people say or do is just a reflection of where they are at in their life or something they are going through. I learned that the more I control myself and choose to channel my own thoughts and reactions, the better the situation will be. This allows me more time to reflect and decide to go in a positive direction in whatever the situation will be.

I try to live my life nowadays always remembering this quote I heard from Tom Hanks: “This too shall pass.” A part of not taking things personally that took me a long time to grasp. It does not matter how great you have it, how awful things are going if you got some terrible luck, or if someone decided he was going to lay into you for no reason and tell you about how bad of a person you are. This too shall pass. All of these scenarios will pass in due time and none of us ever really have it all figured out. This made it a lot easier for me to see clearly that the most important thing is not always to win the argument or fight back because it is a courageous thing to do. Instead, it taught me that all my experiences and the things people say to me or about me will indeed pass. This shows that really is not all that important in the end. Therefore, enjoyment of each interaction, scenario, and experience we have as well as being self-aware and doing our part to make others feel good about themselves is all we can hope for in this life.

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