Are you Taking Things Personally and it Hurts ? so Don’t

It would be nice if we could not take things personally so we could stop worrying, be less stressed and not dependent on perceived approval or rejection. In fact most of the time our feelings and bad stories we tell ourselves are often not true.

Let me start first by telling a recent story:

A friend of mind did not respond to my email , after one week I thought she was angry at me because the tone of my email was a bit sarcastic. After another week I tried to contact her again and send another email, no response. I started worrying that I will loose that friend because I thought she was really upset! Later my friend finally responded and told me she had to go to hospital for emergency and her recovery was a long painful process. Nothing to do with ME (as it is often the case).
Once you have checked that your message is delivered and there is no answer, move on , people are busy, receive too much information, have other priorities or very good reasons that have nothing to do with you personally.
If you are living and working abroad, it might even be more complicated as you have cultures that use direct communication like the U.S. or indirect communication like in France or Japan.
If you deal with people who are not native English speakers do not assume they understand your English and your accent. Some people might tell you that they did not understand but most people are ashamed of their lack of English fluency and won’t ask clarification, especially in Asia. To avoid complete misunderstanding, check with your local partners if the way you communicate with people is culturally correct : words, sentences, tone etc.
Then apply same as above: if there is no reaction from your colleagues or clients, move on once you checked your message has been delivered AND understood.

About Anne Egros, Executive, Career and Expat Life Coach

Zest and Zen is a blog about Expat Life Challenges, Global Leadership, Intercultural Communication, Health and Wellness, Nutrition, Change Psychology, Life Transitions
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