One of the best bits of advice I ever got, was to read the book, The Four Agreements, by Don Miguel Ruiz. I read it for the first time about 15 years ago. It completely changed my experience of interactions with others. When someone is talking to me and I feel myself getting heated, defensive or upset, I remember “Don’t take things personally.” All of us go through life projecting our own situations, histories and insecurities onto others. It’s easy to get caught up in it. That book taught me the art of taking a step back, to avoid reacting to the bull shit. It doesn’t mean you disregard other people’s thoughts and feelings. It just means you try to look at it from a different perspective. This view point feels more peaceful, kind and all around better to me. Here’s something to try next time you are having a chat with someone and you feel yourself getting worked up. Say in your mind several times,” Don’t take it personally.” Let me know if it helped!