In episode 69 of How To Matter, I discuss the question of whether we play the game or the game plays us. It can be tough sometimes just getting along, dealing with people and circumstances. The issue for us is how we think about all that and how we manage it. The article below serves as the taking off point for the discussion.
“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can’t find them, make them.” — George Bernard Shaw
You don’t typically take things personally. Of course, occasionally things are intended to be personal and should be taken personally. Normally, though, you separate the event from the motivations of the people. Even though the event may have a negative effect for you, you understand that this seldom means that anyone intended that effect specifically for you. The payoff for you is twofold. First, you accurately understand what happened. Second, you are more likely to accurately understand why it happened the way it did. Avoiding inaccurate and complex motivation-based explanations enables you to focus maximum attention on those circumstances that most likely account for what actually happened.