Why the Saying "Don't Take it Personally" Isn't Always Beneficial
There’s a popular saying that goes something along the lines of, don’t take anything personally, what someone else says or does is not about you, but about them. I agree with this, mostly, and I’d love to share with you why this statement and belief may actually work to your disadvantage when it comes to your self-evolution.
A few years ago, I attended Oprah’s life class in Toronto and the amazing Iyanla Vanzant was one of the speakers. One of the things she said that stood out for me was,
“tell yourself the truth about yourself because if you don’t, someone else will and it’s going to hurt way more.”
I thought about this for a while and I realized she was encouraging us to be honest, real and raw with ourselves and about ourselves. This is perhaps one of the hardest things to do because we can’t see what we can’t see. Sometimes we have blind spots and until we start excavating our “stuff” with an open and honest heart, we may never see what’s in our blind spot.
This brings me back to the initial statement about not taking anything personally. While this is true most of the time, there is an important distinction you must make in order to fully benefit from this. With a lot of self-love and self-compassion, seek to reflect on the patterns in your life when it comes to your relationships and friendships. Notice if there are any patterns that have been on repeat for most of your life.
I used to know someone who had constant issues with almost everyone in her life. She would say she reflected on her relationships and friendships, and yet, the pattern of being disliked and not accepted by others would show up for her again and again. This woman often quoted the saying that she wouldn’t take others’ behavior personally as it wasn’t about her, but in this case, it was about her! She needed to start taking what was happening in her life personally, not to condemn herself, but to learn how she was inherently responsible for the pattern of being constantly rejected. She needed to tell herself the truth about herself in order to break free from the unhealthy pattern and take responsibility for her life.
Don’t let patterns in your life keep you stuck! Pull out the mirror and with lots of self-love, self-compassion, and self-acceptance, ask that mirror to show you where in your life you have been your own poison. We all have been our own poison, at one time or another, but when we know better, we do better right? It is also our responsibility to heal ourselves and our unhealthy patterns. Once you have uncovered specific, unhealthy beliefs and behaviors about yourself that have created painful experiences for you, seek to change them! You absolutely have the power to do so!
Stay tuned for another upcoming article about how to change negative and unhealthy patterns in your life!