Have you ever noticed how the same themes keep popping up in our lives over and over and over? It’s like a lesson we’re meant to learn, and it’s going to keep on coming right at us until we learn it.
As frustrating as it can be sometimes, I adore the way life works like that.
What I don’t adore are mean people. But who does, right?
I seem to have had my share of them lately, and I’m guessing there’s something I’m supposed to learn from this.
Interestingly, all of them have been men. Coincidence? Maybe.
But I have a feeling it has more to do with the fact that, as women, we have an unspoken love and respect for one another. Even women who are apparent rivals typically have a deep respect for each other.
Women would much rather build each other up than tear each other down.
Typically I try to just let things like this go, but I know we all deal with mean people sometimes, so I wanted to share this with you in case it might help you at some point.
The “man” who got under my skin this week is one who occasionally comments on my posts on my Instagram running account @jenlarun. He likes to say things like “With all due respect, ma’am, don’t you think 10:00 per mile is a little slow?” and “10:00 pace isn’t even real running.” Another of my favorites is “Your pace is pathetic.” He has a large number of equally brilliant statements in his arsenal.
I’m a mid-pack runner, and I share my paces to help dispel the myth that you have to be fast to be a “real” runner.
The truth is, to be a runner, you just have to believe you’re a runner!
It doesn’t matter how fast you go, so long as you go!
Yes, I did finally block this “man” yesterday after another equally idiotic comment, but of course it got me thinking…
Why do the opinions of others rattle us so much?
It might be online or face to face, but I know I’m not the only one who feels shaky and nauseous for hours after a mean encounter.
Truthfully, that “man’s” opinion has absolutely ZERO bearing on my life, my decisions or my dreams. If anything, nasty comments and unfounded criticism only add fuel to my fire.
So how do we stop allowing them to affect us so much?
Here’s what I think, and this is something I’ve always told my kids when someone at school is mean –
Happy people aren’t mean. It’s that simple.
Truly happy people are incapable of deliberately being mean.
Sure, we all inadvertently hurt people sometimes, and as rough as it is, it’s usually accidental.
But to PURPOSELY set out with the intention of causing someone pain? That takes a very sad soul.
And so, instead of letting these people bring us down to their level, I’ve found a couple steps that help -
Do not engage. Don’t respond. Period.
Delete and forgive. I credit Gabrielle Bernstein with this one. It’s brilliant.
If the comment is on one of your posts, you have EVERY RIGHT to delete the comment. It’s YOUR account.
If it’s a face to face comment, we can do our best to simply let it go. I like to picture negativity as a balloon and watch it float into the sky and disappear.
Because here’s the deal - whether online or in real life, it’s OUR energy field, OUR reality, and WE get to choose who and what we allow in it. And who and what we don’t.
The “forgive” part can be a little trickier. But realizing that happy people aren’t mean helps us to pity the person who’s trying to upset us. And pitying them allows us to realize that their opinion truly doesn’t matter.
It’s OUR dream. And as such, OURS is the only opinion that truly matters.
We can’t please everyone, so honestly I see no point in trying. As I said in last week's post, “The people who mind don’t matter, and the people who matter don’t mind.”
So let’s keep surrounding ourselves with positive people. Let’s keep building each other up.
Let’s spread so much freaking love that the haters fade away.
Because who’s got time for haters? We’ve got dreams to conquer!
Let’s get after it!