Understanding why we take things so personally!
Have you ever been told by another to stop taking things so personally?
Like many people, you may be sensitive in your nature.
If you are a person who is well attuned to the felt sense (feeling) you are probably gifted with an uncanny ability to empathise. Yet the unhealthy side of this picture is when you are unable to separate another’s perception from who you truly are. You may take things as a direct insult of your natural self. This is where your internal waters get muddy.
When you experience an emotional reactiveness from another human being, I can guarantee you are registering another’s energies as your own. Like they poked you where they knew it would hurt you the most. This assumes the other has intention to harm you (when in most cases their actions are likely to be an unconscious issue).
This can make it one hell of a confusing and painful ride.
It can leave you feeling deeply hurt.
So what really happens to you when you take it personally?
People’s action, behaviour and thoughts can only ever impact you if you are open and receptive to them. Meaning, somewhere within your internal world you hold an insecurity, self-worth issue, lack of self-esteem or a wounding. Therefore, the person that affects you has something within you to hook onto. This usually coincides with an old story or pattern you collected from your past that repeatedly informs you that you are less than the perfect human.
Ever heard the saying ‘You are perfect in all your imperfections’?
You, like all of us, are perfectly flawed human beings.
Yet, this doesn’t really help when you feel really triggered by someone else!
When you feel reactive to another’s actions, this is THE PERFECT OPPORTUNITY (even if it may not feel like it at the time!). What this person is in fact giving you is the opportunity to see a part of yourself that has been going under your unconscious radar, lurking in the shadows of you awareness and giving others the silent invitation to enter your subtle energy field and hit you where it hurts the most.
And when it hits- it can bloody hurt.
Sounds crazy right?!
Once your initial shock and emotional upheaval calms down, you have the choice to inquire into your internal landscape. From experience, when a part of you feels triggered you are open to a negative feedback loop from your external environment. Inquiring into your internal repertoire of reactiveness can lead you to the source of so much of life’s unhappiness and hurt.
If you reconnect with that wounded part, you then have the power to do something magical. You can give it your undivided loving attention. This is where profound healing takes place. Instead of relying on an external person or thing (like a lover, food, alcohol etc) to sooth you, you build your own internal resource. This means you gain the power to meet the needs of your inner self. This will inevitably prevent another’s junk from penetrating into you, because there is simply nothing for them to hook onto.
This is why doing the inner work is so important. If you don’t tend to the source of your discomfort, you are more than likely stuck in this below diagram.
(Image sourced from William DeFoore: Karpman’s Triangle’ he was a student of Eric Berne –Founder of Transactional Analysis)
If you are constantly feeling victimised, you’ll search for an external persecutor and rescuer. This is usually where you may start to blame, judge or criticise them for what they have done, who they are or use meaning based statements to justify your defensive behaviour for feeling the hurt. You may also seek people who will nourish your justifications, so that you can feel righteous in your conclusions about another.
When you are trapped in this, you deplete your energy source and your overall happiness decreases.
The amazing thing is, once you decide to leave this vicious cycle you have taken the powerful step in becoming free.
Tending to your emotional turmoil with the curiosity to release any patterns that may be playing out in your life will remove any hooks internally, preventing any external sources from hooking their junk on.
This may not change them…but it sure is a game changer for you.
You will start to really love and appreciate yourself from a place so deep within, that the low self-worth, self-esteem & insecurities start to fall away. More of who you truly are will shine forth: radiance, courage, strength, determination, will, love, peace & harmony.
When you truly love yourself, those that are unable to have unconditional positive regard for you will naturally be give less air time in your new prosperous world.
The gift: you then invite those that can, in.