We’ve all been there – you’re at a party or an event and you approach someone but they give you the cold shoulder. It hurts, doesn’t it? It leaves you wondering what you did wrong to deserve such disrespect. It’s happened to me and it used to bother me so much that it ruined my entire day. Sometimes I even stewed on it bitterly for the whole week, creating stories in my mind about what I did wrong. What an utter WASTE of energy and time!
IDENTIFYING THE ROOT CAUSE
Over time, I’ve learned a really important lesson about taking things personally. Namely, I shouldn’t because more often than not, the other person‘s behavior doesn’t have anything to do with me. Maybe they’re having a bad day or feeling unwell or their dog just died. It could also be the fact they have a set of (unrealistic) expectations or rules they want you to follow – things you may not even be aware of, or want to adhere to. Whatever it is, it’s all about them, not YOU.
THE STEPS TO TAKE
The next time you’re in a situation where something happens that you weren’t expecting and you feel disrespected, take a step back and get curious about the other person, focusing hard on not taking it personally.
At the same time, tell them how you feel. Most of the time they probably don’t even realize the impact they’re having and will apologize immediately. If they don’t apologize - and the relationship is important enough - ask them to communicate with you. In the vast majority of cases, it’s simply a lack of communication and can be fixed relatively easily, often with a laugh or two!
IT’S ALL UP TO YOU
When it all comes down to it, it is up to you who you give our power to. Don’t give it to energy sucking situations or people. So much of our fatigue and exhaustion is caused by giving our power away. Learning how to not take things personally is one key way to take that power back and harness it for the good in you … and not let the bad behavior of others steal it from you.