Friday, December 5, 2014

How to avoid taking shit personally

Most of the things people say and do are a reflection on them, not on you. The vast majority of the time, it's not about you. Unless you're being a jerk. Don't be a jerk. But it can be hard not to take other people's comments and actions personally. Rationally I know that most of the time it's not about me, but sometimes emotions crowd out logic and I could use a reminder. So I wrote this as a pep talk to myself. I even made a helpful infographic:

Here's the thing about us. We filter everything through the lens of our own experience. As Anais Nin said "We don't see things as they are, we see them as we are." It's true of you. It's true of everyone else. So when something happens that upsets you, when someone says or does something and your immediate emotional response is one of hurt or anger, take a moment and remember this. Refer to the helpful infographic. What you are experiencing is not reality, it is only your perception of reality. This other person is not experiencing reality either, only his or her perception of it. So always try to give others the benefit of the doubt. Maybe they are having a bad day. Maybe they are going through some seriously difficult shit you cannot possibly imagine. Assume they have the best intentions and their comments are innocuous. It is only your interpretation of them that is causing you hurt or pain. So change your interpretation. Realize it is not about you. Unless of course you were being a jerk and it is about you. Be honest here. If you were being a jerk, it's ok. It happens to all of us. Don't be hard on yourself, just make a sincere apology and try not to make the same jerky mistakes again. If you weren't being a jerk, relax. No one thinks you're a jerk. It's not about you. Go run through the woods with some pals under the moonlight, eat some cookies, give some hugs, do whatever it is that makes you happy. And let it go.

Lyric of the moment: "So light it up and let it go. Don't you see that you're not alone. Just light it up and watch it fly. 'Cause you could be anything you want tonight. It could be a beautiful morning..."

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