We’ve all had moments in our lives when we have worked very hard on something and we’ve put our heart and soul into it and for some reason, it just didn’t work out the way we planned. Maybe it was a huge proposal or project for work or possibly it was an event you planned. Oh. I know. It was that promotion you should have received…but it didn’t happen. Or worse, you were let go from a company you were dedicated to for more than 30 years. In any of these scenarios, what is the last thing you want to hear as a response?
“It’s nothing personal…” they say.
Nothing personal? Really? Are you kidding me? How do they even come to that conclusion?
One of my all time favorite movies is the 1998 romantic-comedy, You’ve Got Mail, starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. Kathleen Kelly (Ryan’s character) runs a children’s book store inherited by her mother called The Shop Around the Corner. Hanks (Joe Fox) is a third generation who runs a huge chain of mega stores called Fox Books. This movie is full of wonderful dialogue and quotes. One of my favorites is when Joe tries to make amends for causing Kathleen’s family shop to close down. Listen to Kathleen’s response. Do you agree or disagree?
I can relate to Kathleen Kelly’s thoughts.
When I think about all the relationships in my life…past, present and future; I think about how personal it was, is and will be. When I think about all the many aspects of my work over the past 25 years, I can’t help but think about how personal it has all meant to me. When I think about the person I was, am, and hope to become; it’s all personal.
The phrases, “Don’t take it personally,” or “It’s not personal,” has been around for years and has become a cliché in corporate America. It has become an unconscious way of saying something and comes off as passive-aggressive. There are times when these few words have hit me as an insult but not anymore.
How? you ask.
I refuse to allow the negativity to become mine.
Although these few words may hurt, depending on how it’s said and by whom, I have realized what others say or do to me is a projection of their own reality, not mine. I choose to not let it define me and I put it behind me. I am not responsible for the actions or words of others nor will I assume harm was intended. I am not interested in their polite rejection. Investing in personal projects and personal relationships has value. Obviously, the person making this statement hasn’t made the personal connection so I choose to not let it define me and I put it behind me. Everything I do is personal… Everything I say is personal… Everything I am is personal…personal to me but maybe no so much to someone else.
So, what’s your personal thoughts? Agree? Disagree? Feel free to share. I won’t take it personally. 🙂
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