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Don't Take it Personal


"Personal - of or concerning one's private life, relationships, and emotions rather than matters connected with one's public or professional career" - Definition by Google.

Do you ever catch yourself feeling offended by the smallest comments or misinterpreting what someone meant to say? Why do we live in a culture that is always looking for the degrading part of a statement, or trying to make the statement relate to them personally. The way google defines personal there is no way a fellow classmate, co-worker, or anyone outside of your personal life can possibly make you feel less than without your consent. Why? Because they don't know enough about you to judge you or determine what your character is by the limited daily interactions that you all may have. Now granted, every human being is wired to pass judgment when identifying other human beings in passing. If you "people watch" you're constantly making assumptions about what someone's life seems to portray by their clothing, skin color, mannerism, and other physical characteristics.

If you don't know by now let me be the first to share, you cannot judge a book by its cover. Nor can you determine you have a person all "figured out" by having minimal interactions with them. When people in your professional life critique your work... they are critiquing just that.. YOUR WORK. This is not attributed to your character, your personality, your likability or anything in between. We live in a time where honesty is swapped for likes. A time where being nice is preferred over being authentic. People take it personal when you are not a fan of something they have produced. If you didn't grow up in the arts (performing arts that is) you have a tough time taking constructive criticism. Get out of the habit of thinking everyone is talking about you. Don't take things personal by people who don't know you personally. 9 times out of 10 you're reading too deep into it and as my students love to say "it aint even that deep".

Dear Students,

Learn to take opinions of this world without necessarily receiving them. Learn to take in what can feed your soul and do away with negative connotations, approaches, and languages. Remember: everyone is not out to make you feel bad, they may just differ in opinion. Learn to be ok with that by saying... "Hey we can agree to disagree" or "I respect your opinion but Im going to have to disagree" direct and to the point. If you're dealing with someone mature they will honor your ability to communicate effectively. If not, just move on because they are probably not worth your time and energy anyway. The most important aspect to remember is do not take the criticisms of the world personally. They don't know you, have any idea who you are as a human being and can only judge by what you portray. Judgment is not fair by any means but it happens. I want you to be equipped with the tools to get through those moments that may seem to question an individuals integrity. No matter what, remember to keep going, keep learning, and keep growing.

-Dean Felder

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