Why is it so difficult to not take things personally? It's because everything reinforces the sense that whatever is being said is indeed about us – both from without and from within. However, we can get better at not taking things personally with a practice of shifting our focus by being open to multiple interpretations, understanding that our reaction is about our own need, and noticing how the other person’s words, no matter how they sound to us, are an expression of their needs. We can then be more present and available to navigate the situation.
Trainer Tip: Discovering the unmet needs is only a starting point. The other part is to understand what it will take to meet that need, and make a request that will accomplish this. This way, we can resolve situations before they escalate. Everyone benefits when we are clear about what we would like.