When people try to pull you down

This week, I have had to mentally wrestle with a couple of issues for myself and for my children, and the connection between them all suddenly became very clear.

Happiness, joy or peace is something you can choose, and you should never let anybody steal that from you.

Nobody knows better than me that life can really be difficult. To put it more harshly, it can suck. It can also suck every shred of happiness, joy, peace, satisfaction or contentment right out of your heart and soul.

This week, somebody I thought was my friend actually mocked From In Here, and did it in a very hateful and demeaning way. Not cool. I’m not brokering world peace, curing cancer or saving the environment. I know that. But I’m putting all that I am into bring people together, offering moments of understanding and support, sharing the things that help me survive, sharing the things that are dear to my heart. I connect with people and I know that because of all the feedback I get from many readers. Yet still the mean words of ‘friend’ can make me question everything, and upset me very much.

Somebody else derided one of my kids for eating an unhealthy snack actually given to her by the person who then was mean. That instance of meanness was presented as good-natured teasing but it’s so very clearly wasn’t that at all.

Another of my kids had something planned that she was very much looking forward to for a very long time. Then somebody she is very close to thoughtlessly and rather cavalierly blew the plan to smithereens.

Three different people. Three different extremely upsetting circumstances. And after torturing my brain about this, I’d like to share 3 bullet points about it all:

  • Don’t let another person’s lack of understanding, jealousy, anger or anything else make you feel bad

I think we’re all still pretty young when we learn that there are some people who will get mad or annoyed at you for no reason that has really has anything to do with you. Some people will be outright nasty to you. Some, like my ‘friend’, will take a more passive-aggressive approach. No matter how they come at you, it’s easy to but other people make you feel better about yourself and your goals, and prevent you from feeling positive and productive.

Some people need somebody to take out their own anger and frustrations on.  There are times you just need to have a tough shell and deal with it because it’s work related or something. If it’s friends or family, though, these people are in your life because you allow them to be.  They don’t have the right to make you feel bad. They don’t have to agree with you about everything, and they don’t have to be cheerleaders for you all the time.

They do, however, owe you respect.  If they aren’t going to give you that much, then you have every right to limit their access to you. I know that with family, especially, that can be really difficult. You have to value yourself over them, and not let people like that tear you down or disparage what matters to you.

  • Remind yourself of your value

There are some people who will use negative words to demean you, belittle you, put you down, insult you, and generally say things to make you feel less about yourself.  You can choose to ignore the comments and not give them any attention. It can be very difficult to do that, especially if your temper understandably flares and you really want to give back a few choice words.

Remember you know who you are, and the value of you.  If you’re being given constructive criticism with the intent of benefiting you, you’re probably going to realize it immediately.  And if someone is pretending to be nice while being snarky, you’ll know that too.  You don’t deserve that. You have every right to say something about it, but then move past it. Don’t let anyone bring you down – don’t give someone the power to do that.

•   Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying life on your own terms

If someone is dissatisfied with their own life, they will often give off those vibes and throw them on to other people. I think it’s important to be empathetic to others, but you shouldn’t let it stop you from being happy or enjoying life. If somebody puts up roadblocks to your happiness, you have to find a way to get around it. Ultimately, everyone has to make the decision, the choice, to be happy.

I hope I’m expressing this clearly enough

Please understand that I am not saying that you can decide to be happy and magically everything will be great. I am a perfect example of how that isn’t true – I was always a positive and optimistic person. When that optimism would sometimes irritate my husband, he would grumble that I had my “head in the clouds.”

Despite my positive attitude, here I am – a widow who lost the love of my life because of somebody else’s crime, and also seriously disabled by an incurable, ‘rare’ disease that has stolen away almost everything I ever enjoyed in life. I am living proof that having a positive attitude does not mean your dreams will all come true. The nightmare still find a way in.

And STILL, I also have to deal with snarky people who put down my goals.  You probably have to deal with that too.

Live your life. Find what makes your heart happy. Seek that which gives you peace. At the end of the day, you need to listen to your own voice. If your own voice is being unkind to you, don’t hesitate to reach out and get help adjusting it. I am here for you. My website will soon have supportive message boards to help. Perhaps a religious leader or community leader can be there for you. There are all kinds of wonderful health specialists who can be a resource.

You’re too important to let anyone convince you that you’re not.

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