Try free for 7 days.

Mindfulness.com
Meditation
See all Meditation

Browse

Top articles

How to Meditate: Meditation 101 for Beginners

10 Science-Backed Benefits of Meditation

What is Meditation?

Mindful LivingSleep
Community

Already have an account?

Sign in

00:00

00:00

Nothing Is Personal

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I want to talk about taking things personally. So I want you to imagine for a second that you're having a relaxing picnic with a friend on a warm spring day and you go for a swim. And then when you come back to the picnic, you suddenly see that the whole picnic spread is all over the grass. The wine is spilled.

The food is all over the place. And as you run back towards the picnic area to see what happened, what do you see? Some people had snuck up to the picnic, flipped over the picnic blanket, thrown everything around as a practical joke on you. And now they're laughing at you from behind some trees. How do you feel? Okay. So now imagine go back to the start, the exact same situation again.

You're at the picnic. It's a lovely day. You go to have a swim. You come back and again, you see the food and wine spilled all over the place. And what do you realize? A strong wind had blown all the blankets everywhere and thrown all of the picnic all over the place.

This time, how do you feel? So the end result is the same in both cases. Wine is spilled, food's all over the place, picnic is ruined. But when you feel personally targeted, it's a lot more aggravating and upsetting, right? If you think about it though, in both cases, it's not personal, in the sense that whatever's going on inside the people who ruined the picnic has been set in motion by a stream of thousands of causes and effects that preceded this event. The upbringing of those people, the stresses in their lives, their health or lack thereof, the movies and marketing they've seen, and so many more tiny little causes and effects that linked in a big chain to that moment of choice to throw the picnic blanket. In a way it's not any more personal than all of the causes and effects that would set that breeze in motion that day, that also leads to the same outcome.

So we tend to do take a lot of other people's behavior quite personally, right? Whether it's someone who pulls out in front of us in traffic, a rude comment by a shop clerk, a friend who doesn't turn up to dinner on time or a partner who doesn't take out the garbage. And when we do that, we often feel really aggravated, hurt and angry when we take things personally. But instead of taking things personally, we can consider what may have been the causes that led to this person's behavior. Perhaps they have stress, pain, or worries in their life. Maybe they're having a bad day, maybe their particular upbringing or personality or past experiences mean they see the world really differently to you.

Maybe you haven't communicated to them clearly, or there's been some kind of misunderstanding. So in other words, just recognizing that other people's actions have been set in motion by a constellation of causes, much of which is actually beyond even their conscious control. And it really truly is not personal. It's not about you. So when you do this, you put the situation in context.

You become less reactive, more clear headed, so you can take any appropriate action if needed. So today, see if you can take things a little less personally, so you can live with a little more ease, awareness and compassion. So let's settle in now for today's meditation. And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Nothing Is Personal

Personalized support for learning how to integrate mindfulness into your life. Delivered fresh everyday by our world renowned experts. Choose meditation duration:

Duration

Your default time is based on your progress and is changed automatically as you practice.

Hi, and welcome to your Daily Mindfulness. Today I want to talk about taking things personally. So I want you to imagine for a second that you're having a relaxing picnic with a friend on a warm spring day and you go for a swim. And then when you come back to the picnic, you suddenly see that the whole picnic spread is all over the grass. The wine is spilled.

The food is all over the place. And as you run back towards the picnic area to see what happened, what do you see? Some people had snuck up to the picnic, flipped over the picnic blanket, thrown everything around as a practical joke on you. And now they're laughing at you from behind some trees. How do you feel? Okay. So now imagine go back to the start, the exact same situation again.

You're at the picnic. It's a lovely day. You go to have a swim. You come back and again, you see the food and wine spilled all over the place. And what do you realize? A strong wind had blown all the blankets everywhere and thrown all of the picnic all over the place.

