Don't take it personally when:
1. Someone criticizes you. They are viewing you and your situation from their point of view, from their life experience and reality. Step back and digest what they say. Does it hold any truth or value for you? If not, don't obsess over it. Simply let it go. It is their perspective of things not yours.
2. Someone gives you advice. The advice will stem from the person's own realm of possibilities and belief in him or herself. One person might say "Go after that job!", while the next person might say, "Stay where you are!". So ultimately, believe in yourself and follow the path that gives you the most peace or joy.
3. "Bad" things are happening to you. Life is about challenges and no one is immune to that. There are some things that we can control and other things that are out of our control. We can take things personally and play the victim or we can choose to look at the challenge as an opportunity to discover our strengths. Instead of saying, "Why is this happening to me?" consider, "What has this come to teach me?".
4. Negative thoughts surface. Question the negative thoughts. Are they based on fact, reality or truth? Don't take them to heart but simply deal with what is happening in the NOW and work from there.
5. Someone hurts you physically or emotionally. People that fail or refuse to recognize the pain, fear and hurt in themselves will react to life by hurting others. Holding on to anger or bitterness towards the assailant only serves to further create pain, suffering and a sense of powerlessness within yourself. Being able to forgive and let go restores personal freedom and makes room for happiness again. Forgiving does not mean forgetting or submitting but rather releasing the grips of the emotional pain. You have a right to feel your feelings, to set boundaries, to never forget and to withdraw trust but don't shutdown your heart.
So the next time someone cuts you off in traffic or butts in front of you at the grocery store, breath. Tell yourself that you are not so important that the accused focused in on you and deliberately wanted to mess up your day. Maybe just maybe, they are sadly, wrapped up in their own illusionary world of chaos and oblivious to the affect they have on others around them. Don't take it personally and raise your blood pressure by feeding into someone else's drama. Taking things personally, robs you of the greatest gift you can give yourself and reflect back to others, a state of inner peace.