Don’t Take Anything Personally is the Mindshift We All Need

Don't take anything personally

Our past experiences directly influence all that we do, see, think, and feel. It’s easy to take things personally, despite the fact that how others treat us doesn’t have much to do with us at all. Learning to view all doings as impersonal acts sculpted by our collective past experiences, unveils the core of ourselves and those around us.

We’re Products of the Past

Subconsciously, we calculate each decision we make with consideration of past events. From eating certain foods to the people we choose to give our trust to, we base everything upon one of our yesterdays. Realizing this allows us to see what makes up ourselves and those around us.

More often than not the way that people treat us has absolutely nothing to do with us. They’re acting upon past-programming. Whether that’s lifting themselves up through talking down to you or cautiously navigating a relationship because they’ve been hurt before.

The next time you feel offended or emotionally-bruised, contemplate the depth of the action that caused these feelings. What could be the deeper reason someone wronged you? You’ll quickly witness the motivation has no correlation with you.

Making this identification of surface-level social habits a part of your communicative routine allows the growth of deeper relationships and the deflection of those that won’t serve either parties involved.

But Also Much More…

At first glance, or in this case conversation, people are simple manifestations of what they’ve experienced before. Make the effort to listen, analyze, and dig a little deeper. You’ll soon see that underneath this we exceed far beyond the production of former events displayed on our front pages.

The true depth of a person comes about through internally, and externally, induced reevaluation of how we go about our days.

When we shake up routines, do things that scare us, and render our past-programming obsolete.

Here we find the good. The kindness. Yes our past pain and joy still hold influence but rather than forcing the repetition of former events they gently remind us of how we got here in the first place. Rather than scars or shields, they become badges of honor.

This is the art of impersonal action and reception. You see how you want to act initially, see how other people act toward you, and then look at those behaviors as the curtain hiding a larger picture.

A Selfish and Selfless Act

The most selfishly selfless thing you can ever do is learn to take people’s words toward you impersonally. Contradictory, yes, but just hear me out.

First, the selfish. Selfishly maintain your autonomy. No one, no thing, defines who you are other than your own mind. Don’t allow the way people treat you to tarnish, or even amplify, your self-perception. You exist outside of all that’s happened to you, outside of the way people see you.

Now, the selfless. What could be more selfless than taking the pressure from other people to define you? Let them take complete ownership of how they treat other people and why. It’s no longer that someone hurt you because you deserved pain, but that someone hurt you because they’re in pain, and you see that.

Allow those around you to experience the entirety of their emotions without preventing them from figuring out why they feel them in the first place.

Not taking things personally all the time is impossible. But aim to try to incorporate this mindset into your life as much as possible. Give people the chance to exist as more than their defense mechanisms by becoming the mirror which reflects their actions rather than the person that absorbs them.

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash