Years ago when my husband and I were dating I learned a powerful lesson. He would occasionally say something like,
“I need a couple of days.”
What? I immediately took this personally and thought something was wrong. What did I do? What did I say? He must be angry at me. I would call him and stop by his house to see if he was okay, after all I must have said or done something to upset him. He would assure me I hadn’t and that it didn’t have anything to do with me or “us.”
I soon realized he was right. It didn’t have anything to do with me. It didn’t have anything to do with us. He was not angry. He was not upset. We just have different ways of recharging. He needs downtime. He needs a quiet respite to rest, relax and regenerate. He needs to do this alone.
For me, when I need recharging being alone makes it worse. I feed on the energy of being with people. Talking, laughing and companionship regenerates me, so of course when he would tell me he needed time to himself I felt pushed away. I thought there must be a problem. I took it personally.
How many times in life do we take things personally and the reality is that it has nothing to do with us? Whenever a stressful situation occurs many of us default immediately to the negative. We blame ourselves.
Let’s look at it differently. Let go of the immediate assumption and realize it isn’t always about us…it could always be something else that causes someone to be cranky, in a hurry or snap at us. It can always be another reason that someone needs time alone. It isn’t always about us.
Here is a trick to help with this self-inflicted internalization of blame and stress. Use this with your family, spouse, children and coworkers. Q-tip it! Yes, Q-tip it! Quit Taking It Personally!
As a reminder, take a couple of Q-Tips and tape them to your computer, your bathroom mirror, or your car visor. Look at them often and when something happens in life that sets off your internal blame game, remember to Q-Tip It!
The lesson I learned from my now husband all those years ago has saved me from many hours of needless worry. It isn’t always about me. And guess what? Now we recharge using what works for both of us. We recharge together, laughing, talking and in the quiet space of each other’s companionship.
We practice of the art of Q-Tipping It.
Pennie’s Life Lesson:
“When the stress of life sets off your internal blame game, Q-Tip It!
Quit Taking It Personally!”
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