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"An Effective Trick To Help You Not Take Things Personally!" [Reflections Of A Middle-Aged Man]

This principle does not mean that people are always right about what they do. Nor does it mean that they should always be excused for their action. It also does not mean that they themselves always know why they did what they did. But there is nevertheless always a reason! 

Here are some reasons that I can think of that would cause people to do what they sometimes do (perhaps you can think of others): 

- past unmet needs, 
- current needs, 
- current wants, 
- past unresolved issues or conflicts, 
- past hurts, 
- current fears, 
- current hang ups, 
- ulterior motives or hidden agenda, 
- current insecurities, 
- past decisions, 
- ego issues, 
- personality disorders such as: narcistic tendencies, ADD, ADHD, lack of empathy, . . . 
- and so on . . . 

Consequently, sometimes people will do what they do simply because they are motivated by who they are and the "baggage" they carry! And if they are motivated by such things, then there is no reason why we should take personally things they do and say. In fact, you could say that their actions has shown you that they behave as they do because they "have issues". Again, nothing to do with us and therefore nothing personal! 

For example, I know a 12-yearl old boy who once told his step-mother "I love you" only to be given the reply "Yeah, well you have a funny way of showing it!" Needless to say the boy was deeply hurt by the reply (and understandably so). The way to help that boy is to help him understand that, even though the step-mother's comment sounded like a personal attack on him, the reply really reveals who the step-mother is as a person and that it was nothing personal. 

In conclusion, the trick to not taking personally things people say and do is to understand and accept that sometimes people are selfish and/or they "have issues", and that their behaviour often has nothing to do with us. You can even turn things around and say that their behaviour betrays who they really are. This will help you shift the focus from you (which is partly why you take things personally) and place it on them (which will help you not take things personally). 

Serge M Botans

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