Have you ever met someone you liked, gotten to know them, had an amazing connection with them, and then out of nowhere, they vanished into thin air? No contact, no reply, they just became a “ghost”.
Some people actually refer to this as getting “ghosted” and it can feel horrible. In fact, this can be one of the most frustrating, hurtful, and confusing experiences. Being “ghosted” tugs at our need to be liked, and hits on the nerve of wanting to avoid being rejected.
However, it also can be one of the greatest opportunities to practice the skill of not taking things personally. The gift of the Second Agreement of Don Miguel Ruiz’s, “The Four Agreements”, is bringing into awareness the reality that nothing is personal. Literally, nothing is personal. Consider the example of being “ghosted” as a way to start understanding this Agreement, and how to apply it to your life to create freedom from suffering.
We are conditioned to take things personally. We begin to learn to take responsibility for other people’s emotions in subtle everyday language. You can refer to the First Agreement on being impeccable with your word here.
In relationships, people say things like, “you make me feel” such and such, and we are often pathologized by others when their needs are not met by us. Over time, we internalize a sense of over-responsibility for others’ feelings, thoughts, and even actions.
Most people take rejection COMPLETELY personally and are left feeling confused, sad, hurt, and even used. It seems like the common thread that all people experience when getting rejected is the feeling of not being enough.
Over the 18 years that I’ve been counseling and coaching young girls and women, I have observed that the most common emotional reaction to rejection is self-blame. Most people immediately collapse into thinking rejection is their own fault.
Well, I’m here to shine light on this false programming for you RIGHT NOW! The key is to choose to be more aware that nothing is personal. Other people’s’ opinions about you have less to do with you, and more to do with them. In fact, whatever others think, feel, or say about you isn’t even about you at all.
We are ALL acting out our own dramas and stories, often very unconsciously. It simply isn’t true that you weren’t good enough, or something was wrong with you.
So the next time something like this happens to you:
1. Have compassion for the part of you that wants to make sense of someone else’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors by blaming yourself. Remember that you do NOT have to agree to that.
2. Lean into the confused emotion, and choose to show up for yourself with love and compassion. Claim your worthiness, and choose to stop taking things personally. You have the ability to stop unnecessary suffering simply by refusing to take anything personally, even the voice in your own head!
3. Challenge yourself to take nothing personally. Practice bringing your attention to this every day.
Live this principle, and you will experience internal freedom and peace.
For more information about applying the Four Agreements to your life, check out www.hopeforthegirlsmentorship.blogspot.com.
About the Author: Amy MOORE, PhD, LMFT is one of Your Monthly Mentors, a licensed family therapist. As a seasoned clinician for over 18 years, Dr. Moore blends her expert clinical skills and highly dialed-in intuition to effectively assess, support, and empower teens and young girls to build their inner strength and self-love, and to cultivate healthy self-esteem. She received her Master’s Degree and Doctoral Degree in Couple and Family Therapy and spent her early years in the field doing research and clinical work with children in the foster care system. She is currently the founder of “Hope For the Girls”, a support group that brings teen and single young adult girls together in an online mentorship community. Read More…