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Day 1649 - Agreement Two

Wednesday, June 05, 2019

This is a continuation of yesterday's blog post on The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz.

Today's blog regards Agreement Two: "Don't Take Anything Personally"

This agreement is a perfect companion to the first agreement to be impeccable with your words. When other people use their word in a harmful or unkind manner, we shouldn't take their words to heart. When we internalize them, then they fester and rot and create lasting damage.

I think of the little girl in the story I shared yesterday. If she hadn't taken her mother's words seriously or personally, she may have been able to avoid feeling so terrible about her voice. She was too young to learn this important lesson.

On one of my favorite competition TV shows a few seasons back, one of the contestants was pretty harshly criticized by the other competitors during a couple of the episodes. The contestant would utter a mantra: "Water off a duck's back, water off a duck's back" as a shield against the criticism. It helped her to remain focused, and she ultimately won that season on the show because she didn't let those harsh words get to her.

I've learned (the hard way) that I can't react when someone says something against me. This is especially true because, as a gay man, I've encountered my share of bullies and meanies over the past 50+ years. If someone says an unkind word to me, it's about them.

Nothing others do is because of you.
What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.
When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won't be the victim of needless suffering.

Agreement One:
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
    My insecurities get in the way but I try to move away from the hurtful words
    618 days ago
    This agreement is hard for me. I guess I'm a duck with the back opened, scared to swim. People who make bad comments leave all that sticky, dirty, rotten trash on us. I need a Teflon cover
    620 days ago
  • PICKIE98
    Thick skin is essential when working with the public.
    629 days ago
    I am always encouraged when I hear people speak of being bullied and rising above it. I think most of us have been bullied in some manner and some people don't realize the harm that it can cause. I know the pain it can cause and I have zero tolerance for this kind of behavior. I love myself and no one can take that away from me.
    632 days ago
  • no profile photo CD15118206
    This is my favorite agreement!! I refer to this book often. This particular agreement really helped to keep me grounded recently when a co-worker said some unkind things about me. Someone asked me how I remained so calm - I literally told her, "It's his reality, not mine."
    634 days ago
    emoticon emoticon emoticon
    Yes. This.Exactly.
    And something I am currently working on.
    634 days ago
    so very true. The importance of forgiveness is that forgiving helps us way more than it matters to the one who we feel has wronged us.

    I remind myself that the individual must be having a really bad day and took it out on me...which means I took the blow so someone else got a break.

    635 days ago
    Decades ago I realized that I had internalized so many hurtful words directed at me and taken them personally. Realizing those hurtful voices of others that I'd internalized were not my own voice and learning to disregard them has been incredibly freeing.

    Lots of bullies and meanies in my life too. Glad I'm doing a better job of letting such things roll like water off a duck's back. emoticon Being that some of us are "odd ducks" we come equipped with an extra special ability emoticon for deflecting emoticon such hurtful words.

    I've also learned to have empathy for the pain the bully must be in to treat others in such a manner.

    635 days ago
    I was always shy as a young girl. I had a loving mother who tried her best but I grew up without a father (he divorced my mother when when I was 4 or 5) and that always bothered.
    Plus I was always smaller than other kids in school.
    I only wish I knew what I know now.
    I like the "Water off the duck's back" mantra.
    You are awesome as usual.
    635 days ago
    Steve: we're kindred spirits.

    The older I got the less and less I cared about what others said about me. Although it took some during and a lot of help and support from a dear, dear friend, named David. He help me realized my accomplishment; and reminded me of what I had yet accomplished despite the challenges I faced.
    636 days ago
    This is definitely something I need to work on - I take everything personally.
    636 days ago
  • SPICY23
    A timely reminder "What others say and do is a projection of their own reality" - it's all about them. Always is.

    Peace and Care
    637 days ago
    Great advice.
    637 days ago
    637 days ago
    emoticon Wise words Steve, thank you!
    637 days ago
    Not taking something personal - I need to remember this blog
    637 days ago
    I have dealt with this issue all my life. I was a very sensitive child and lived in a very verbally abusive household. I have dealt with abandonment issues.. It has taken years of therapy to get where i am today.. I believe the stronger sense of self I have the easier it is to combat others opinions and words to hurt me.. and it is something I must deal with daily. I suspect on some level I will always deal with this.. My takeaway is because I did not get the acceptance I so needed as a child ..I still find myself (on my bad days) searching for it..what can I say? I am a work in progress. The stronger I feel I am able to work through the feelings.
    637 days ago
    Something I need to work on, I am very sensitive by nature and get hurt very easily by any harsh criticism. I have a very small petite sister that is constantly on me about my weight, I don't think she realizes how much she hurts me with her words......
    637 days ago
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