Baggage. We all have it. We enter into relationships, romantic or not, with our bags full of past experiences, past relationships, past pain, past joy. Some people choose to carefully unpack their baggage and discard things that are longer useful (unhealthy ways of thinking, toxic relationships, bad habits). However, no matter how self-aware we are, our history is what frames our present experiences. We may even learn new and effective coping strategies but when faced with heightened emotional situations it’s common nature to revert back to old thinking/behavior that often that leads to taking things personally.
It’s a skill to learn to not take things personally. Sometimes this skill is learned fast, sometimes slowly, and sometimes at the sake of relationships and personally peace. There are books upon books written about the topic; my favorite is The Four Agreements.
I also heard the 3 P’s discussed recently and I thought it was a clever way to do a quick ‘self check’ if you notice yourself feeling emotionally flooded. The idea being, when something happens or someone says something that is disagreeable to you, do you:
- take it Personally? (“they are right, they saw through me, they don’t like me”)
- believe and start to believe its Permanent? (“this is never going to change, it’s all my fault”)
- believe or start to think the event or idea is Pervasive? (“nothing ever goes right”)
Bottom line, it’s normal to take things personally. The goal is to learn to do it less. People are thinking about themselves way more than they are thinking about you. You’ve come so far with that baggage, maybe it’s time to open it up and toss out some ‘old’ things that aren’t serving you anymore. And BONUS, your load will be lighter. ????
If you are in crisis please call 911.
If you would like more information about how EQUIP Counseling can help support your entire family visit Equipcounseling.com