#Breathprayer Wednesday -…inhale…This is NOT…exhale…about me…Don’t Take Anything Persnally

Yeah right… So it’s easy to not take something personally when you can control the situation and the opinion of a person or the outcome of the situation is not that important.  But what about, as my students say, someone  “…is trying to come for you?” Like seriously unapologetically coming after you, verbally and sometimes physically, how do you not take that personally?

No seriously, I’m asking?  So feel free to comment…I want to know solutions others find that work for them.

Because of the 4 Agreements, this is by far the hardest for me.  It’s easier said than done to be like Jill Scott sings, “Go on and hate on me haters…” (but that’s not being impeccable with my words)…see, I still have issues that I have to work on…this is by far not easy, I guess that’s why I started writing this blog…easier said than done.

So you’re at work or some other event and this person makes no bones about the fact that they don’t like you, or they want your job and they are going to try their best to discredit everything about you…to your boss, colleagues, acquaintances, etc… Let’s face it, your friends and those family members that really know you would nip that person in the bud, so really, what I’m talking about is in a situation where something is at stake, like your job. Neither your supervisor nor your co-workers know you all that well, to be able to discern for themselves, the squeaky wheeled (not impeccable)…ok, the person that is causing this serious uproar about you.  It has started to affect how people view you. It is causing your boss to question your work, but you know that this person has every intention to discredit you in order to be seen in a higher light an/or to possibly to get your job or whatever the motive. How do you NOT take that personal?.  And even if you know all the right things to say and you do all the right things to not be affected by it, it’s easier said than done.

I found this article in Psychology Today- In Flux, Embracing transitions and change, by Abigail Brenner, M.D.

…. so below is what she says are some ways to work on Agreement#2

… Hopefully, your emotions will take a back seat while you ask this individual to fully explain what’s on their mind and what they want from you. Listen carefully so you can discern what makes sense and what doesn’t based on their fantasy or need to have you behave in a certain way. Tell them how what they’re saying/doing makes you feel. In some instances, they may not realize how aggressive, rude, insulting, bullying, and insensitive they are being; that their words are hurtful and that what they’re asking of you is unreasonable. Explain that if the goal of the interaction/confrontation is meant to be conciliatory they’re going about it in the wrong way. Perhaps, give them a way out by suggesting an alternative solution.

If it becomes clear that this person can’t respect you and your space and insists on creating a situation over and over again that’s meant to make you uncomfortable, feel badly about yourself, personally attack you, devalue and belittle you, and constantly attempt to bait you, you need to rethink the relationship. If it’s family it may be hard to divorce yourself from them but you can limit your time and the nature of the relationship you have with them. If it’s someone else, break off all ties with this person for your own sake.

This is the closest example I’ve found.  I bolded the part that I love about the statement, however, divorcing yourself from family is easier than sitting in a meeting getting ripped to shreds, while your boss and colleagues are there, or  maybe it is your boss (they might be intimidated).

I have been in this position before and I have several friends going through this now. Before, I didn’t know about the 4 Agreements so I know I did a lot of screaming and hollering and throwing a temper tantrum to get people to see that the other person was the problem not me.   Well, you can guess how well that turned out?  It was literally the worse year of my life from a work stand point.  However, when I discovered the 4 Agreements and how to do Breathprayers  (adapting each to a more urban way that I could handle), I found that I literally did not care if I walked away from the job for my own sanity and happiness and find another one, nor did I care to fight the person.  I looked at it and thought,  if my boss couldn’t see it for what it was, then this was her lesson not mine. I examined what I needed to do to continue to stay calm and confident about what I was doing, stopped engaging others in the situation and worked quietly and steadily dotting all my “I’s” and crossing my “t’s”.  I devised a Plan B in case this was really what I had to do to save myself ( read the 5 levels of Leadership. Leaders like people who are like themselves. Therefore you might have to leave because your ethics do not match the ethics of the company established by the leadership, but that’s a whole other blog excerpt).

Long story short, They thought  I had stopped caring because there were no more reactions. When really it was about not giving energy to the negative and not taking personally what really wasn’t about me.  So a year later came an apology from the co-worker and my boss.  Because in the end, I knew…inhale..this is NOT…exhale… about me.


  1. As a leader and a very emotionally sensitive person, being thin-skinned has been a perpetual problem. This is the hardest agreement for me. Some days I get as far as “feel my feelings, then act on my thinking”… But the essence of this Agreement is to not emotionally take things personally. Putting some time in figuring out the other person’s motivation without blaming them can help neutralize. I haven’t come close to mastering this one.

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