To Take Things Personally…
Contrary to (overwhelming) popular opinion, there is no such thing as someone “making” us feel this or that. This adage is thrown out so often that it has become deeply engrained in each individual’s psyche. There are a lot of pitfalls in falling for this logic. Not only is it a selfish tendency, but it actually divorces an individual of responsibility. The problem is not just saying “you make me feel (insert emotion)”, it is the embodiment of the logic. The truth is that whatever another individual has done, it is entirely about them.
Whether an individual has verbally insulted you or let you down, it has nothing to do with you. Even in cases of marital affairs, the action itself had nothing to do with you. There is only acting or not acting. Whether it hurts or not depends on a subjective label associated with that action, often in a particular context. Those associated labels are yours. We have to get out of the mindset of assuming that what is subjectively true for us is an objective truth (for all). I won’t delve into the complexities of a physical or emotional affair in this post, as I’d rather focus on intended emotional abuse.
If another individual insults you, the only way it will hurt is if you accept that emotional poison. In some instances, you may even agree with the insult, adding to the amount of emotional trauma endured. What is often at the heart of these instances is an expressed desire to be liked by others, no more and no less. This desire is built upon an idealized image of one that is expected to be shared by others. Speaking or acting against that image is seen as an offense. Unfortunately, individuals lack empathetic capacity, that is, they are unable to step into another person’s skin. Instead of seeing another individual acting for their own reasons, we see it being because of us.
Others have different subjective definitions. They almost always differ from ours. They were raised differently and have different life experiences. Individuals that must give emotional poison to others are not self-happy; they are miserable. They build their esteem by attempting to put others down. But it is their emotional un-intelligence, trauma, and lack of social skills that cause them to act in that manner. They hurl insults for their own reasons. You just may happen to meet one of their preconceived notions of what a deserving victim looks like to them.
Unfortunately, when we become the victim, we feel the need to step onto the battlefield with the aggressor. They become a deserving victim in your mind, as they are to receive verbal insults of your own. You have ate their emotional poison and now generate some to give back to them. Acting on this negativity is what gives the negative emotional reaction inside of an individual. It is this need that actually causes almost all of the emotional pain in the initial victim. I have no “need” to punish other individuals and am never left victimized by their emotional garbage. Rather, they look silly giving insults when none are returned. This is because the aggressors expect their garbage to be received. To justify their actions, they need to witness a negative emotional reaction. An angry face or tear-filled eyes will always suffice.
What you do to an individual that insults you should not deviate sharply from how you interact with friendly individuals. It sounds counter-intuitive, but that is only because we were raised thinking that we had to punish those that insulted us. Imagine this aggressor as suffering from a parasite in their mind. Visualize the pain they are feeling that caused them to give negativity. Smile and keep moving on. The lack of a proportionate response is not rewarding their bad behavior, because:
- You will not give them the negative emotional reaction that they desired, and
- You did not take it personally and are fully able to continue enjoying your day.
Thanks for Reading,