Someone said to me recently, “It’s not personal.” This was in response to what appeared to be a deliberate action against me. And the person’s comment has not changed my mind.
I thought about the 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail”, in which Tom Hanks tells Meg Ryan the same thing. “It’s not personal,” he says. She replies, “What is that supposed to mean? I am so sick of that. All that means is that it wasn’t personal to you. But it was personal to me.”
I have to agree with Meg and say that I am so sick of that.
In my particular situation, I attempted to draw out a reason for the action. It was a minor thing really, and in and of itself there was very little significance – aside from the fact that it seems I was the only one on the hit list. I asked if I done something to offend? The response offered no apology, and no explanation other than “it’s not personal”. Well, it became personal when I was told it wasn’t personal.
Comments like “it’s not personal” have become a fix-it phrase for people who have forgotten how to be real. Instead of stepping up to the challenge of resolving a conflict, they use empty words to sweep it all under the carpet. Like nothing ever happened. Fake smiles follow as they maintain a pretense of relationship.
I don’t have the emotional energy for games like this. I would rather spend my time with people who are real with me – who answer me honestly when I ask them a question, and who are willing to put the effort into building a relationship. You can’t do that with plastic people because all you ever get is the glossy exterior.