Your buttons got pushed. Or punched. You’re offended, and hurt. You’re irked at best, reeling at worst.
Because it’s personal.
But think about it: To take things personally is to make yourself a victim. It places you under someone’s control. And then bitterness takes root and poisons your peace and joy. You have to rise above taking things so personally. How? Here are a few thoughts:
1. Be hard to offend.
Claim the mindset that no-one will control your life with their negative or hurtful words and behaviors—whether intentionally directed toward you or not. Keep in mind that many times people don’t even realize they’ve said or done anything to you. Either way, allow negative words and behaviors from others to bounce off of you, not chain you. Be thick-skinned. Don’t make it personal.
In the big scheme of things, it’s not that big of a deal. Even if it seems so, what good is it to let it own you? Don’t give anyone that kind of power over you. Don’t dignify the person or situation with your time, emotions, venting to others, or outbursts.
2. Get out of your head.
So the offense got through to your bones. And you’re emotionally wobbled by it. How do you know it’s gotten to a unhealthy point? You’re preoccupied with it. You’re waking up at 2:00am with a knot in your stomach. You’re playing out anger fantasies.
Get control. Don’t marinate on what was said or done to you. Don’t let it discourage you. Or drain you. Or cripple you. Don’t allow yourself to simmer and eventually boil over. You’re likely on the cusp of saying or doing something that you’ll regret. And it’ll disfigure your character and dignity before others. Don’t give in.
Detach. You’re a kite in the air rising above it. Sure, you’re tethered to the offense or hurt. Let’s not make light of that. But don’t get reeled in. Stay above it. Pray. Take some deep breaths. With each breath, let it go… again, and again, and again. Be better than the situation, and the person. Rise. Rise. Rise.
3. Embrace the sting.
It’s painful when someone is hurtful or deeply offends you. Especially when you know deep down it was intentional. So what are your choices again? Self-pity? Rage? Passive-aggressive payback? Grumbling to others? Declaring yourself a victim? Going into attack mode?
Those will feel good in the moment. But regrets will follow. Don’t give in, friend. That’s the easy way.
How about a different approach? What might this situation reveal about you? Perhaps you’re having to look into the mirror to behold insecurities; or sensitivities; or weaknesses that you’ve masked over.
What will be your response? This is what you can control. And to respond rightly, embrace the sting by allowing it to expose the unhealthy raw places in your mind, emotions, and soul. And become the better for it.
4. Confront the person.
The first question you should always lead with is this: “Am I being too sensitive, here?” Choose to detach and get space from the person and issue to get proper perspective. Let the sting have its place to expose the places in you that need attention and healing.
Now you must decide if the person should be confronted. Or, if it’s worthwhile to confront them. Or if it’s even safe to confront them. There are all kinds of variables at play. These matters are messy.
Perhaps a couple questions to ask yourself:
* Does the person have a history of being inconsiderate, offensive, hurtful toward others or you?
Or have they said something or behaved in such a way that is unlike them? Your call whether to let it go or go to them. Perhaps let it go unless you see a pattern forming. Or, if the pain is so deep, go. But keep your expectations realistic.
* Is this person toxic?
Is this person emotionally mature enough to handle your loving confrontation? As far as you know, what’s his history regarding conflict? If toxic, you may need to keep your distance. And just let it ride.
If you decide that confronting the person is in order, check out my post, “The Top 3 Ingredients For Healthy Confrontation” to provide some guidance.
There are no easy solutions here. But I’ve learned no matter the weight of the incident, you can’t make it personal. Or you’ll become a slave.
Refuse to be controlled. Detach. Learn some things about yourself and grow as a result. And if the overall relationship is worth it to you, go in peace and confront in love.
Which of the above do you struggle with the most? What can you do about it? Also, what, and whom, do you need to let go? Anyone you need to confront? Make it happen today.
BEFORE YOU GO:
Have you subscribed to my blog? Coming later this month will be a free giveaway of “10 Ways to Support a Loved One with Mental Illness.”
It’s a giveaway dear to my heart as I speak from personal experience.