We live in a world where people arenít always nice to one another. Where people use unkind and unloving words to talk to, and about, each other. The secret to remaining calm is to not ever take anything personally. While that seems impossible to do, I've been trying to incorporate that into my life with some amazing success.
1. Itís not about you, itís about them.
ďBut it is not what I am saying that is hurting you; it is that you have wounds that I touch by what I have said. You are hurting yourself. There is no way I can take this personally.Ē ~ Don Miguel Ruiz
Most people are very unconscious of their own unconsciousness, projecting their own darkness, their own pain and internal struggles onto those around them. Failing to realize that whatís on the outside isnít the problem, but rather whatís on the inside. And that most of the things people say and do, have little, or nothing, to do with the people they are ďdescribingĒ, but a lot to do with who they themselves are, and the internal struggles they are facing.
The words that come out of a personís mouth, their actions and behaviors reveal the many things that are hidden deep within a personís heart. Their words donít describe the people they are ďattackingĒ, nor do they reveal who others are. But rather they reveal the pain, the suffering, the darkness and the many wounds that are present within them. They reveal the pain thatís present in their hearts. And that is why is so important not to take things personally, and to always remember that itís not about you, itís about them.
2. Donít give it too much attention.
Thoughts have power, creative power. And since there are no idle thoughts ( for every thought you think creates a belief, belief that you will later on craft your reality on), itís very important for you not to dwell upon the negativity that comes out of peopleís mouths. Itís very important for you not to give too much attention to the negative things people say or do. For these things have the power to poison your heart, your mind, your body and your life.
ďPeople tend to be generous when sharing their nonsense, fear, and ignorance. And while they seem quite eager to feed you their negativity, please remember that sometimes the diet we need to be on is a spiritual and emotional one. Be cautious with what you feed your mind and soul. Fuel yourself with positivity and let that fuel propel you into positive action.Ē ~ Steve Maraboli
3. Just be yourself.
Bernard Baruch said it best with these words: ďBe who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind donít matter and those who matter donít mind.Ē
Always do the things you feel in your heart that you are meant to do, and donít give too much thought about what others might have to say about you. Never make other peopleís opinions of you more important than your own opinion of yourself. Keep in mind that your job here on this Earth is to be true to yourself. To honor your heart and Soul, and to walk on the path life needs you to walk upon, not on the many paths other people might think you should walk upon. If certain people donít agree with the way you live your life, thatís their problem, not yours.
4. What other people think of you is none of your business.
In The Tao Te Ching (500BC), a work many consider the wisest book ever written, there is a great line that goes like this: ďCare about peopleís approval and you will be their prisoner.Ē And the truth of the matter is that once you care about what others think of you, and once you start chasing after their validation and approval, taking everything other people say and do personally, you immediately become their prisoner and their slaveÖ Donít allow them to put you in that position. Remind yourself constantly that what people think or say about you, is none of your business. And that their negativity has little or nothing to do with you, but a lot to do with who they themsleves are.
5. Itís not worth your time and energy.
Itís incredible how much we care about what other people think of us. And how much time and energy we are willing to waste trying to understand why certain people donít like us. And why they choose to talk and behave to us, and about us, in ways that arenít always friendly and loving. Instead of focusing on those who love and cherish us, and instead of feeding our hearts and souls with the love and kindness we receive from these people, we choose to dwell upon the negativity of those who donít like us. Failing to realize that by doing so, not only we are wasting our precious time and energy, but we are also poisoning our minds, bodies and souls, which by the way, itís just not worth it.
6. People give what they have in their hearts to give.
I really believe that we are all born with this innate need to give. To offer to those around us that which we have in our hearts to offer. Those people who are at peace and whose hearts are filled with love, kindness and compassion, give love to everyone they come in contact with. They give joy, laughter, peace and happiness. While those people who are in distress, and whose hearts are wounded because of the many challenges, trials and painful experiences they have gone through, they give fear, pain and a lot of negativity. Because thatís what they have to offer at the momentÖ People give that which they have in their hearts to give, nothing less and nothing more.
With that being said,ďCan anyone be justified in responding with anger to a brotherís plea for help? No response can be appropriate except the willingness to give it to him, for this and only this is what he is asking for. Offer him anything else, and you are assuming the right to attack his reality by interpreting it as you see fit. Perhaps the danger of this to your own mind is not yet fully apparent. If you believe that an appeal for help is something else you will react to something else. Your response will therefore be inappropriate to reality as it is, but not to your perception of it.Ē ~ ACIM
7. Never confuse the behavior with the person.
We all know that children are born pure and innocent, and that all they have to offer is their unfailing love. But as they grow older, and as they start experiencing life through the filters of the many beliefs and limitations they adopt from those around them, their innocence starts to fade. And if in the beginning they looked at life and everyone around them with eyes of love, welcoming the whole world in their pure and loving hearts, as they grew older, and as they advanced through life, they learned that it was unsafe to live life that way. Thus, the love that they once held in their pure and innocent hearts is slowly but surely being replaced with a lot of fear. Fear that ďforcesĒ them to act in unkind and unloving ways, creating a lot of pain and suffering for themselves and for those around themÖ
Donít take it personally. Donít make their pain your pain. Donít make their darkness your darkness. Help them if you can, by giving them your love, compassion and understanding, and by helping them understand that love is their true nature, while fear is nothing but an illusion. And if thatís something you canít do, make sure you donít feed their pain by reacting in unkind and unloving way, and by confusing the behavior with the person, for that would only create more suffering into their lives, and into your own life.
8. Guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.
No matter what anyone might say to you, and about you, and no matter how much negativity people might try to bring into your life through their actions and behaviors, never allow the pain that might be created to make you hate. Never allow resentment to pour through your system, continuing to poison your heart long after you have been ďbitten by the snake.Ē Keep your heart pure, free from negativity, hate and resentment. For everything you do flows from your heart.
9. Let Love forgive.
ďFear condemns and love forgives. Forgiveness thus undoes what fear has produced.Ē ~ ACIM
When I was a little kid, whenever me and my siblings would argue or get into a fight, at the end of it all, I would often run to my mom and complain about the mean things my siblings said or did to me. And my mom would always tell me the same thing: ďIf you are the bigger you will forgive and let goÖĒ
Even though most of us believe that forgiveness is an act of weakness, the truth of the matter is that forgiveness is an act of strength not of weakness. You donít forgive because you are weak but because you are strong enough to realize that only by giving up on resentment you will be happyÖ. And the bigger person always forgives. Not necessarily because they think that the other person deserves it, but because they know that they themselves do. Because they know that forgives cleanses the mind and purifies the hearts of all the negativity that might have gotten into our system because of all the hurtful things that might have been said and done. Keeping our hearts open and allowing lifeís many gifts to shower us and to continue to make us feel nourished, loved, cared for and appreciated.
10. Set peace of mind as your highest goal.
Turn your back to those things that arenít meant to bring you peace, joy and happiness into your life, and constantly focus onto those things that fill your heart with love. Set peace of mind as your highest goal in life and let nothing and no one interfere with that. Let nothing and no one disturb your inner peace. Whenever you are faced with a difficult person or situation, ask yourself: ďHow can I handle this situation in a way that will not disturb my inner peace?Ē And make sure you only act in ways that will help you maintain a state of inner peace and tranquility.
Why do you think itís so challenging for people not to take things personally, constantly chasing after peopleís approval and validation? You can share your insights in the comment section below