Don’t Take NUTTIN’ Personally! #thefouragreements #donmiguelruiz #selfesteeem
February 16, 2015
I know you have heard it a million times, but not taking anything personally is much harder to do than anyone can imagine. Yesterday, I was working on a national commercial with a bunch of wonderful actors, three of whom I took a great shining to. Much of the work on any film is waiting for the cameramen to get the shot just right, then you work for about an hour or two in a ten-hour day. So, having great people around you is a blessing for company and laughter. For me, hanging with these people, telling stories, and “cutting up” made for the most pleasant of days.
All of the union actors were set to work the entire weekend. So, we showed up bright and early the second day of the shoot ready to start over again. I immediately got a hug from two of the three people who became good friends, but the third was running late. When he finally arrived, I chided him. He looked a little annoyed with me, but this usually was the way he reacted when he was trying to be funny. Because we had spent ten hours joking around the day before, and his demeanor was the kind that had a rather severe tone to it, but was playful nonetheless, I poked at him a second time. To my great surprise, he told me my comment was out of line and walked away. My other two friends looked at me with surprise as I shrugged my shoulders.
Normally, I would have taken this man’s action personally. But, that morning, I decided to take a different approach to life. I told myself, I have no idea what he was thinking or what kind of morning he had. But I do know this, I am the same person as I was yesterday, and I meant no harm, as he probably will realize after he cooled off. I simply walked away as well, didn’t obsess about it, and went on with my day introducing myself to new people and living in the very perfect NOW.
As if God had dealt the cards, I ended up having to do a scene with him for an hour—just him and I having to walk back and forth from a building, probably 20 times. Each time we had to shake hands and smile at each other. He had no other choice but to make amends, I think. After the direction of what he had to do, I heard him make a joke about me and smile in my direction.
I said, “So, you in love with me again?” He laughed and shook my hand. I could tell that this was his way of making concession. He told me the story of why he had been so irritated that morning and apologized. I told him it was okay and that I didn’t take it personally. To that, he said, “That’s really great! You’re a good guy!” Then we proceeded to have a great time cutting up the rest of the day.
Imagine how this day would have gone had I played this scenario out using my old story of feeling bad and taking responsibility for him and the entire world. I would have missed out meeting some great new people, laughing a lot, and probably would have had a stomachache from feeling bad the entire day.
No one wins when you take someone else’s bullshit personally. If you know that you are simply being yourself, the best you can do is to simply get out of the way of a person in a bad mood. I, also, believe that you should make room for that same person to invite him/herself back into your space, by continuing to be as nice as you normally are. Don’t put on the cold shoulder or mirror that bad behavior. Instead, create a platform or grace, compassion, and forgiveness.
If what you experienced from someone was out of the norm and not abusive, eventually, life will return to normal. Also, you will realize that the world has many ups and down, and you simply have to ride the tide, sometimes. Just continue to stay authentic! Most of the time, life will settle, and you will not have to worry about any of your own actions that made the situation worse.
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