Saturday, October 13, 2012

Don't Take Anything Personally.

One of the main road blocks to happiness can be other people, they do and say things to hurt us, frustrate us and anger us.  We worry what people will think of us, how they see us, etc., etc., etc.  This doesn't need to be the case, it's a matter of perspective really.  Don Miguel Ruiz, author of "The Four Agreements," explains that the idea of worrying what others think of us is modern.

Ruiz introduces the reader to the Toltec which anthropologist refer to as a race or nation.  Without rewriting Ruiz book, the essential idea is this Toltec society possessed great wisdom's that over the millennia they were forced to conceal the wisdom to protect it from those did not posses the wisdom to use it or who may misuse it for personal gain.

The thing that stood out for me most in Ruiz's book on the Toltec wisdom was chapter three, "Don't Take Anything Personally."  I highly recommend you read the entire book, if you do or don't, the title of this chapter is a very important lesson and one I really needed to learn.  To sum it up in my own words the main idea is, as humans we are wrapped up in our own world and what is going on in our own life.  If someone loves you or hates you, it really has nothing to do with you as their perception of you is based on their own experience.

One of the greatest lessons I learned in my life was hard to hear but is based in too much fact to be able to deny.  I use to think that if a relationship ended there was something wrong with me then one day someone told me, "your not that important."  Now this may sound harsh and indeed at the time it felt that way but I can't deny the truth behind it.  We do not posses as much of people's thoughts as we believe we do and when we do appear in their thoughts it is often based on their own baggage, for lack of a better word.

For example if someone finds you annoying because you talk too much, their annoyance really has nothing to do with you.  However this could trigger something in their own life perhaps as a child they were shushed and not allowed to talk.  Often time though the things we find annoying, annoy us because we do them ourselves.  So usually when there is something we don't like about someone it is because we posses that same trait and it's something we don't like about ourselves.  Most often people aren't aware that they posses this trait that annoys them so but often the things we don't like in others come from an inherent dislike of ourselves.  The next time something bothers you about someone, take a good, honest look at yourself.  Do you do the same thing?  

I read Ruiz's book over a year ago and it was heart lifting to truly know that if someone likes me or not has nothing to do with me, it's all to do with them.  It takes time for this to sink in but when people do things that hurt me I have to remind myself that it has nothing to do with me it is their own issues.  Bottom line is someones opinion of you should have no impact of you what truly matters is that you like yourself.  Self acceptance helps us enjoy the people around us more as we are not worried about what they are thinking about us.  As Ruiz points out, take nothing personal as it has nothing to do with you.


  1. Got your comment on my blog to enter the giveaway. :) Yay. Fingers crossed for you.

  2. BTW, this book was actually recommended to me, but I never actually read it :( Probably should still do that.