“Don’t Take it Personally”​ is not helpful

There’s a lot of wisdom in the old saying, “don’t take it personally.” But is it okay to say that to someone whose upset? Is it helpful, or is it just a way to brush off their feelings and ignore what they’re going through?

We no longer live in a world where personal and business are separated. We never did; however, the phrase “don’t take it personally” is not helpful; it is dismissive. Our personal and our business are now blended. Furthermore, taking it “personally” is not what we need to address. It is the reaction we are trying to avoid or ignore.

If we want people to be more open and engaging, we are asking them to tap into their personal emotions. Now I’m not saying that their reaction was appropriate, but let’s stay with what is going on at that moment, not putting up a defense or deflector to avoid being uncomfortable.

We are often uncomfortable with the reactions of others because we misunderstand the role of emotions in human interactions. We see emotions as something to be controlled rather than something that can be used to enhance our relationships. As a result, we often try to suppress our own emotions and avoid displays of emotion from others.

However, research has shown that emotions are essential in social interactions. We are emotional beings. They help us to bond with others, to communicate our needs, and to build trust. When we suppress our emotions, we miss out on these important benefits. Fortunately, we can take steps to become more comfortable with the emotions of others.

By learning to recognize, and understand emotions and utilize this information, we can use them to improve our awareness and our relationships with others. Suggestions:

·       Learn to recognize emotions in yourself and others.  – Self and Social Awareness

·       Try to understand the causes of your own and others’ emotions. – Self and Social Awareness

·        Bring compassion and empathy to see things from another person’s perspective and demonstrate kindness. –Self and Social Awareness

·       Seek opportunities to share your own emotions; by modeling and expressing your own emotions in a helpful way, you will see others following suit. Self and Social Awareness

Following this suggestion, we can learn to use emotions to enhance our social interactions and raise our self-awareness.