This time, how do you feel? So the end result is the same in both cases. Wine is spilled, food's all over the place, picnic is ruined. But when you feel personally targeted, it's a lot more aggravating and upsetting, right? If you think about it though, in both cases, it's not personal, in the sense that whatever's going on inside the people who ruined the picnic has been set in motion by a stream of thousands of causes and effects that preceded this event. The upbringing of those people, the stresses in their lives, their health or lack thereof, the movies and marketing they've seen, and so many more tiny little causes and effects that linked in a big chain to that moment of choice to throw the picnic blanket. In a way it's not any more personal than all of the causes and effects that would set that breeze in motion that day, that also leads to the same outcome.

So we tend to do take a lot of other people's behavior quite personally, right? Whether it's someone who pulls out in front of us in traffic, a rude comment by a shop clerk, a friend who doesn't turn up to dinner on time or a partner who doesn't take out the garbage. And when we do that, we often feel really aggravated, hurt and angry when we take things personally. But instead of taking things personally, we can consider what may have been the causes that led to this person's behavior. Perhaps they have stress, pain, or worries in their life. Maybe they're having a bad day, maybe their particular upbringing or personality or past experiences mean they see the world really differently to you.

Maybe you haven't communicated to them clearly, or there's been some kind of misunderstanding. So in other words, just recognizing that other people's actions have been set in motion by a constellation of causes, much of which is actually beyond even their conscious control. And it really truly is not personal. It's not about you. So when you do this, you put the situation in context.

You become less reactive, more clear headed, so you can take any appropriate action if needed. So today, see if you can take things a little less personally, so you can live with a little more ease, awareness and compassion. So let's settle in now for today's meditation. And as always, thank you for your practice and your presence here with us.

Melli O'Brien

4.8

Duration

Play in-app

Scan the following QR code with your camera app to open it on our mobile app

Recommended for you

Get Unlimited Access

Start your mindfulness journey today.

A Mindfulness Plus+ subscription gives you unlimited access to a world of premium mindfulness content.

  • Over 1,800 meditations, sleep, calm music, naturescapes and more
  • Daily mindfulness video meditations 365 days a year
  • 100s of courses and tools to help manage anxiety, sleep and stress

Join our free newsletter

Discover exclusive events, first access to new features, community stories, and a monthly curation of our best mindfulness insights.

By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Email Missing

We couldn’t detect your email with the SSO provider you have selected.
or

Mindfulness Guarantee

We are here to make a positive impact on the world. We never want to sell you something that hasn’t helped you live a better life. That’s why if you’re unhappy with any purchase from us, you have 30 days to get a full refund and your money back.

If you subscribed to Mindfulness Plus+ and are unhappy with your purchase, please get in contact with us within the 30-day period and we’ll refund your purchase.


Learn more about our Mindfulness Guarantee.

Mindfulness

Bring balance into your everyday life.

We believe in a world where everybody has access to the life-changing skills of mindfulness.

  • 2,000+ Guided Meditations
  • Daily Coaching
  • Sleep Content
  • Mindful Exercises
  • Mindful Radio
  • 10+ Courses from world-class teachers

Private Browsing

Added to your cart!

Checkout

Thank you for joining us

Congratulations on your subscription! Dive into the full library and enjoy all it has to offer.

Claim your free access

Create a mindfulness account and we’ll unlock this premium session in your account forever.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Start a free trial to play this session

7-Days free trial, cancel anytime.

Finish personalizing your account

Complete a few quick questions to make your own personalized mindfulness plan.

Sign up or login to your mindfulness account to proceed.

or continue with
By continuing, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy.

Do you already have an account?

Mindfulness

One membership to gain access to a world of premium mindfulness content created to help you live happier and stress less.

  • 2000+ Guided Meditations
  • Courses from world-class teachers
  • Resources for Stress + Anxiety
  • Breathing exercises, gratitude practices, relaxation techniques
  • Sleep meditations, playlists, stories
  • Mindful talks, podcasts, music, nature sounds