Last month, I wrote an article entitled 4 Tips to Being More Approachable. This post was dedicated to the individuals, much like myself, who have found difficultly in being understood in an amicable manner when communicating with others.
The flip side to this coin is those who somehow seem to take everything as an attack against them. Whether it’s in business, with friends or romantic partners, they feel as if someone is always taking shots at their livelihood. If this is you, you might just be taking things a little too personally.
Contrary to our self-consuming lifestyles, everything isn’t about us. The issues that we have are likely to be shared by thousands of people, with varying levels of severity. Yes, your car may have had a flat tire and you had to wait for AAA for three hours, but your neighbor’s car just got permanently repossessed with no notice. Sure, you may have gotten fired from your job because of your social media addiction, forcing you to limit your obsessive shopping habit, but the man on the street hasn’t had a job or a new pair of Levi’s in years.
As humans, we tend to develop this idea that we are the only ones with issues. Thus, when things do not go our way, paranoia of conspiracy overwhelms us, making us suspect our friends, coworkers and even our own children, as the enemy.
But hey, calm down….It’s not that serious. Man up and stop being so sensitive.
So what, your boss gave the promotion to your coworker. That’s what happens when your coworker is working overtime while you hit the happy hour. Your beloved best friend turned down your offer for movie night? Well hey, maybe she needed a little rest from studying for grad school finals. Indeed, it was unfortunate that the girl you really liked opted for the next man, but oh well, you’re not going to have chemistry with every pretty lady you meet.
This, my friends, is called life. Don’t take it so personally. When things don’t go your way, stop to:
Put yourself in the other person’s shoes: Consider the thought process that went into the person giving you that not-so-agreeable answer. Maybe their decision took a lot of back and forth that you weren’t aware of. Perhaps, situations in their lives took more precedence over what you thought was best for you. Realistically, you could have just not been the best person for the job.
Consider alternatives: Word to the cliché “when one door closes, another one opens.” There is always another route to making what you want happen. For every plan and desire you really want, always have a plan A, B and C. In the words of one of my close friends “I have backups for the backups.”
Make it beneficial: The fact that you did not get your way in this situation may actually be a better situation for you than you thought. If you would’ve gotten that job you wanted, you may not have had time to spend with your loved ones. If you bagged that really cute guy at the networking event, you could have turned out to be in an emotionally abusive relationship. Some things that don’t work out are actually for our best interest in the long run.
Get over it: I said it before and I’ll say it again: This, my friends, is called life. Don’t dwell on things that don’t work out. Most times, they are not a personal attack against you. So let it go and keep going with life.