Transcript: How to STOP Taking Things Personally
Welcome! This is a video transcript. To head to the blog page of this video, please see here or check out the video below.
Hi! Welcome back to my channel!
This week’s video is one of those with extra meaning to me.
It’s about something that’s too important not to talk about. Something that many of us have in common and it’s also one of those things that does mostly damage in our lives.
And what I’m referring to… is taking things personally. I can’t think of anything good that comes out of it… Maybe you can tell me!
The reason I think it’s so important to not take things personally is because doing that, clouds our judgment and creates this blockage. And this obstruction will make us act irrational, say things we don’t think through and all in all – BE in an ulterior state where typically only mistakes come from.
Your friend – ME, has struggled majorly with taking things personally. This has been one my biggest crutches in life. I really think I would have been much further along had I not taken things so personally, all the time.
And I know first hand how easy it is to say ‘don’t take things personally’, but how hard it is to NOT do that.
I’m doing this video because it was suggested, and you can always leave comments and tell me what you’d like me to make videos about. I haven't really found a set or practical rules on how to successfully achieve not taking things personally, so I kinda had to figure it out on my own. My goal today, is to help you cut that long ass time it’s taken ME to figure things out, and give you a shortcut if you will, which is what I always aim to do for you in all my videos and content. I’m no expert, these ideas only come from personal experience, and so today I’m sharing techniques and thought processes that work for me.
This combination of things I’ve compiled after years of doing research and reading a lot, from good ol’ trial and error, and from what I’ve learned and practiced with my therapist.
So lots of good ideas between this video and the email that was sent out to my beloved subbies, the morning of the video launch. If you’d like to learn all this, please keep watching, and for all the private, subscriber-only content, you can sign up right now and I will email you the links to all the content you may have missed so far. I have some past references in this video, so catching up to see what I’m talking about will also be helpful. Oh and today I’ll also give you a peak into an upcoming giveaway, so let’s get started!
OK! So we don’t just want to learn coping techniques, finding ways to deal with taking things personally is good, but not great because that doesn’t mean you won’t run into the same issue tomorrow or the day after. So in addition to practicing the tips I’m sharing with you today, I urge you to figure out what your triggers may be.
One of the biggest reasons for taking things personally in my opinion, comes from our own insecurities, because when we’re insecure about something, we depend a lot on others to fill that void.
Essentially, we depend on other people for our happiness. We count on THEM to make US feel beautiful, smart, accomplished, safe, and maybe even count on them for our emotional and financial security.
We are relinquishing the control over us and allowing a certain person (or persons), to tell us who we are and how we should feel, rather than us relying on what we know to be the truth about ourselves.
We’re basically giving away the power over us to people that should never be allowed to have it. Your happiness is yours. And nobody should ever have control over it, but you.
So in this journey of not taking this personally, I started off by thinking of what I’m insecure about. I wrote all those things down and then I started working toward gaining more confidence. That was a very powerful process of self-discovery and the first step toward not taking things personally.
I’m not in the business of regurgitating content, I prefer giving you fresh ideas in each video, so I won’t go over how to gain more confidence, because I already have 4 videos LIVE right now, with tips that will serve you that purpose. And I’m linking them below. Those are your first steps.
The second big part of the process for me, was my practicing mindfulness.
It’s one thing to take things personally; it’s another to react as a result. My lack of mindfulness, didn’t allow me to realize that I was taking things personally, so I was simply reacting. Being mindful, gives us the ability to take control over our emotions in that very moment, and when we are in control of our feelings we’re in control of our outcome.
In one of the past emails I sent out, I shared exercises that I do to be mindful and 2 good books to read. In that email, I also shared with you the question I practice every day and that’s what I’m going to talk about in more detail today.
You hear a lot of people saying that you have to live in the now. For some reason, I had a really hard time finding practical solutions on HOW to live in the now. I was told to smell the roses and dance like no one’s watching. Breathe, find my center and quiet my thoughts. – All these – fantastic ideas and frankly, de-stressing techniques all of us should practice, just for me, none of that really worked. Not in the beginning anyway. As I was getting my cage raddled the last thing I was thinking is roses. There’s only one thing that broke that ceiling I needed to break in order for the rest of these ideas to come in and really push for a soaring difference.
So what I did and still do – to practice living in the now and understanding how I feel, is I ask myself "How am I feeling right now?" This concept – SO simple, yet most people don’t practice it, because they think it’s so easy, they don’t need to! And then they struggle with taking things personally and wonder what they should do.
Think about this as training. When you’re a boxer, you train before a fight, otherwise you’ll get your ass handed to you when it’s fight time. I don’t want to get my ass kicked, so I train consistently. And I recommend you do too.
If you don’t practice mindfulness, when you’re in a moment when you need it, you won’t know how to access it, because you haven’t really done it before.
I ask myself "How am I feeling right now?" every day, several times. When I wake up, in the shower, as I’m driving to an appointment, during lunchtime, shopping, before going to bed. I ask, think and answer. Takes 1minute tops.
