Wednesday, July 13, 2011

It is personal!

Don't be so sensitive.

Don't take it personally.

I have avoided this topic for quite a while and last night a status update from a friend got me thinking about it again.

My stand on this is a bit, well, radical.  Maybe even, well, dangerous.  Let's back up a few steps though.  When someone starts a conversation with don't take this personally I'm already on guard, senses alert and I'm ready to respond.  They have warned me.  What else should I do?  I ask three questions.

Yep, three questions:

  1. Are they talking to me about me?
  2. Is this thing they are talking about directly to do with me?
  3. Is it a judgement or comment upon myself and the things I think, say, or do?

If I answer yes! to any of these then by golly it is personal folks!  No amount of excuses, spin doctoring or perspective shifting can change that. 

When someone tells you that you are responding incorrectly always be sure to find out who is doing the measuring of correctness.  It has been easier since I learned the trick phrases that many employ.  Such as: now I don't want you getting all worked up or more classically don't freak out and take this personally.  

I've learned to pause and wait for the impending answer to question number 2.  (It almost always follows straight after the opening statement or warning against your response.  Is the conversation, being one sided, encouraging, supportive and generally uplifting?  Or is it you telling me how to be me?  I know how I feel, these feelings live in my veins daily.  I know how to hear what you are saying and when it is to me, about me, like I'm not really there then it is personal!

Question three deals with content and delivery - is the conversation about how much better they would be at being you?  Is the admonition against being too sensitive and taking things too personally directed at what you say, think or do?  

If it is about you, to you and there is an expectation of response by you then IT IS PERSONAL!

When the lights turn red suddenly -that is 99.9% not personal.
If you see someone turning the switch at the light after waiting all day for you, probably that's the percentage that I left for wiggle room for it to be personal.

When the courier loses your package - that is not personal.
If you see them dumping it in a trash container then it could be a personal issue.  This is unlikely.

When someone says you should do things their way, and be happy they suggested it that is highly personal!  

Good or bad (and have you noticed that you are never too sensitive or taking things too personally when it is good stuff, celebratory stuff, easy to handle stuff? Yeah I noticed that too!) things said to a person, about that person with an impression, indication or direction that they take said things as long awaited much valued information should be taken personally.

My healing journey is deeply personal and I choose to share it.  I do reserve the right to be sensitive and to take things as personally as I need to.  If you tell me my shoelace is undone, not personal, thanks for the information.  If you tell me I'm wandering around again with untied shoelaces, and hasn't anyone ever taught me how to tie a bow for goodness sakes and you actually dress yourself daily - now THAT is personal!

Healing is hard work but laughter makes the load lighter.  I'm afraid that too many of us think life is all serious all the time.  We were robbed of our joy, and it is our duty as survivors to seek, hunt down, put in a brightly colored bucket or cartoon pillow case every bit of giggle, joy, sunshine and dandelion fluff we can find!  We should celebrate being alive, living and healing and I celebrate you!

Don't let anyone steal your joy, diminish you as a person or cause you to think of yourself as worthy of their campaign for change!


  1. Thank you for writing this and posting it today. I needed it. All day, stuff like this has been coming my way as reminders of what I already know but need to remember.

  2. Oh days like that can wear you slick, can't they? Glad today was the day for it then Patricia if it helped! Hugs and love...

  3. Love that! Why don't they just say, "Hey, i am going to insult you so be ready for it!" And it is usually someone with the same plank in their eyes. Tough stuff. I honestly don't think I have ever said that phrase out loud. It's just too rude and not my style.

    Please feel free to stop by: Trailing After God

  4. Thanks for coming by Mel, and you are right about the plank in their eye...!!

  5. I love the way you decide the context of when others start with this!

    Great post! Please do share on my page and at the ES Community page!

    Susan ks)

  6. :-) Thanks Susan for that, will share on your pages for sure! Bright blessings...

  7. I'm halfway through reading the post, but if I don't get this down, I'll forget it. I once had a friend tell me she had some bad news. She warned me I HAVE TO BE CALM. Then, she informed me that a lady in our circle of friends was KILLED in a car accident. How the *bleep* else do you want a person to respond?! It just brought back memories reading this post of how people all across the years have acted like I was the crazy person for letting these kinds of announcements get me "too emotional". I tell you, I think I'm the sane one and everybody else is out of their freaking minds!

  8. And, now after reading the entire post, may I offer a HEARTY AMEN! Great post. Thanks!! :)

  9. Kellie, thank you so much for sharing and I heartily agree with us being the sane ones!

    Feeling what you are feeling and being genuine with it is important, especially when we are healing! I'm sorry about your friend, that kind of loss should be met with what you are feeling.

    I'm so glad you found Scarred Seeker and stopped by to comment. Bright blessings...

  10. From Darlene of Emerging from Broken, who is not able to post in the comments:

    I LOVE this post! Great fog busting and truth exposing going on here! These are the types of truth exposing that I found really helpful in my own healing; to realize that sometimes people really say things just so that they can get under your skin, keep the focus on you, get you to comply to how they want you to act. Great post!
    Hugs, Darlene

    Thank you Darlene, and you are right. I think they like to mess with me, and the less 'space' I give them the less they get to do that! Thanks for messaging me your comment.

    Hugs and bright blessings...