I wish I’d known this great tip when I was much younger. It would have saved much heartache and headache.

For years, I would get obsessed when things went wrong and fret over “What did I do wrong?” I would ruminate and ruminate… sometimes I would uncover something I did or said and sometimes not. A fair amount of the time, I couldn’t discover what, if anything, I’d done to cause a difficult response, conflict or an unexpected response. Yet, why did I always feel I was walking and talking on “eggshells” and the follow-up internal dialogue always evoked a “WTF, now I have to make it right, perfect, better, fair…” even when I knew I’d done nothing wrong.

It was exhausting.  Maybe you can relate? inally I realized often times the response had nothing to do with me or what I’d done (or

Finally, I realized, often times the response had nothing to do with me or what I’d done (or not done.) what is my number one rule for dealing with difficult people?


Now, maybe “WTF! That’s it!!” just ran through your head. Well, it’s a huge part of it….

Simple, I know, but not often easy.

My dear friend and longtime mentor Michael Grinder, shares this anchor* to remember to not take things personally… Carry a Q-TIP (yes, the cotton swab) in your pocket as a physical and visual reminder to QUIT TAKING IT PERSONALLY!  (QTIP) Tah-dah! 

*An anchor is a catalyst used to ‘trigger’ a consistent memory response. We learn by making links and associations and an anchor is anything that gives you the desired response, it can be physical like the QTIP, or a pinch of your finger, a sound, an image, a touch, smell, a taste etc.

When something is anchored, we react, or not, without thinking. Try it, let me know how it works for you in the comments below. What other ways have you found to not take things personally?

Have a great day whatever your adventures,

To Success! To Life!