There are people who take just about everything personally and this doesn’t have to be the words that other people say. It could relate to how another person looks at them and what one experiences in the world around them.
This can also relate to specific situations where one is being given feedback from another; how they are performing at work or the views from their family and friends for example.
So whether one is with someone they know and who appreciates them or if they are around someone they don’t know and are unsure of what their views are: the consequences are often the same.
What is said is taken to heart and ones wellbeing is constantly being affected by the outside world. One may feel that they have no control over this whole process.
It would be easy to assume that such a person is a victim and that the people of the world have got it in for them. No matter where they go or who they are with – there appears to be a hidden agenda.
However, amongst this will be times when other people will say that it was heard wrongly or that another person didn’t mean it.
And what pushes the buttons and causes an emotional and behavioural reaction in one person, may have very little affect on another person.
For people who take things personally there are likely to be certain words, vocal tones, looks and behaviours that create a reaction. On the surface these reactions may appear to be random and to come out of nowhere.
The difference between people who take things personally and people who don’t is what’s going on in their ego mind. How something is being interpreted is what often makes the difference.
The meaning that anything has is largely subjective and these are based on the associations that the ego mind has formed. And these associations will be triggered automatically and often out of one’s awareness.
So what this means is that the experience that one has when another person says something or does something is the result of what already exists within. And these external triggers are acting as a catalyst.
But, as this whole experience happens so quickly and naturally it can seem as though it is coming from the outside and that one is just a bystander.
And if this is an experience that one has got used to or has not known another way, it will seem as though it is normal and how life is. The pattern needs to be broken in some way. One has to become aware of another way of being and that there is a choice.
As one is already carrying these associations in their mind, it means that they are already vulnerable and sensitive to what others say or don’t say. The world is then validating what they believe at an unconscious level. This vulnerability and sensitivity was probably created in ones childhood.
As a child one doesn’t have boundaries and unless one is encouraged by their caregivers to separate they may never develop them at all. And this means that one cannot tell the difference between who they are and who another person is.
So if one was brought up around caregivers that were abusive or critical for example; one would have no choice but to take this personally. This would have then caused ones ego mind to identify with the views of their caregivers and to take them personally.
And through being mentally and emotionally connected and having no boundaries, one would have felt wide open to whatever their caregivers said or did. One would not have been able to differentiate from what they were experiencing.
Unless this has been looked at and one takes the steps to create boundaries, the same scenarios will be played out again. Because the words and actions of another person don’t have to have the same affect on an adult as they do to a child.
However if one regresses to that stage as an adult it won’t matter if one is physically an adult; as one will revert to a different emotional age.
And all of the associations that were created during those years will be fired off once more. So even though the emotions, thoughts and feelings that are being triggered by a present situation can be way out of proportion; based on the ego minds associations they are appropriate.
With awareness these patterns can be brought to ones attention. And from here the right assistance can be looked for. For some people this could be severe and for others it may be a minor challenge.
And this will define whether a book is sufficient or if some kind of therapist or coach is needed. This can lead to boundaries being formed, as a result of letting go off the past.
While some people will respond in a way that one would like, others won’t. And this is why self acceptance is important. Other people will always have their views and opinions. And these are just that – their views and opinions, they are not the truth.
And so one doesn’t have to allow what is not empowering or beneficial to their wellbeing to enter their mind. Ones inner world is a sacred space and needs to be protected. If anything is allowed to enter it will affect all that is good and nourishing.
If disempowering thoughts already exist within it will be a lot easier for the dysfunctional ideas of the world to enter unnoticed. As the inner becomes clearer and better kept; what is not beneficial will stand out more.
The way one person responds to another person is largely based on their behaviour. And as human beings we are not our behaviour. Our behaviour is just an expression of where we are at in each moment of our lives.
This means that, ultimately, nothing is ever personal. Our behaviour can always be changed. If our behaviour is not leading to what we want, then it can always be changed.
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Oliver J R Cooper
Oliver JR Cooper
Author of 25 books, Transformational Writer, Teacher & Consultant.
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That which is contained within these articles is based on my own empirical understanding and is true for me at the time they were written. However, as I continue to grow, what I perceive as the truth will inevitably change and as a result of this - parts of these articles may not reflect my current outlook.