Monday Notes: Agreement #2

A few weeks ago, a “friend” of mine read one of my FB posts, followed the comments, and then sent me this message via inbox:

You be so fake in your comments.

Or something like that. I can’t give a direct quote because after we conversed, I deleted the message. His unsolicited opinion bothered me that night. It stuck with me because of how I’d replied. Initially, I defended myself. I wanted to show him that I wasn’t being “fake.” It continued to irk me because I’ve worked so hard to be my authentic self no matter where I am, social media, in person, wherever. I’ve made conscious decisions to shine my personal light. Then, it bothered me because it bothered me. Have you ever felt like that?

It lingered in my thoughts for about 48 hours. By that time, I knew I had to remove him and his words from my consciousness. They were both taking up too much space in my mind. That Sunday night, I flipped through don Miguel Ruiz’s The Four Agreements, until I found the one that fit: Don’t take anything personally.

If I see you on the street and say, “You are so stupid” without knowing you, it’s not about you, it’s about me. If you take it personally, then perhaps you believe you’re stupid.”

img_3174After reading a few more pages, I meditated, sipped my lavender tea, and let go of the incident.

About a week later, one of the ladies from the book club I’m hoping to join reached out to me and said, “I like your spirit.” This comment elicited the opposite emotion. I was elated. Who doesn’t want to hear nice things said about her personality? And like I’d mentioned above, I’ve worked on portraying my true self. So, I was overjoyed that someone I’d just met noticed a positive trait.

But I had to remember agreement #2. It still applied. You see, Ruiz continues to explain that even if someone says something that you agree with, then there’s still no reason to take it personally. A person’s opinion, whether positive or negative, is based on how that person feels in that moment. Tomorrow, the same person might have something horrible to say.

don_miguel_ruiz.jpg

The first time I read this it didn’t quite click. After receiving two different opinions within a week of one another, it now makes perfect sense. Not only is taking other people’s opinions personally exhausting, it can also be an indication that you’re not secure with who you are. If I know that I’m an authentic person, with a great spirit, then others’ opinions should be neither denigrating, nor uplifting. They should just…be.

Let me know what you think. How do you deal with other people’s opinions of who you are? Do people offer opinions of your personality?

*Edited for Forgiving Fridays. Participate here: https://forgivingconnects.com/2017/05/05/todays-forgiving-fridays-i-have-a-question-3/comment-page-1/#comment-3373

149 thoughts on “Monday Notes: Agreement #2

  1. As my Dad Edward Palmer used to say, An opinion is like an a $$hole. Every body has one. I would add that many people are a $$holes.
    I try to take what others say with a grain of salt.

    As the kids say, haters gonna hate.
    That’s their nature.

    As for compliments we all love them but often folks spread honeyed sugar right before they knife you in the back.

    An old school back in the day song admonishes us that smiling faces tell lies.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Kathy, you did right to put the friend part in speech marks! First of all, that is no friend! I think we cannot help but take comments like this personally, we are humans with emotions! I think our response after that initial upset is key. Your quiet reflections, readings, meditation has given you greater insight into this person and more importantly to yourself! Positive comments are a joy to receive and again can give one pause for thought. Only yesterday some one wrote about my joy of life, in the here and Now! I’ve never thought about myself as such, but realised it is becoming part of me, without me even noticing! Thank you for a deep and thought provoking post … now off to make a cuppa tea. I’ve never tried lavender but I’m intrigued! Wishing you a good rest of the week! 😀🌺

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Annika! To be fair to the “friend” we actually are closer now than ever and I’ve made clear I don’t need anymore unsolicited opinions about my life and activities.

      Please try lavender! I drink it about an hour before bed to calm my nerves and signal my body it’s time to sleep.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sadly, I do tend to take the opinions of others personally, at least at first. I am hurt and/or angry when someone says something mean, and feel vindicated and happy when someone says something nice. But then I think about it a little bit more (or a whole lot more, considering) and realize that their opinions don’t dictate who I am… good or bad. I do think this is a hard lesson to learn, and also one that we need to learn again from time to time. Thanks for this post…as you can tell, it really spoke to me!

    Liked by 3 people

  4. Of all your posts, this is one of my favorites. I was talking to a friend recently about how nice it is to be pushing 50, to be able to be my authentic self, say what’s on my mind, and quit worrying about what other people think of me. As long as I’m being true to my own North Star, who cares if y’all think I’m weird? Life would have been a lot different for me if I had been able to see that when I was 20 or 30, but age brings perspective. At 20, we want to blend, to belong. By 50, we start to BE, and celebrate our individuality. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Thanks Joan! That’s saying a lot (based on how much I write and how much you interact). Age does bring perspective. What you describe happened to me around 40. It’s like all the who gives a —- just eeked out of my body lol Every now and then, I still care a little, but for the most part it’s so liberating showing up feeling super secure. I do wish we’d show and teach our young people this type of security because like you say, imagine how different the first 20-30 years would be if you didn’t have the burden of caring about what other people think?

      Liked by 1 person

  5. When someone gives an opinion about me, which it is a person right to do so, I’m listening politely, however I don’t really bother, as I know exactly who I am. And it doesn’t really matter, what people think about me. It maters though what I think about myself. People are just people, they will always say some things about us, pricing us, criticize, judging, it is in human nature. But we never suppose to let those people ruin our day. 😊

    Liked by 3 people

    1. I understand that too. I’m almost there. Sometimes, depending on who it is, I still find myself wanting to defend myself and explain who I am, but I’m slowly moving away from that. And I totally agree about not letting it ruin your day.

      Like

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