I had always assumed as you grow up that people stop acting as if they are in high school; that people mature and stop being mean. I’m disappointed that this is not the case but I have finally realised how to stop stressing about people being nasty.
Having depression and anxiety gives me low self-confidence, which is something that I’m working on, which is probably why I get so hurt. These mental illnesses distort the way that you think and fills your mind with negative thoughts about yourself – so to see these thoughts cemented in reality, by people insulting you, excluding you or being rude to you, can really sting. I could think about an insult for up to a week, leaving me unable to concentrate as I’m over thinking and analysing what they said. This is why it’s essential to block it out of your mind, which is harder said than done, so here is some tips.
Confide in your friends
If someone upsets me, I will immediately share what happened with a friend. This is a good thing to do for quite a few reasons, firstly your friend will reassure you that the person was out of order. Your friend will also help you to see if you are overreacting, if it was unintentional or if it did come from a bad place, then your friend should share your upset feelings. In addition, if you tell someone what’s happening they are very likely to have either picked up on it or have been experiencing the same thing and will be more than happy to talk the situation through.
Look at how they act towards other people
It’s easy to just focus on what you are personally experiencing, but if someone is being cruel to you the chances are that they are acting the exact same way to others! This somehow makes me feel a lot better – maybe it’s because I recognise that I’m not being targeted for a reason and it isn’t my fault? Even if the person is “nice” to everyone else, just remember that everyone can still see their actions, comments and eye rolls. People will notice how unfair the person is being to you and it will reflect badly on them – not on you.
Let it go
It is understandable to be annoyed if someone is mean to you – even if you expect it from them. The best thing to do is to accept that is who they are as a person and there is nothing you can do to change that. If you have tried to let them know how their actions make you feel before and they continue to do so, then the only solution is to let it go. Some people are not receptive to criticism and some people enjoy putting others down, this is impossible to change, so with no action to take you just have to acknowledge your feelings and move on.
You may not be able to avoid this person, if it’s someone you work with for example, but you can limit your interactions with them to avoid the digs. Keep your conversations light and casual to steer away from any conversation that might be personal to you (and therefore cause you more upset). However, never leave somewhere or don’t go where you might bump into them because they will see that they have succeeded in bullying you – just don’t force yourself to spend time with them. Not everybody has to get along with everyone and once you except that then you will feel a lot lighter.
Consider why they are acting like this
Bullying comes from a place of hurt; these people want you to feel as bad as they do inside. Putting yourself in their shoes can really help you to make peace with them as you realise that this is not a personal attack, that it’s a toxic coping mechanism. They may have been brought up to be negative or have had a lot of negative things happen to them to make them the way they are, this puts me at ease.
I hope this has provided some ways to deal with toxic people. Some people may be able to shrug off an insult, but I’m hypersensitive and this can leave me really upset or even drag me into a depressive state. Acknowledging my feelings, sharing them and then trying to let go of my hurt has been an amazing change from spending days overthinking. And after you are finished processing your emotions, be proud in your kindness and compassion for other people. If you always strive to be there for others and to help them to the best of your ability then you are winning at life. Always believe in the kindness of strangers.
A PROBLEM SHARED IS A PROBLEM HALVED