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It's Not Personal

Welcome back to another edition of hypnosis news. I’m back with another topic near and dear to my heart. Throughout our lives, many of us struggle not to take things personally. As someone who was labeled emotional or sensitive as a child, this was particularly true of me. Today, I still struggle with these feelings from time to time. So I thought I would share some tips and tricks I learned along the way. And who knows, some of you may even have some suggestions for us to add. Just remember it’s not personal.

Different Folks, Different Strokes

“Don’t Take Anything Personally. Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.”

–  Don Miguel Ruiz

We’ve heard different folks, different strokes many times in our lives. Everyone thinks and acts differently. No two people will deal with the same issue in exactly the same way. And that’s okay. Part of that is an evolutionary process designed to keep us alive and trying new things. Diversity of thought is really good for us as a species. In order to survive and then thrive in the modern world, it is vital that we learn to have resilience, a brave heart, and a strong mind.

If you struggle with this thought pattern or habit personally, you should strive to do your best to improve yourself. I won’t claim to be a guru or a master on the topic. Each day is a part of my work towards overcoming this as well. We should all strive to update the way we think and feel when we find our old patterns are harmful or unhealthy. In the end, it is your choice whether to change or to continue to hurt yourself. Because likely its not personal.


I can tell you it’s not personal as much as I want, but why should you believe me? (Aside from mental sanity of course. )

Too often, we put way too much pressure on ourselves. Especially if it regards the words of someone we care about. This pressure not only limits our chances for success but is also draining. Often unhealthy.

Characterizing others words as personal attacks or criticisms constantly hands over control of the wheel to someone who may not even be attempting to take it. You give them power over your emotions, thoughts, and even your life. The words of these chosen individuals take up space in your mind and often results in unhappiness and suffering.

We are often harshest to ourselves when we listen to these words in our mind on repeat. Like a broken record. On the other hand, the benefits of reliving this pressure and practicing self-compassion can include:

  • Better self-esteem
  • More resilience
  • More connection
  • Improved mood
  • Less fear of failure

Negative Nelly

Many of us spend way too much time focusing on negativity. When instead, we should be focused on those who love and cherish us. We should be feeding ourselves with kindness and love. It’s not an easy thing to do. That’s for sure. By always focusing on the negative, we waste precious time, effort, and energy. But we are also poisoning ourselves mentally and setting ourselves up to fail in our goals and endeavors. A potential failure that none of us have time for. Life is just too short to constantly be in that much emotional turmoil.

Positive Polly

Now imagine how much better it would feel with a new perspective. How much happier you would be if you changed those voices to positive ones. However, the voices in our head affect how we think. Thus affecting our beliefs, behaviors, and habits. Let me share a story. Last year I went through a really rough patch. Lots of changes in my life. Things were not going well. I lost a lot of a certain type of responsibility and took on a whole bunch of new hats for which I had few to no skills.

I struggled to learn a whole lot of new information quickly. Often feeling like I was failing my family. I would hear the things people would criticize me on and take them really personally. And, let me tell you, the voices in my head were, and sometimes still are, worse than anything they could say to me.

But then my friends started pointing out that these were new skills. I was learning a ton of them at once. And it would take me some time to adjust and succeed. I’m still not quite there and I still have bad days. But the kinder I am to myself (and the harder I work at those skills) the easier it gets day by day.

So let’s look at some of the ideas that helped me get to this point:

Negative Thoughts Be Gone

Below are just a few ways to change your thoughts and not take things so personally.

1. Don’t take yourself so seriously:

“Do not take life too seriously. You will never get out of it alive.”

Elbert Hubbard

This has been a huge one for me. I have absolutely no sense of humor when it comes to my mistakes. I can console and support anyone else, but when I screw something up, I’m the first to say so. However, with time, I’ve realized that the best thing is to be able to laugh at yourself. As much as this has been a boon for me, it’s also one of the most difficult to remember to do.

Have you ever met someone who can laugh at themselves? That can joke about their strengths and weaknesses? Those people tend to love and accept themselves far more than anyone else around them. Taking yourself too serious manes that you believe in the concept of who you are and will defend it with all of your strength. And often your pride or ego.

We are not fixed people who cannot be changed. Instead, we are typically fluid beings whether we want to admit it or not. Our personalities, goals, and even our likes and dislikes change over time. Or even in the heat of the moment. In addition, we already adopt different personalities for different headspaces…and even people. I can only name a few people who would tell their parents all the same things they tell their best friends.

