It’s Not About YOU!

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Have you ever had a situation where someone went off on you, had a strange reaction to something you did or said or simply treated you badly in some way?  Often time’s people take it personally and feel like they’ve been wronged in some way by the person’s behavior.  The problem is, we always think it’s about us.  It’s not about you most of the time.  It’s actually about them and their stuff. They may be going through something or something you did triggered a reaction.

I was dating a guy last summer who died 3 months after we started dating in a tragic skydiving accident.  Not even 10 days later I decided to attend one of my mastermind groups to be around positive uplifting people.  I felt horrible inside.  The pain was intense and I needed to be around people who I knew cared about me.  When I arrived at the hotel the day before, I started seeing people I knew and they asked me how I was.  I obviously couldn’t say “I’m great!” So I said something like “I’m hanging in there.”

My energy was obviously down.  I went to the first day of the Mastermind and wasn’t going to share about what was going on with me, but “the whisper” inside kept telling me to share.  I did and the love and support I felt was tremendous.  The whole group rallied around me and supported me.  It was just what I needed.

Interestingly enough, one person came up to me and told me she thought she had done something to offend me and that’s why I was not my normal self towards her.  I have heard this other times from other people.  The problem is we always think it’s about us and most of the time it’s not.

It is always good where there is a rift in a relationship that wasn’t there before to find out what the problem is to make sure there is nothing you need to clean up on your “side of the street.” The key is to not immediately think it’s about you, because most of the time, people aren’t even thinking about you.

Recently I was attending an event and came in the room and put my things down at a seat.  Not too long after that one of the other people attending the event whom I respected and admired came up to me and shook my hand.  I thought he wanted to have a conversation with me but he wanted to get me out of the seat he had been sitting in before lunch.  I reacted in a bit of a huff and grabbed my stuff and moved.  It upset me as it appeared he really had no desire to speak to me, only to get me to move out of his seat.  My behavior was inappropriate and it’s my responsibility to make that right and also not take it personally.  That grated up against the “I must not be good enough to speak to him” lie that creeps in sometimes. That’s my own stuff and I have to address that.

We need to stop taking things personally all the time and maybe look at the other person to see if they are going through something to be helpful and supportive.  Also, dealing with our own thoughts and ideas that are floating around our space from our own experiences sometimes causes triggers and reactions.  Looking at that and making a course correction when it happens will be an improvement for the next time.

We are all a work in progress. We are all imperfect and often times say the wrong thing or do the wrong thing, that’s part of life.  The thing to do is clear it up if there is something to clear and don’t always assume it’s about you.

Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Eldonna Lewis Fernandez
Veteran negotiation and contracts expert Eldonna Lewis-Fernandez, author of “Think Like a Negotiator,” has over 30 years of experience crafting killer deals both stateside and internationally, many in excess of $100 million. She’s currently the CEO of Dynamic Vision International — a specialized consulting and training firm that helps individuals hone negotiation skills — as well as a nationally regarded keynote speaker, session leader and panelist on the Art of Negotiation. Eldonna may be reached online at

1 Comment

  1. Christopher says:

    AWESOME Post!!! Love the transparency and authenticity!!

    I learned a long time ago – seek first to UNDERSTAND then to be UNDERSTOOD! Saved me a lot of unnecessary pain and aggravation.

    Sometimes we just don’t know what’s going on behind the eyes in the soul!

    Thanks Eldonna for being YOU!

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