“What other people think of me is none of my business. One of the highest places you can get to is being independent of the good opinions of other people.” — Dr. Wayne Dyer
One thing we can’t escape in our daily lives is the fact that we have to deal with people.
Well, I say “have to” since it can feel like a burden. Perhaps we could put a positive spin on it and say “get to”?
Whether it’s an overly talkative person on the train, an envious colleague, or that mean bitch at school.
These are the things we try to manage and navigate each day. We ask ourselves: “Why do people act like that?”
Before that, you may want to ask yourself whether or not it’s worth your time to figure out the reason why they’re acting in this way.
They might be doing it on purpose in the hopes that they can make you feel insecure about yourself, perhaps they might have an inflated sense of entitlement, it could be that you remind them of someone they’ve had a bad experience with. Perhaps it’s just something about you they find repugnant.
There could be countless reasons why they’re acting the way are. While it’s more productive to help them work through it, it’s their job not yours.
The easiest and least productive way is to pay it back in kind. Being mean, sarcastic, or in some other way trying to hurt them.
However, all you’re doing then is perpetuating the behavior. Not only in the other person but also in yourself.
You can ignore it, and by that I mean you don’t have to act on the emotions it triggers, just let them flow through you. Focus on your gratitude for all the good stuff in your life.
Honestly, in the grand scheme of things, how do their feelings (or lack thereof) about you impact your sense of self worth?
Sure, we all would prefer to be liked by everyone but let’s look at this:
What are the odds that there won’t be someone out there who doesn’t like you for one reason or another?
But let’s say you want to attempt resolve this thing.
Go up to the person and call them out on it. You could say very matter-of-factly:
“Hey, I’ve noticed you’ve done this, this, and this. I don’t know if you’re doing it on purpose or if you simply weren’t aware of it. If you were aware, what do you want to get out of it? And how can we resolve this?”
There’s no need to escalate the situation by using nasty remarks, irony, or master suppression techniques.
Make sure to focus on their actions, not who they are as people. It’s far easier for someone to change a behavior than it is to change themselves.
Now, this doesn’t guarantee that they’ll want to resolve it. But you’ll at least have made an attempt.
If the behavior continues you could take it up with a higher authority when appropriate. If it only bothers you slightly or it’s something you want to work on in depth, seek a professional to get some specific tools to handle the situation.
You can also learn to accept it for what it is: People being people.
Or, you know, you could beat the shit out of them and take the consequences for that?
The point is that you have options other than letting this bounce around in your head.
If you’re facing criticism listen to it only if it’s constructive, if it’s not then discard it.
You’ve probably got things you want to accomplish in life. Resolve the things as best you can and learn to accept that some people are gonna be straight up dicks about it.
There’ll always be critics.
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