There was a time when I took everything very personally which meant that I spent a lot of time being angry and resentful. The older I get, the less likely I am to take things so personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. Well, rarely anyway.
What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering, says Michael Neill, a life coach who is very perceptive.
Here’s an exercise which demonstrates a case in point:
"Imagine that you and I are having a pleasant lunch together by the side of a large pool. It’s a lovely day, and we’re having a great time, but then someone in the pool begins to splash you—first on your shoes, then higher up on your pants or legs. You can’t see who’s splashing you, though, because there’s a deck chair between you and the person in the pool.
At first you ignore it, but as you become increasingly wet you finally become irritated and get up from your chair to say something to this idiot who’s being so thoughtless. As you stand up and look over the chair that was in your way, you see that the man splashing you is drowning. He’s splashing you only because he’s thrashing and kicking in the water in an effort to keep his head from going under."
Clearly, when we can see that someone’s behavior is just a symptom of their own lack of well-being in the moment, it’s easier not to take it so personally.