In the series of The Four Agreements, the second agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally.” Today, so many people are caught up in what others say or do, but we must be reminded nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of themselves. If somebody looks at you and tells you you’re ugly, what happens? But what happens when this same person looks at you and tells you you’re pretty. What’s changed? Did you go from a 2 to a 10, or did something in the other person change?
We take things personally when we agree with what others have said. If we didn’t agree, the things that others say would not affect us emotionally. If we did not care about what others think about us, their words or behavior could not affect us.
Even if someone yells at you, gossips about you, harms you or yours, it still is not about you! Their actions and words are based on what they believe in their own lives.
People’s personal belief system makes them feel safe. When people have beliefs that are different from our own, we get scared, defend ourselves, and impose our point of view on others (hence, “You ugly.”) If someone gets angry with us it is because our belief system is challenging their belief system and they get scared. They need to defend their point of view. Why become angry, create conflict, and expend energy arguing when you are aware of this? So when an individual’s think, speak, or do anything that is not aligned with who you are, remember, don’t take it personally.