Don’t take this personally…
No offense, but…
I really hate these statements. When I say hate, I mean HATE. If you have to preface what you are about to say with either of those phrases, I know that what follows behind will be nothing but offensive and personal. My hackles raise immediately and I become defensive before the real subject is broached. I’d much rather hear… “hey, this is pretty offensive and might hurt you, but I feel the need to say it anyway…”. Let’s call a spade a spade and be done with it.
While I’m at it, I also get really irked by the statement “you take things too personally”.
Hey! Guess what? I’m a PERSON. When things happen or are said that affect me, as a PERSON, how would you propose I take it? Face it, some things can only be taken personally. Some things just aren’t a group thing, or a world thing, or a bird thing, or a hypothetical thing, or an abstract thing. Whether folks want to admit it or not, some things can only be taken personally. Oh sure, maybe what is happening is due to the fact that you’ve had a bad day or your head is preoccupied with a million things (like mine is, often)… but if your actions affect me… it. is. personal. Perhaps I am not the CAUSE of the said action/words, but if the EFFECT is that it AFFECTS me… it has become personal. And you better believe I’m going to take it that way. Why? Well I have these things called feelings (barely manageable feelings, at that, here lately) and a strong need to make sure my own little world is running like a well-oiled machine, harmonious and happy. So I will take every slight, every word, every unwelcomed action… personally… until, as a caring person, I can figure out how to make it better.
Don’t you worry, I haven’t forgotten for one second that I’m not the boss around here (or anywhere) – the lovely bruises on my ass wouldn’t let me if I tried. Maybe you think that if the masses tell me it isn’t personal, I should leave well enough alone. My response to you would be… I hear you, but it feels personal. It is affecting me, as a person. Therefore, in my head and my life, it is personal. I can either run and hide (hello, instinct!) or try to fix it, even if the thing isn’t mine to fix. And so, I will quietly try to remedy what I don’t even understand. It may be a losing battle, but at the very least, maybe my mind will be able to focus on something other than the ache in my heart.
But seriously… don’t take this personally.