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Newsletter #50 (September 2006)..
There is much unconsciousness in the world, and people do transgress against us.
Sometimes, the person IS acting a little rejective towards you in an effort to communicate something important.
However, there are more effective ways to handle negative events than taking them personally.In my next note, I will show you how to remain calm, confident, and unflappable
Stop Taking Things Personally (part 2) by Lisa Brown
In my last self-help installment on taking things personally, I explained that while people do act in insensitive ways, there are more effective methods for handling these events than taking them personally.
There are 2 powerful self-help strategies you can use to remain confident and unflappable in the wake of hurtful events.
Strategy 1: Accept Your Fear
When you take someone's behavior personally, you feel rejected. You also secretly wonder if you 'deserve' his rejection. Both things make you fear him or the consequences of his rejection (this emotion is also known as lack of trust).
Not taking his behavior personally requires you to master the fear that has been triggered in you.
The starting point of mastering your fear is to accept it, for when it comes to emotions, 'What you resist, persists. What you look at disappears.'
Madison sought my advice when her fiancé’s parents tried to convince him he was 'rushing into marriage.'
Although the couple had been dating for years, his parents had always objected to their relationship because he was Caucasian and she was Asian.
She liked his parents, but was tremendously hurt by their actions. She was also afraid that he would be less enthusiastic about marrying her.
I asked her to write 5 different endings to the following sentence:
'If I were 5% more accepting of my emotions today--'
Upon seeing this sentence, she wept. She finally let in her desire to be loved by his parents, which she knew her fiancé desperately wanted.
Then she wrote her 5 endings:
This exercise helped Madison shine the light of consciousness on her fear, lessening its grip on her.
At the end of the exercise, she dried her eyes and began to accept that while she wanted their approval, she may never get it, and this was Ok.
When we take something personally, we disempower ourselves with the following two assumptions:
1) We believe we are entitled to another person's approval (self-righteousness).
2) We believe we must avoid feeling rejected at all cost. We also believe the best way to avoid this feeling is to win another's approval.
Empowering ourselves means re-training our minds with new assumptions such as:
1) We are not entitled to another person's love, approval, or acceptance and
2) Rejection is a natural human emotion that we can manage using self-acceptance.
Empowering ourselves this way using self-help shifts us to the 'want, not need' mentality. We may want the other person's approval, but we don't need it to accept ourselves.
Madison's newfound objectivity came from her courage to accept her fear, paving the way for her to heal.
Lisa Brown www.self-helpnow.com