People will do what they want and say what they want — you can`t control that. But you can control how you react. According to Ruiz, even if someone says something hurtful like “you`re fat” or “you can`t do anything right,” it still has nothing to do with you. It is a reflection of their own worldview and uncertainty. On the other hand, when someone says “you are wonderful and amazing,” it`s not about you either. You`re wonderful, you should come from within, not from what anyone else says. It`s the embodiment of not customizing. Again, it`s never about you. Ruiz continues: “Whatever people do, feel, think or say, don`t take it personally… By taking things in person, you prepare not to suffer. And who wants to suffer for nothing? Fuck off. These first two agreements free you from many bad arrangements that have disrupted your life. Finally, carefree words, combined with very ardent people, will inevitably bring drama. And it is not only the opinions and judgments of others that are harmful; You shouldn`t even take your own opinion on yourself! But if you don`t take it personally, you are immune in the middle of hell.
Immunity in the midst of hell is the gift of this agreement. I used to personalize all the time. If someone asks for my advice and doesn`t accept it, I`ll get mad. At the time, I didn`t understand how someone in pain could continue to do what was detrimental to their emotional health. That`s because I didn`t see myself very well either. I couldn`t see how giving advice kept me away from others and emotionally away. On the whole, it was a pretty painful way of life — to expect others to do what I said and to be pissed when they do the opposite. I thought it was a reflection of me, but it was really in their place.
First, write this down and paste it somewhere you see it every day: don`t take anything in person. So be careful when you take things in person. How do you know that happens when most of them are unconsciously? They`re triggered. You`re going to feel that inner thorn or run away and hide. Beware of shame, embarrassment or anger – these are good indications. They are not specific to customization, but are often related. It can be an email you receive, or a comment that someone makes you feel, ignored, misunderstood, not accepted, etc.