The beauty in not taking things personally

The beauty in not taking things personally

“Do not take it personally.” We all must have heard this line even once in our life. Then, what do we do? We end up taking it more personally and storm out on the people who are giving this advice.  I cannot help but smile while writing this, remembering my own personal events. Indeed we all have done it. It is true that it hurts getting this type of advice when we are sad. There are times when things do go bad as we imagined but there are also equally times when the person giving this advice was right.  Things weren’t that catastrophe as we imagined. So, can we ever find middle ground to this? I think we can.
If we didn’t have this power of imagining ourselves in someone else’s shoes or taking it on a personal level, we wouldn’t be living in harmony. Empathy is a beautiful word. Only by this virtue could we feel this unbearable pain the other one can go through not fully but to some extent. It makes us kinder. It makes us wiser. We could connect to each other’s feelings well and act accordingly to it. After all we all feel. As future doctors we are taught by our teachers that in order to be a good doctor we have to have virtue of empathy rather than sympathy. It gives respect to other people's feelings without devaluing what they are feeling. Taking someone’s feelings personally will then make us a real human being in these scenarios.
The beauty in not taking things personally

Taking things personally also works fine when it makes us take responsibility for our actions. We would work on our shortcomings. It also helps us understand what tone and meaning the other person is delivering. If we were hurt, we could take a stand for ourselves and not let the other person get away with everything they say. I think confrontations aren’t bad. We have to speak out than suppressing those emotions. Many injustices in the world were fought when the impartiality was taken on a personal level. We would all take part in this injustice and raise our voice effectively to abolish this impartiality. We have worked in union many times in our human history and still we have so many things to do. When we take things personally, we could also feel what this particular person thinks about us. We may not know what person thinks about us every time but we can some time. And during those sometime, we can stay away from relationships that could be damaging to us and cherish those that bring the best out of us.
But when it isn’t fine is when we take everything personally as if it means something about us. As if it is a direct blow to our existence and integrity. Why would the likes we get on social media mean everything about us?  Why would someone else’s social media following mean something about us? Why would someone else’s success mean we are a failure? Why when someone else wrote some angry status that means it is about us? Why does someone not wishing on our birthday mean we are a total failure? Why do some people not laughing at our jokes mean we are so unfunny? Why when despite supporting good causes people aren’t applauding our actions? Does that mean what we are doing isn’t right? Why despite doing good, people are still judging? Why are people giving you mean comments here and there? Will people ever like us or not? What if they don’t like me? That would mean I am a bad person, wouldn’t it?  Relax. It is hard going through these thoughts, isn’t it? It is when we should intentionally decide not to take things personally.
Because not taking things personally preserves our mental resources and energy. We wouldn’t waste time on something that isn’t in our control and instead focus on what we could to be happy. Because to be very honest things weren’t always in our control. We can work very hard and still be judged. There are always going to be some people who wouldn’t believe in you and who wouldn’t want you to succeed.  There are going to be people who would hate you even without any reasons. World seems unfair at those times and we would want to lash out on people, the society and the system. We do too at times. But what we should understand is sometimes we can choose to ignore it for our own sake. It is when we should realize that not everyone will like us. It is a very unreasonable thing to demand on ourselves and every person we meet to like us anyhow. Things wouldn’t work as we expected. People are going to say mean things. We are also very vulnerable to believe what the environment is telling us. We fall into this loop where we are trying to be happy and doubt ourselves due to external circumstances and be unhappy and again try to make ourselves happy. There is a constant battle in our head. It is then when we can decide we don’t have to take everything personally.
As much as we do not want this to be heard but we eventually have to accept we aren’t the center of the universe always. It is surprisingly good news. Why? That means other people’s actions wouldn’t directly mean something about us. That angry status could be for someone else. We wouldn’t be mad at people when they couldn’t do something. Maybe they were busy in some errand and they weren’t ignoring us purposefully. It is also good news because we would know people have other things to worry about than us not having our hair in a perfect place. The older I grew; I understood how elders could say it’ll be fine. They don’t take everything so seriously and personally and how happy they are. I call my friends sometimes just to hear those words that nothing will happen, it’s okay, it’s fine. By not taking things personally it also prevents us from giving our energy to people whom we wouldn’t want to give it in the first place. Some people would want our attention so they would do things that will hurt us. Understand they are hurting. When it is necessary, take a stand for yourself. It works most of the time. But sometimes when confronting people like them , they will gaslight us as if what we are feeling isn’t true. Our feelings are invalidated and we are treated as if we overreacted. It is best during those scenarios to excuse ourselves from the situation and not believing whatever the person's narrative is. Sometimes, we get treated that way even without a reason.

