Do you tend to take things personally?
Do you have an emotional reaction when somebody is not interested in what you’re offering, professionally or personally? Or do you become upset or angry when someone gives you constructive suggestions?
You can revoke the power these people have over you by learning how to stop taking things personally. Once you see how limiting it is, you’ll be able to regain control before your emotions snowball and avoid the conflict.
It all comes down to your individual perception. Life tends to lead us to see the small picture, where the view of the world revolves around us. We see events as if they’re happening to us. We lose sight of the bigger picture and become quite self-involved, rather than recognizing the power we have to participate and change the situation.
A good way to envisage this concept is from a coffee shop waitress point-of-view. She’s walking around, offering a free coffee top up to all her customers. If somebody refuses her offer, does the waitress take it personally? No, she moves on with no negative emotional reaction. It has nothing to do with her, personally. It’s all about perspective and which lens you use to view the situation.
When your perception is big enough to respect the other person’s point-of-view, that is when things start to change. You begin to recognize their response is really not about you; it’s about them, how they are seeing life right now, and if they’re open to the opportunity you’re presenting.
Once you perceive with a wider lens, you have the ability to let these encounters roll on with no emotional investment.
This philosophy also applies to relationships. It is possible to stop taking things personally when in a romantic partnership. You know the emotional needs you require, but your partner also has needs, which may not have been specifically expressed.
The common mistake we make is saying, “I can’t believe you did that; don’t you know what I need? I shouldn’t have to tell you. I’m right and you’re wrong.” This is all low level, small perception thinking.
The key is to educate your partner, tell them exactly what you require, and learn what they need. There’s a truism in humans – we don’t know, what we don’t know. When we get frustrated and angry, it drastically reduces our perception on how we’re behaving and treating people around us. Ideally, you want to create a culture within your relationship where you can both rise up to a higher level of thinking, and view from the wider perception lens together.
Ask yourself, how can I make this person’s life better by being in it? This really applies to any kind of relationship, whether it’s with your spouse, business or friends. See how you can contribute, in whatever capacity it might be, to make their day better for having you in it.
Once you’re aware and can see these different levels of perception, your view of reality remains in your hands.
Moments will occur where you can feel yourself starting to react emotionally, getting your guard up and starting to take things personally. Because you can identify it, you can stop it. Rise up to a higher level, and managed the situation, remove yourself, end the conversation, take a moment and breathe. There’s no benefit in harboring negative feelings, or it will trigger negative outcomes.
Great managers who come from a leadership position are managing from a higher perception; they see the bigger picture and help employees see that picture too. It’s
an invaluable tool you can practice and utilize to create some great results both personally and professionally.
This is a skill you can develop to stay grounded in a bigger picture. It’s not about convincing other people to see your point, some will and some won’t. Don’t waste time with those who don’t get it, don’t let them rouse a negative emotional response in you. We all have a contribution to make; you just have to find people who share the wider perception with you.
We can all drop to the level of taking things personally, it can be an easy thing to do, but stay alert and keep viewing situations through the wider lens.
Believe in the value you have to deliver, choose your focus and let the big-picture thinking-ripple out throughout your life.
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