Boy am I in trouble – the 2nd Agreement is “Don’t Take Anything Personally” because I take everything personally. I do not have a hard exterior shell. Things do not bounce off of me and land somewhere else or even on someone else.
Ruiz writes that we take things personally because we agree with words thrown at us. We allow ourselves to make it about ourselves. Hmmmmm. He went on to write that nothing other people do is because of us. That’s a tough one for me to wrap my head around.
I do agree with his position that if we take things personally it makes us walking targets. Classic bully on the playground tactics come into play-there was always a bully and always a victim. Usually that victim had a lot of bullies.
As I read on I couldn’t help but be reminded about this incredible therapist I had back in 1993 when I was not only diagnosed with breast cancer but I was also in a very abusive relationship. Norma’s words are words I live with sometimes I need reminding but here is what she said. “Would you rather be right or would you rather be happy?”
Ruiz reminds us in the 2nd Agreement that we need to not be offended, we need to not defend ourselves immediately and we do not have to prove we are right and they are wrong.
I thought about that. I am so guilty of needing to defend myself as we all are, so I have decided to take the Norma question to the next level. Next time someone says something that I take personally I plan to say “If that is how you really feel you own your feelings, they are your feelings, and I don’t intend to argue with you about them.”
We all need to remind ourselves that someone else’s opinion is just that, their opinion. We need to let them have it and try to end it there. What do you get by arguing your opinion? You get hurt and angered. I prefer to be happy but it will take time to learn this new behavior. I will fail, but I will also succeed.