Why Nothing Personal Means It Is Extremely Personal

Why it feels even more personal when someone says nothing personal

Janice Tovey


Photo by Spencer Backman on Unsplash

Do you cringe when you hear the words “nothing personal.” In all honesty, I have come to believe that the phrase, it’s nothing personal” is nothing more than an excuse for insensitive, unethical, selfish and often just “bad” behavior.

If you were to adhere to psychological advice for dealing with “it’s nothing personal,” you would:

  • stop and take a couple breaths
  • remember feelings and thoughts don’t define who you are
  • picture yourself as a bright blue tranquil sky

I disagree with the professionals on this one.

There are those that believe that you can do whatever you want in “business” because in business nothing ever is personal. It is just business. Again, in my books, an excuse for unethical, insensitive and self-serving behavior.

I believe the “it’s nothing personal” line is nothing more than an excuse for selfishness and extreme disregard for another person’s feelings and well being.

Yes it is good to restore a level head, take a few breaths, and calm yourself. But, you know in your heart you have either been insulted or taken advantage of. Your feelings have been totally dismissed.

What else can you do? I personally like to imagine all kinds of revenge tactics but apparently this isn’t healthy.

I know that most things in screwing someone over and robbing them of their humanity are just business. It’s just what people do. It’s not personal in the slightest.

Ryan Fan

We are completely disregarding someone else’s reality when we utter the words “don’t take it personally.” Whether for personal gain, or to justify poor behavior, we use this phrase is a way to ease our guilty conscience and attain personal advantage.

We all know how it feels to hear these words. Do they promote trust and healthy relationships? Do you feel comfortable around a person who says this to you.

Photo by Arek Adeoye on Unsplash

I guess my revenge tactics would boil down to one thing. Protection. I would raise my guard around a person who said “don’t take it personally.” Because, I know intuitively, that as soon as a person says “don’t take it personally,” it is indeed very personal. They are covering their tracks.

So yes, take a few breaths, picture a clear blue sky if you want, and remember who you are indeed.

Then, walk away.

“Nothing personal eh.”

Good bye!



Janice Tovey

My passion is writing. I also love reading, teaching, animals, nature, music, and humor. I am curious about everything and enjoy writing about all things.