I excitedly told a friend about the great deal I got on a pair of shoes and three dresses at a consignment shop. A moment later she said, "Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to buy anything right now." For a split second, I interpreted her comment as judgmental and felt defensive, and then I immediately recognized it, stopped myself and talked myself down. My inner dialogue went like this:
"She's not saying I shouldn't have spent the money."
"She's not saying I'm not worth it."
"She's not saying she's jealous of me."
"She's not saying anything about me whatsoever."
"She's talking about her own situation."
"This isn't about me at all."
By becoming more mindful of my thoughts and actions, I am better equipped than I used to be at stopping the downward spiral of over-analyzing conversations and automatically feeling guilty. It feels good.
If, like me, you tend to take things personally sometimes, stop yourself.