How do you respond when you are cut off by another driver on the road? What goes through your head when you experience bad service at a restaurant?
Many people take these actions extremely personal. They say things like, “I can’t believe he/she would do that to me.” or “I didn’t do anything to deserve being treated like that.”
People’s reaction has nothing to do with you.
Your ego tries to convince you that this person is targeting you and it wants you to do whatever necessary to protect the image it has worked so hard to create. Therefore, we get angry and we lash out to defend ourselves.
Often times, other’s words and actions act as triggers to our own insecurities and they raise a mirror up so we are forced to take a look at ourselves. If we don’t like what we see or we’re not ready to do our work, we get defensive and we react out of fear.
Don Miguel Ruiz, author of The Mastery of Love, wrote “Your reactions are the key to having a wonderful life…You are responsible for the consequences of whatever you do, think, say, and feel…Your reaction comes from a belief deep inside you.”
You must take responsibility for the intent behind your words. You must take responsibility for the energy you use to deliver your message. You must take responsibility for standing in the fullness of your truth. But what you don’t have to take responsibility for and own is how other people choose to respond.
When you accept the fact that people’s reaction isn’t about you, you stop feeling the need to defend yourself and you show up with more love and compassion for yourself and others.