The problem with making assumptions and taking things personally

It’s very easy to get swept away in a rapid current of frustration and insult when someone says something to us that we don’t agree with, especially when it’s about us personally. 

Our instinct is to defend ourselves, prove to them that they’re wrong and we’re right. 

We typically leave this battle worse off than when we first felt the offensive emotions rise up, which sucks and why I’d like to introduce you to a book written by a man named Miguel Ruiz over 20 years ago called The Four Agreements

Two of those four agreements are:

-Don’t take anything personally

-Don’t make assumptions

It’s an innate ability of ours to make assumptions. The issue is that as soon as we do so, we unconsciously deem them as truth. 

Someone walks by us on the street, we smile at them and say hello, they look back at us and don’t smile or say anything back. We quickly make the assumption that they’re rude and we instantly feel negativity towards them. 

But little do we know what’s truly going on inside their mind and in their world. It could be possible that they’re currently dealing with the worst day of their life and are too caught up in their head to even know what’s going on around them, or maybe they just didn’t hear you. 

The point is, we all live in our own realities. We grow up with an entirely unique set of experiences, views, values and beliefs that stem from our upbringing. 

When we take something personally we make the assumption that this person knows what’s right and wrong from our individual perspective, and even more so, that our way is the correct one. 

Everyone has their own respective opinions that are derived from a custom system of beliefs, so essentially nothing they say to you or about you has anything to do with you and everything to do with them.

The next time you find yourself in a situation where you’d typically take the punch to heart and let it knock you down, use it as an opportunity to become more mindful and compassionate and choose to take the hit on the chin without allowing it to take you out of your game. 

“We only see what we want to see, and hear what we want to hear. We don’t perceive things the way they are.” – Miguel Ruiz

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