When Everything is Taken Personally

Can you believe what he said?  Can you believe how she treated me?  Did you see that look I just got? 

How many times a day do you hear those questions from co-workers? Friends? Siblings? How many times a day do you actually think or ask those questions?  As a society, we are very aware of how others are treating us.  

Or are we?

We think we know exactly what others are thinking based on those looks, phrases, or statements made to us or about us, but in reality, we don't know what's going on in their lives or in their brains.  

It's easy to take statements, looks, or questions personally because we're quicker to believe negative things about ourselves than we are positive things.  

When your kids come home from school and tell you that other kids are picking on them in the lunch room, what do you do?  You start to question them, right?  You ask what makes your child think they're being picked on.  You ask them if it's possible there was something else going on.  Yet, when it comes to your own life, do you do the same thing?  

Think back to the last negative experience you had with your co-parent.  Did they say something that was derogatory?  Where they accusing you of doing or not doing something? Whatever it was, is it possible there is something else going on in their lives that is causing it?  Is it possible that their statement has more to do with them than it does with you?  

I know it's hard to give the benefit of the doubt, but isn't that exactly what you're asking for when your ex thinks you've done something to hurt them?  Why not be the bigger person, not the bitter person, and make that first move?  

I can promise you that even if your ex is making statements to deliberately hurt you, it has everything to do with your ex and nothing to do with you.  Your ex, your toxic person, is trying to get a rise out of you and as long as you give it to him/her, they will continue on the same path.  

Here's your tips for dealing:

  1. Don't take it personally, even if it's a personal comment because even though the comment was created for you, it was created BY THEM and THEIR thoughts and emotions created it - not reality.
  2. Don't let them see you hurt, even if it is hurtful.  
  3. Have a way to get the feelings of hurt, anger, resentment, or any other emotion out. Journal, go for a walk, call a friend, put on music and dance.  Whatever works for you, use it.  
  4. Forgive your ex for saying those things so you take the power away from the statement and back into your own hands.  Having problems getting this done?  Here's a post written all about it.  

Comment below and tell me how you deal with the personal comments or how you know it has nothing to do with you.

Making the choice to ignore the snide (or not so snide) comments made by your co-parent is one of the many, many communication tips in the Co-Parenting After Divorce eCourse. I've teamed up with Curious to put this out there for you and by clicking on the button below, you'll have access to this and any other course you can possibly imagine - all at a discount.