What we can do is do them favor by not giving attention.  Always remember there are so many people who love you. Just look around. During the heat of the moment, we could only feel one person mean the entire universe but it isn’t so. There will always be many people who love you more than who don’t. And it’s time we focus on who loves us more than who doesn't.
The beauty in not taking things personally

As I told in my previous article How to not let others limit your potential, it also depends on who is giving you opinions. Maybe they are hurting inside themselves. Instead of arguing to prove a point, we can clearly state what we feel and move on. We can wish for healing for them instead of harboring bad feelings for them. Grudge is a very heavy stone to carry in your heart always. It would erode whatever happiness that is yet to come and makes us very bitter. One thing that resonated with me a lot was when I heard other people’s opinions aren’t facts. So, we can still focus on what we can do and ask help in our situations rather than letting someone’s opinions define us. We have definite mental resources and we could thereby put it in a good place and be happy.
When we don’t take things personally, we can filter criticisms and feedback well. I don’t believe all criticisms are bad. Some criticisms are genuine and could help us to work on our betterment. We wouldn’t again lash out on people who gave those advice and could understand the depth of their words without taking it as a personal attack. With so much going on the internet like cancel culture, it feels like we are forever on edge. We could make mistakes anytime. It is true we can make mistakes. But now we are more afraid of making mistakes in fear that people might cancel us. People might judge us in our shortcomings. We try our best to pursue perfectionism. In the midst, we judge others heavily too. But everything will eventually backfire us. If we continually become afraid of surroundings, we cannot move forward. We may not have knowledge always but what we can is opening up to it and correcting our mistakes as we go through our life. That way we wouldn’t feel our failures as personal and wouldn't let them mean something about us.  We cannot always control our environment but we can definitely control our response to it.
Hearing those words ``Don't take it personally” many times in life didn’t change my life but it's when I actually put in practice it has helped me for better. I could say my life has drastically changed. Now, I understand not everyone will like me. And it's okay. I wouldn't want to change that. Not everyone will read my blog. But to those who are taking time to read, I can write something meaningful, something that has changed my life, something that really worked on me and by writing help them. I can respect the time they gave for me and invest time myself writing for them. There are so many people who read my blogs and comment such sweet words that I will always be grateful. I always loved writing and this way I can share what I learnt and what I will be learning to add value in other’s lives. In other areas of my life, I also understand I do not have to take part in every intellectual discussion to prove my intelligence and I don’t these days. I don't think all criticisms are bad. We all are not immune to criticisms. They may guide us to a good path.

Going through all this, I understood I am not the center of the universe and that thought humbled me. That thought also empowered me to keep doing what good I can do on my behalf. It has made me take responsibility for my actions and do my work and feel proud of myself instead of running after approval always. I have now been able to purposefully decide what I will tolerate, what I will ignore and what I will act upon and it has really saved my mental resources.  I am very happy now. I would also want to share my happiness with you.  And it all started by putting those thoughts in behavior.
The beauty in not taking things personally

We all have differences. If we keep on firing on that it will be very hard to live. There are always so many people who love us. Of course, there would also be some who wouldn’t believe us. It is to keep going what feels authentic to us. Then, we wouldn’t be hard on ourselves having that scar in our face like it decides all our future or think our failure means we are a failure indeed. We would also understand other’s success doesn’t mean we are a failure or it will stop us from doing what we can do well. By that way, we can participate in their victories instead of treating ourselves as failure. There are always going to be scenarios in life where we wouldn’t have control over. It’s when we learn to purposefully decide where we invest our time in.  
Stand for something. Make your life mean something. Start where you are with what you have. You are enough.- Germany Kent
After all, life is what we make of it.
 I wish you all the best. I hope you like my article The beauty in not taking things personally. Your feedback are always welcomed. If you like the post, sharing it would mean a lot to me. Thank you.