The second agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz’s book ‘The Four Agreements’ is ‘Don’t take anything personally’.
In today’s society, a lot of people are easily offended. That is because when they identify with something and you antagonise it, some people may feel you are directly insulting them. In defense, they then retaliate with hurtful comments and it becomes a vicious cycle. However, when people offend or insult you, it actually has nothing to do with you. The offense they are taking is because something goes against their beliefs. The insults or comments they throw at you are from their point of view. When people take it personally, it is because on some level, they agree with what is being said. If, for example, someone told me that they hated my dress sense, that is their opinion; not mine. Am I living my life to please this one person? Why should my day be effected by their personal opinion, why should their venom interrupt my day? I’m happy with how I look.
Ruiz states that ‘taking things personally, is the maximum expression of selfishness because we make the assumption that everything is about “me”’. We assume the world revolves around us and that the people around us must be acting that way because of us.
That is fake news. People act because of themselves. That is because what you perceive is your reality, they are doing the same in their head but from their own reality. People see the same thing in very different ways. When someone insults you, it is based on their opinions; their personal agreements. If you take it personally, it shows that you agree with what they say, they are spreading their maliciousness and it is now becomes yours. In turn, you are becoming easy prey because you are taking it personally.
With that said, ‘don’t take it personally’ doesn’t just apply to negative comments. It also applies to positive feedback too. If you allow positive words to uplift you, you are setting yourself up to suffer because you will inevitably let negative words drag you down. Therefore, no matter what someone says, do not take it personally because you know who you are; you know you.
Others are going to have their own opinion according to their belief system, so nothing they think about me is really about me, but it is about themDon Miguel Ruiz
This week, I want you to write down at least 5 things that you know to be true about yourself. You can start simple such as ‘I have blue eyes’ but try to go a little deeper such as ‘I show great empathy to others’.