It took about 2 weeks after I first started practicing this and then a conversation happened. The kind that in the past, would have gotten me all defensive and taking things personally.
Except that time, I actually started feeling myself getting more agitated. I was aware. As the other person kept talking, I asked myself how am I feeling right now and then the most magical thing happened. In the 20 seconds I was searching for the answer, I somehow stepped away from the conversation and saw things… clearly. That’s when I knew I was onto something very special.
Please give this exercise a try, every day. Every week, every month until it starts yielding consistent results for you.
And here’s a tip, if you try this the first time and can’t hone in on an answer, because your thoughts are too chaotic. That was the case with me and that happens when I try to meditate as well. But – the easiest way I found to silence my thoughts, was to… not fight them.
I don’t take the meditation position and try to silence all my thoughts, because that only gets me more distracted and there’s nothing but yelling going on in there.
So as my head is full of chaotic noise, what I found works for me, is to start listening to the noise. I know it’s polar opposite then what most people say you should do.
If I feel distracted, I just start listening to those voices talking in my head. And what happens, is as I pay attention, distinct individual voices start become clearer. And as I start focusing my attention on the loudest noise, everything else quiets down so I can listen to it. After I’m done listening to it, with that thought gone, it’s mostly silence left in my head. And THAT’S how I’m able to quiet down my thoughts and get to the breathing, and meditation, and inner peacefulness that everybody talks about. Not by trying to block everything to silence my thoughts, but by trying to listen to them. Maybe that will work for you too.
So anyway, as I’m in that moment, in the middle of whatever aggravates me, and I’m able to become aware and emotionally remove myself for a second, the next thing I do is I refocus my attention.
When we take things personally, our attention shifts from what’s being said or done, to how we feel. And unless we shift that attention back, those feelings will amplify and then the rest – well, you know.
How many times have you heard people preaching that you shouldn’t take things personally, because it’s not about you, it’s about the other person. I hear that everywhere! But guess why it’s so hard to apply? Because we’re not present. We’re not mindful enough to realize how we’re starting to feel, and be able to shift that focus.
Well now you have a huge asset at your fingertips if you choose to do the work like I did.
So as you’re becoming aware of how you’re feeling and you haven’t had sufficient time to become fully emotional yet, refocus. Now is the time to do it.
How do you refocus? By thinking of the other person. Is that person willingly trying to hurt your feelings? Answer YES or NO.
If no, that will already start calming you down. Maybe their way of communicating is very different than yours. Something asking a simple question like “Alex, let me ask you what you mean by that real quick, because what you just said is hurting my feelings” – that right there. The sentence that can change everything. 9 out of 10 times, this solves everything for me. Before taking anything personally and giving my power away, I was aware, I refocused, brought logical reasoning to the table and my issue got solved. Turned out, I would have gotten butt hurt for no good reason.
If the answer is YES however, and the other person meant to be hurtful, you may actually be witnessing their insecurities being displayed right in front of you. So don’t allow THAT person to take YOUR power away, if anything, feel sympathetic. People who take things out on other people are having bad days. What the hell – maybe there’s something you can do to help them.
In the interest of always keeping honest with you though, I have to tell you that I usually keep to the 3 strikes rule. If someone close to me hurts me, on purpose, at strike 3 they’re out. I’ve dropped bad friends like I dropped bad habits. I used to smoke a pack and a half a day for over 10 years. If I can get rid of that, I can also get rid of people that are toxic. I believe that everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt. And I think two strikes is a very tolerant and acceptable amount. But at 3, it becomes evident that we have a pattern here, so parting ways is critical in my opinion. Again, this kind of inner monologue, is possible only when you’re able to identify how you’re feeling. Otherwise, they’re just words and no progress in really made.
Now here’s a quick idea that I often use as a coping mechanism when somebody I don’t know or hardly know, is getting under my skin:
I ask myself: What does this relationship mean to me?
How invested am I in this person and the relationship I have with him or her? Is this relationship worth my time? Is it worth the effort? These questions are especially great in cyber bullying cases. Because my relationship with a complete stranger that doesn’t know, respect or care about me, isn’t worth investing in. And as I’ve increased my self confidence and became more aware, this has become a lot easier. I still get hurt every now and then, but it’s about 20% than what I used to? I say that’s excellent progress!
In the email I sent out the day of this video launch, I’m sharing 10 extra tips + the biggest visual exercises that I use. One is to help get separated from the emotions, the other, my therapist taught me and it helps with the different perceptions in communication. 2 powerful exercises that I hope will help you as they’ve helped me.
Please feel free to sign up for the email if you’d like to get that content and all the private content moving forward and give this video a thumbs up to let me know if you liked it.
#askAlexandraP for any questions, comments, feedback or video suggestions, and stay tuned for an upcoming giveaway. It will start on March 19th and I can tell you that I’ll have 2 large prizes. I already started buying the products and I’m really excited, I think it will be better than the one we just wrapped up. So please stay tuned and keep watching! :)
I wish you all the good luck in the world, with everything that you set out to do, I love you guys for watching, and I’ll see you in next week’s video and email.