I’m a little strange. I talk a little loud. I am pretty open about my struggles and things I find fascinating. I can be naive. I believe in people way too easily. I am also an easy scapegoat. I get made fun of. I get walked over. I can feel other’s negative energy.
People may not realize I am smarter than I look. I can tell the difference between friendly teasing and making fun of to belittle. I know when you are walking over me. I’m used to this. Through the years, I have developed a type of code that I do when people like this enter into my life. Sometimes, I’m great at following it, other times – not so much. It’s a process- ya know?
1. Understand that it is a reflection of them, not you.
I have heard this a million times before, but it’s so hard for it to sink in. I tend to blame myself for everything or when people act negatively to me. I take a hard look at myself and look for the thing I did wrong. Anxiety and depression do that to me. I always feel like I’m at fault for everything. It’s hard to take a step back and realize you are not in charge of other’s people’s reactions. Sometimes people are just mean, and it has nothing to do with you. Taking a step back from the situation and understanding that this isn’t on you can be important to understand the situation. They might be dealing with their insecurities and are taking it out on you. Maybe you have something that they want, so they feel the need to act rudely. Maybe it’s their defense mechanism. You may have no idea what they are struggling with, but it is not a reflection on you. Only they can control their actions and feel the need to put you down.
2. If you don’t HAVE to have them in your life, then don’t.
Sometimes people are in your life, and they are kind of “stuck” there for whatever reason. Maybe they’re a friend of a friend. Maybe it’s a co-worker or a classmate. Other times, you just don’t have to keep them around. Maybe it’s a person you considered a friend or whoever. If you have the choice not to spend time with them, then don’t. Remove toxicity and negativity from your life. Again, this is easier said than done. Sometimes you feel like you need to be around them even when you don’t want to. That’s okay. Just make sure to put yourself first. Take care of your well-being.
3. If you do have to have them in your life – don’t let them influence your current relationships.
It is easy for me to let outsiders affect my current relationships (significant others, friendships, family, etc.). I used to let them in a lot (maybe I still do on occasion- I’m human). When I let them in, the negativity becomes a part of my current relationships. It’s not good, which I know, is obvious. When you let their negativity or “put downs” influence your relationships, they win. Again, this is hard. I have such a tough time with this one. Someone says or does something, and it eats at my soul, and I have a hard time letting it go. Take the time to breathe before interacting with someone you care about.
4. Do your best not let them pick you apart – Practice Self-Love
When people say rude or mean things, it is easy to take it to heart. I once was excited about something and was telling people about it. A person took my excitement and made fun of it. Made fun of how I was excited and what I was excited about. It made me feel stupid. I was upset at myself for being excited about something. I never told that story again to anyone after that. How sad is that? I don’t want to feel that way. I have a right to be excited. I let that person destroy a small piece of me because of their comments. I try to remember that I’m pretty great. I have friends and family who love me and care about me. Even more, than that, I like myself- wait I LOVE myself. Okay – full disclosure- I have a hard time liking/loving myself sometimes – so getting made fun of in a way that is mean sucks. During these moments is when I turn to love ones, or I look at myself to see why I am awesome and to keep being me.
5. Be You
I’m a nice person. I don’t like being mean to people. I don’t like making fun of people to make them feel bad about themselves. I like lifting people up. I like making people feel included and having them being comfortable being themselves. I won’t let negative people change that. Sometimes, if there is a negative person in my life I’m going to keep sharing with them and being nice to them even though it’s hard. It’s not going to make myself feel better but being mean back to them. That’s me, though.
If you feel better by ignoring them- then ignore them. If you feel better by defending yourself to them – then do that. Just keep doing you to them. So I’m going to keep being nice to them.
I understand that a lot of these are easier said than done. The main thing is to take care of yourself first. Talk with others and keep being you.