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Taking What Others Say Personally

Warren Buffet is an American business magnate, investor, and philanthropist, who is the chairman and CEO of Berkshire Hathaway. He is considered one of the most successful investors in the world and is considered the fourth-wealthiest person in the world.

A recent quote of his states “You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you. True power is sitting back and observing things with logic. True power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you. Breathe and allow things to pass”.

This quote resonates with me and what I speak about almost daily to many of my clients. It’s called “reactivity”. When we are quick to react, there is no doubt that we are responding from an emotional place. We interpret what others say in a very personal way when in fact it has nothing to do with us. For example; someone who might criticize and judge you can easily take it personally however, it is more about them than you. They may have come from a family that was very critical and judgmental of them therefore they are on automatic pilot with you. On the other hand, you may believe what they are saying and therefore become defensive and instantly react. You may already have this wound which is why it makes it so powerful otherwise someone else would not be able to touch it. It is a vulnerability that already exists within you. Once we react to that person and become defensive, we are now engaged in a full blown out argument.

What would happen however, if that same person who is critical and judgmental to you is unable to get an emotional response from you and instead you are reserved and calm and can sit back and just observe? The outcome is entirely different. You are processing the incident with logic minus the emotional charge. By taking things personally you are setting yourself up to suffer for nothing.

It takes practice, time and awareness to change some of our habits. The first step is to recognize when you are becoming reactive and rather than act on that, turn to yourself and ask “what am I reacting to”? Look within and pause. Walk away instead of having that knee jerk reaction. And as Warren Buffet says “True power is restraint”.

At The Hellenic Therapy Center, 567 Park Avenue, Scotch Plains, New Jersey, we have a team of licensed professionals available day, evening and weekend hours. Follow us on Facebook or visit our website at or call 908-322-0112.

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