Don’t take anything personally

Don’t take anything personally is the second of the Four Agreements.

Do you agree that when someone is having a good day, they are likely to greet you with a warm smile and nice words? And when that same person is upset about something they are likely to greet you in a way that mirrors their mood, agree?

So why do we automatically take offense and think it’s about us when someone acts poorly towards us?

What we do or say is often about how we feel inside. When we feel good, we project good, when we feel angry, we project anger.

We all live in our own world with our own experiences, beliefs, and wounds. When someone says or does something that triggers emotion in us, that’s something for us to look at in ourselves. When we do that, we are taking personal responsibility for our emotions and how we respond or react. That’s how we grow and expand.

Taking things personally keeps us stuck in the cycle of thinking we are responsible for everything and being hurt by what other people say and do. We get caught up in the emotion and feel the need to defend our point of view which leads to conflicts because we make something big out of what started out to be small. We try to prove our point because we want to be right.

Learning not to take anything personally teaches us to be dependent on and trust our own inner voice instead of listening to and trusting others’ opinions of us. Those opinions were formed because of their beliefs and experiences and are projected onto us.

When we don’t take things personally, we are free to live our lives on our own terms and according to our beliefs, instead of someone else’s.

When we change the world changes.

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