Thirsty Brain | Don’t Take Things so Personally
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Don’t Take Things so Personally

One of the best things I’ve ever been told is that people don’t do things to purposely hurt you; they just do things to benefit themselves. They typically don’t have you in mind at all.

Before I heard and really thought about that statement, I was someone who took a lot of things very personally. 

To me, that statement means that if someone does something to hurt me, especially if it’s on purpose, it is a reflection on them and has absolutely nothing to do with me.  

For the most part, no one wakes up and says, “I’m going to mess up Yulia’s day today.” 

It just happens sometimes because they’re thinking they have something to gain over an action that just happens to suck for me, and if for whatever reason a person is trying to purposely upset me – why give them the satisfaction?

Use the minor setbacks or inconveniences in life to train yourself not to get phased by things out of your control. 

That way when the really critical stuff happens, you’ll already be a problem-solver and will still be able to see all the things to be grateful for. 

You have no control over things that happen, but all of the control over how you react to them. 

Too many of us spend 90% of our time in an emotional state reacting, and only 10% acting and working towards a solution when it should be the opposite. 

Being angry and upset is natural and you have every right, but it gets to a point where those negative emotions are completely useless and you are the one choosing to hold onto them. Don’t make yourself into a victim.

Five tips to deal with negative events:

1) Accept the situation you’re in and that your feelings are valid.

Don’t keep it bottled up. Cry. Yell. Do what you gotta do, but give it a time limit

Whether it be a couple of hours or a day, take some time to be sad and engage in some self-care practices. Get back to your normal routine when the time is up. We are more likely to act when there is a concrete number or image in our minds of what we want to do.

2) Figure out if there’s something you can do to improve the situation.

If you can, do it. If not, don’t sweat it. It’s out of your control anyway. There’s a certain calmness in realizing and recognizing that.

3) Look at the bright side. Always.

If you focus on the positives, you will see them everywhere. 

If you’re someone who has a negative mindset, then all you will see is the negative in the world. It’s easy to see the positives when everything is going great, but to be able to see them when things begin to suck is what separates a winner from a self-made victim. 

In a podcast I listened to recently, Ed Mylett talked about how his mother-in-law is so used to seeing the good in the world, that when the love of her life passed away her immediate reaction was to say, “I’m so thankful God took him peacefully,” and she began listing off things she is grateful for. 

Imagine being a person so strong and so full of gratitude, you’re still able to see light during one of the biggest tragedies in life. It’s a strength that was developed throughout a lifetime and I hope to achieve that kind of peace one day too.

4) Ask for help.

Talking to others can help you realize the situation isn’t as bad as you may think. Positive people may re-frame the situation for you and help you see it differently. Others can help you physically work towards fixing the problem.

5) Figure out if there’s a lesson to be learned.

Maybe it’s to prepare you for when much more serious setbacks happen (which they certainly will; that’s life).

Maybe things aren’t happening to you – they’re happening for you.

We are all the center of the world in our minds. Don’t forget that every person feels that way about themselves. 

The asshole in traffic who cut you off, the person who broke into your vehicle, the rude woman at the supermarket, the guy or girl who broke your heart – don’t take it personally. 

Unpleasant things just happen. Unpleasant people exist. Choose to focus on and see all the amazing things in the world instead.

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