QTIP: Quit Taking it Personally

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QTIP: Quit Taking It Personally.

Quit taking it personally.

Even popular blogger Seth Godin says “this is tough advice.”

He follows up with, “Here’s the thing: it’s never personal. It’s never about you.”

His reasoning goes like this: no one really knows us, they only know themselves. Therefore, their reactions are about them.

I’m pretty cool with that information when I’m the one having an allergic reaction to someone. After I glare at him or her for a few days, I typically ease my way back to the source of both the problem and solution, me.

However, when I think someone is reacting to me and they’re backing away, or I’m not included when I think I should be, or I’m confronted with a misunderstanding …

It’s personal and I’m taking it that way.

When that happens, I’m no longer looking inside myself for anything, and I don’t care what Seth says.

About three weeks, though, I got some relief while riding in the car with my husband. He acted shocked listening to me talk about my hurt feelings. It was about a situation he overlooked with friends. A situation that happened two years ago. He said, “I had no idea you felt that way.”

I figured if he sincerely didn’t know what was going on with me after we’ve been married 33 years, and I’ve talked about what happened on and off for more than 100 weeks – why, why, why would someone I met this year, anyone I’ve known for a whole month, someone I see a couple of times weekly for an hour or so … why would they know me?

And if they don’t know me, why would their reactions have anything to do with me? Are you with me?

WRite wHere I’m supposed to be – I’m fairly logical. An equation that reads [them + their reactions = them + their reactions] helps me more easily accept I’m not part of that problem. Thanks to my husband and Seth, maybe I can get a grip on QTIP.

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2 responses »

  1. I don’t know if you’ve been exposed to “The Four Agreements” or not (if not, I WILL buy and send you a copy immediately.) but, basically, it gives 4 rules that you agree to follow that will entitle/enable you to a happy life. One of these Agreements is the agreement not to take anything personally.
    Don Miguel Ruiz (the author/creator) explains that each and every person’s actions and reactions are based from their own realities, so even if they are reacting directly to something you have said or done to them, it has nothing to do with you. That seemed confusing at first until I started watching how people react to the world around them and I realized how right he was. If, say, my husband is having an awful day and I say “I made peas for dinner” and he screams and yells and calls me a horrible wife (none of which he would EVER do, btw, which is why I’m using it as an example) I can choose to take it personally and believe that he really thinks that and let it destroy my evening and my self-worth, OR I can choose to not take it personally and think about where it might be coming from instead and try to work it out rationally, even though he isn’t being rational. Once I realized that others’ reactions to me had NOTHING to do with me, personally, it gave me a whole new perspective on the world and the power I had within it. Kinda nice, actually.

    • I also really like this perspective when I can practice it. I haven’t seen “The Four Agreements” so are you really going to mail it my way? You know I love that sort of thing. Thanks for stopping by to read and comment.

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