Someone at work, at the store, in traffic or even at home, makes a snide comment, cuts you off, insults you, discourages you and in general, behaves in ways you don’t appreciate. You’re upset and try to talk about it with a friend, relative or someone you trust, like a manager.
That’s when they hit you with, “Don’t take it personally.”
Maybe you’re one of those people who just “get it.” Good for you. Or perhaps you’re like me, and left wondering, “OK… but how!? What the hell am I supposed to do to not take it personally?”
People time and time again have failed to adequately explain this concept (to my liking anyway). Sometimes I would ask what they mean, and they’d give responses such as, “ You know, you just gotta brush it off, let it fall off of your shoulders. Be bigger than them. Maybe that person’s miserable. Perhaps they’re going through something, etc…” and other unhelpful commentary.
My friend, I don’t know about you, but none of the earlier responses have been helpful in quelling the myriad of intense emotions I’d feel after being slighted by a professional provocateur. Nor do they offer insight into what they mean by their directive to not take it personally.
Thankfully, the Light within me illuminated an understanding I can work with.
First, a reflection from my own experience:
When I, along with a group of others, were newbies at a corporate job, said corporation assigned us a group of mentors to help us transition into the role and teach us the tricks of the trade because they once sat where we were sitting.
Towards the end of our six week training program, one of the mentors apparently decided she was sick of helping (although it was a load off for them because they didn’t have to work their actual stressful jobs, but instead got to help out new people!). When I would summon her for help she’d snub me and not even attempt to be helpful by giving dry, short responses.