Updated: Feb 9, 2020
Giving someone else the power to shift your mood, will never lead to happiness.
This has been my mantra the last few days as there has been some extremely hurtful words come at me from my past toxic relationships. Pair that with keyboard warriors that perpetually victimize themselves and I need a wall of post it note mantras in my house to keep myself in check.
When someone exhibits destructive, derogatory or otherwise uncaring behavior — they are usually acting out from something going on with them, and has absolutely nothing to do with you.
They may say it is about you — “Oh, you offend me!” but the reality is that people who manifest these negative behaviors are showing an outward display of internal pain. Mental pain is a bitch to spot. We aren’t always consciously aware of internal conflict (cognitive dissonance).
Unfortunately the pain gets inflicted outside of them as they lash out.
It’s hard when someone is yelling at you, calling you names, trying to undermine your intelligence, being unnecessarily nasty, or otherwise derogatory towards you — to remember “That other person is in pain.”
When you don’t remember this, you are giving your power away, babes.
Their pain actually becomes your pain.
You think about how you will deal with them the next time they attempt to throw words at you.
You fantasize about saying the perfect thing to knock them off their game.
Some of you may even contemplate buying a voodoo doll.
Our minds and our attention are drawn to the person’s negative behavior — we keep our minds hyper focused on what they have done and words they have vomited at us or about us.
The problem with this is that the other person doesn’t change. They simply don’t give a fuck. Humans that care about fellow humans and have empathy don’t display this behavior.
Your rumination is not going to change the trajectory of their narcissism.
Your attempts to say “just the right thing” won’t shift their unhappiness with themselves nor their perspective on life.
So the cycle continues.
They attack you and verbally abuse you — you get upset and feel hurt — and nothing changes.
Next time you encounter someone’s hurtful behavior, consider taking your power back.
Realize that you can own the way you show up in the world and how you respond. You can actually shift the dynamic and lessen the sting inflicted by the negative person via your choices.
Here’s a list I have in one of my journals that helps me deal with humans that are hurtful:
Seek to understand. “Is there something else at work here?” You typically react to the bad behavior — instead, check yourself, simply pause to ask what’s underneath their bad behavior. Some negative actions require compassion, which are hard as fuck to give out when people are intentionally attempting to hurt you.
Do an objective analysis. Instead of ruminating and reacting, take a moment to analyze the situation with facts and data: “My ex is a hurtful person. He likes saying things to hurt me and often yells at me and calls me names.” Forget the inner dialog here about what an ass he is. Become clinical and objective here. Really the only logical solution is to cut contact with him. Ruminating over this does nothing to solve the issue at hand.
Identify impact. That keyboard warrior is indeed a nasty person — but does it really impact your life? Is your neighbor always pointing out how horrible your lawn looks but then the day goes on without it impacting anything else? There are some things that just don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. If someone is negative toward you, just let it go. It only changes your life if you let it. Let them fight their own demons — and pursue your own goals.
Give up the need to win. We are competitive by nature. I know this. You know this. This is especially evident when you know you’re ‘right’.
Fighting to win doesn’t actually benefit anyone. They aren’t going to ‘see’ anything. No matter how ‘right’ you are. It just leaves bad feelings in its wake. If you want to win at something, start playing a sport that doesn’t involve peoples beliefs.
Have a mantra or a calming practice you employ. Your family is telling you everything you’ve done wrong with your life — your ex is attempting his last efforts to destroy you — your former boss is telling you how wonderful the office is since you left,… Choose to chill. Choose to breathe. Go inside your mind and repeat your favorite mantras. You are a worthwhile human no matter what people say. Negative behavior feels like it comes at you. It feels like it is challenging you as a worthy human. But shifting it is as easy as deciding to take your own power back and not letting them shift your mood.
Comments and questions over on Facebook.