2. Be grateful that people are not against you:

Let’s say that someone says something you feel is mean or hurtful. That makes you feel like you’ve been put in a bad light. Of course, you start blaming them for it. However, when you confront them about it, they don’t remember it. And you get angrier.

The truth is that many of us overestimate how much we are judged or singled out by others. In truth, many of the people you may feel are singling you out, may not even realize they did so. They are likely not even trying to hurt you according to most research. They may not have enough thought far enough ahead before speaking to realize how those words might make you feel. I run into this all the time with my other half from both ends. It’s not personal to them and you shouldn’t take it so personally.

“You can never take anything personally. Just a story. It’s not their fault they want to kick you and it’s certainly not yours. It’s just the way things are. Sometimes you need to hear the worst, so you have no fear in what you do and learn to work around the what-have-you.”

― Initially NO, Percipience: Outside the Range of Understood Sense

This has nothing to do with you. The worst of these people likely do not even care about your feelings. The best won’t realize that they’ve made the mistake until you confront them. And it is horrible on both fronts, but let’s be honest. Do we really have time to worry about what every person and everything they say to us?

No! We don’t. We have too many other things to do and most of them are likely not trying to offend. They are just trying to survive the day. Just like you! For all you know they are just as offended by something you said offhand.

3. Think About the Other Person In Different Terms:

 “When someone is cruel, harsh, mean, to not take their words personally is one thing, but to hear the silent cry within those words is another. This sort of perspective can not only liberate us from crippling self-doubt in the face of criticism, it can also liberate us from automatically becoming blind participants in the interaction patterns that the cruel person has become accustomed to—a favour we do for the other person as much as for ourselves.”

Vironika Tugaleva

Take a moment and give some thought to a person who has hurt you. It may be someone you are close to or not. Ask yourself if this relationship is actually important to you. Is their approval really necessary for your well being? Then think about how they communicate. Is this just them or were they going out of their way to be mean? Often, those who make you feel bad only do so by their poor delivery. Or their lack of tact and discretion.

Also, remember that you never know what’s going on inside that other person. Or what is happening in their lives. How that makes them feel. They may be communicating out of a place of fear or projecting their anger onto you instead of the appropriate target. Consider things from another angle then let it go. Or ask them what is going on if it is someone you care about. If it’s not personal to them, maybe it shouldn’t be so personal to you.

4. Remember That You Can’t Please Everyone:

This is another hard one for me. Now, I don’t care about pleasing everyone, but the people who I do care about…I want to please. Badly. However, we have to remember that there is always going to be that person who will dislike, be mean, or criticize you. It’s not personal. It’s just life.

You cannot change them. All you can do is change and/or accept yourself. All that really matters is who you are, not what the jerks in your life may think about you. It doesn’t make sense to change for others. Be yourself and the right people will love the real you!

“When you let it get personal, the cost becomes personal too. You’re opening your own heart here. You sure you want to do that?”

Michael Marshall Smith

5. Stay Healthy and Well-Rested:

“A good laugh overcomes more difficulties and dissipates more dark clouds than any other one thing.”

Laura Ingalls Wilder

We’ve all been hangry. You know its true. When you are tired or haven’t eaten well, you’re more likely to be upset by what others say. It’s harder to be emotionally capable of letting it go when you aren’t feeling your best. Excess sugar and caffeine can make this worse with highs and lows on the glucose roller coaster. So adopt healthier habits to beat away depression and anxiety, which can make worse hurt even more. A commitment to good mental and physical health generally draws more healthy relationships into your life. Your friends who support you and make you feel good will make the negative comments of others less important.

It’s Not Personal…I Promise

We have no control over what anyone else says or does. Just what we say or do. The only control you have is your perception and reaction to the situation. Take advantage of this superpower and use it towards your best interests. It’s all about acceptance. A word we understand well and sometimes act on poorly. Both in regards to ourselves and others. The day that we start being more comfortable in our own skins is the day we stop taking things so personally.

If you find you struggle with the depression and anxiety associated with this, feel free to check out some of our services. I make a point of not linking into them too much. However, I know how much this can hurt. I also know how hard it can be to change some of those habits.

So if you feel you need an extra hand, reach out to us or someone else for help. Please do so. I’ll leave you with one more quote below. Until next time be kind to yourself and those around you. And remember…its not personal.

“People tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.” –

Steve Maraboli
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