Working through The Four Agreements we discuss the second agreement: Don’t Take Anything Personally, we explore how others see us and how we view ourselves. We discuss our usage of identity to select and justify our behaviors. We struggle with confronting other perspectives about who we might be and whether what we do demonstrates the best version of ourselves.
The Four Agreements – The Series:
- Introduction – Beginning the Journey
- Be impeccable with your word – Our Word Bind Us and Sets Us Free
- Don’t take anything personally – How Others See Us and We View Ourselves
- Don’t make assumptions – We Only Know So Much
- Always do your best – The Present Holds All That Is Possible
- Conclusion – Growing Through Awareness and Forgiveness
“Consider that personality, as much as certain grounds of it may be provided for us by genetics, is the means through which we interact with others and our environment. Further, as in a story-book, our personality is far from being singular, instead a multi-faceted evolving process taking in new information all the time and responding in as consistent a way as possible. Personality, rather than a thing separate from the world, is instead a way for each of us to organize our experiences into a manageable and, to us, coherent structure.”From The I of Our Identity
How We See Ourselves
In order to make sense of the many aspects that make up the “I” of each of us we create a story, or narrative. We do the same for others. We see someone dressed a certain way and we make up a story about who they are, or the kind of day they are having. We all do this.
When we recognize that every conversation and interaction we have is really our story of “I”, interacting with our story of the “them” while the same thing is happening for the other person.
As we explore how we see ourselves and others, the underlying assumptions, and biases we hold become clear. We realize that how others see us is through the lens of their story about us. It is like you each wearing different colored glasses, you may see the same landscape but the colors (explanations), are different. This recognition makes it easier to not take things personally.