Do you see my point, ladies and gentlemen? Even if I know that a driver is only tailgating because he’s in a hurry, I still take it personally when he honks, while he’s flashing his headlights.
So I must question myself probably I was driving too slowly, I’m aware of it. I just don’t… I just don’t like that clumsy part of myself. Why else would I take it personally? Right?
When I say, ladies and gentlemen, you are an orange; who would take this personally? No one, right? Why not? Because nothing you believe that you are in fact an orange… an orange? Unless of course that you’re a ginger and you feel bad because of that, which is luckily not the case with me.
But when someone says: Frederik, you are so selfish! Ouch, I do take it personally and it only happens because I know there is some truth in it. I am honest, I’m aware of the fact that I do not always take into account other people’s needs.
When you are being criticized and it hurts, chances are big that this is rooted in your childhood. Maybe as a child you were never good enough. When you came home with a nine out of 10, they said hey, and why not the 10?
You see, you can only take things personally if it somehow touches a raw nerve, and that’s the moment to give yourself some empathy. Ooh, this hurts darn. I’m longing so hard for recognition. I feel sad if I don’t get it.
You see, and you can also why not speak up. Just tell the other one: what’s going on inside you? Hey I’m in the middle of my story here and you just walk away to switch on the TV. It feels as if you don’t care about my story. It’s not nice.
By opening up, by being vulnerable, by telling what you feel without blaming the other one, you increase the chance that the other one will understand you and take your needs into account. You see what I mean.
To conclude: how not to take things personally?
One, it is not about me. Look at the other person’s intention.
If that doesn’t work, two, it is about me. Give yourself empathy and speak up.
Ladies and gentlemen, please, pretty please, do not take it personally. But I really do hope that you will take a couple of things personally within the next hours and days, only if you do, you can test out these two strategies.
Imagine… just imagine if we could all put this in practice, wouldn’t that enhance our relationships enormously, together we could create a better world? Wouldn’t that be great?
And as a referee, I even earn some money by it. Who’d also like €20 to learn how not to take things personally? Show me hands; show me hands.
Oh so many. Who still wants the €20 now? Who still wants the €20 now?
Who still wants the €20 now? And who still wants them now?
Why do you still want these €20? People may attack you, criticize you, or ignore you. They can crumple you up with their words, spit you out or even walk all over you.
But remember, whatever they do all say, it will always keep your value.
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