This is something I’ve never been very good at. I end up owning other people’s problems. I end up too sensitive to others and taking things too personal. I’m finding I’m getting better this year at not taking things so personal.
The first lesson I had with this was several years ago when I worked for a non-profit. One of the members of my board was adamant about her hatred for me. I had never done anything personally to her, but she had a passionate dislike for me. In my interview she stated to the rest of the board how “ugly” she thought my hair was.
Once I was hired it became worse. It was hard for me to accept that someone could hate me for no reason. I finally came to the conclusion that her hatred had nothing to do with me. It was completely irrational. I probably looked like someone who slept with her husband. Eventually her irrational behavior became so out of control that she was asked to leave the board.
I find myself in this same place again; on a different level. For the first time I am able to identify that someone else’s issues have nothing to do with me and is a projection of something else. I refuse to own them. For the first time I can say I deserve better and I don’t deserve the misdirected hostility. I can put forth a positive energy and refuse to take any responsibility or ownership of someone else’s issues.
This seems like such a hard but liberating lesson to learn. What I’m learning the most is summed up by the Anais Nin quote. People’s worlds reflect the type of person they are. If all you put out is ugliness, hatred, cynicism, and mistrust, then that is what you get back. The world is a reflection of who you are as a person.