One of the biggest down sides to being a perfectionist is that perfectionism sets you up so that you take things personally. Self-judgement, criticism and other people’s opinions band together to make sure that you do. Instead of being objective, you take the bait and start being subjective. I’ve felt enormous relief and a deeper sense of personal control when I decide not to be that way.
Some people are intimidated by other people’s success. They search hard to find flaws in it and they don’t stop until they do. They want you to take their fault-finding personally. They want to dis-empower you. They want to strip you naked of your success with their insults and condemnations. But here’s what I’ve learned. This is how to rise above the challenge of taking things personally. Consider this perspective and try it, so that you find out if this method is for you. Let me know if it works, won’t you?
You have to come to terms with the fact that taking things personally is a decision you have made at some stage AFTER you became aware of the slur or slight against you. The truth is painful, but unless these people are correct, and their words are the truth, then it’s up to you what to do. If what they say is true, then you can rectify the situation. If what they say is not the truth, and you decide to take it personally, then you have just given these people exactly what they want.
The solution is to make a decision NOT to do this, and remain steadfast by your decision. Do not move on it. Say “NO” to taking things personally. Here’s how to make sure you stand your ground on this one:
- Put a post it note on your forehead with the word “NO” on it.
- Stand in front of the mirror and look at the note.
- Look into your eyes.
- Now laugh at yourself.
Stop taking things personally. Especially if you really want to reduce your misery. Or these condemnations will keep eating into you. This is the nature of a parasite. Don’t keep feeding these people. Stop letting them feast on your weakness. Your weakness is that you take things personally. You have to starve the parasites. Force them to search for food elsewhere.
I am much happier when I decide not to take things personally. And even better than that, there is a genuine sense of freedom that flows through my life when I decide not to take myself personally too.