Before I write this post, I want to share that I’m sat in a quirky little cafe, iced latte in hand, Bon Iver on repeat and blogging buzz on full form. Somebody has just asked me what I do for a living, I told them I’m a blogger and their reply was something along the lines of, ‘is that a real job?’. It almost upset me. That was of course, until I was fuelled by anger and thought it was about time to write a post on why, as humans, we care about what other people think. So, why do we care what other people think? Why do we allow people’s opinions and views to dictate our happiness and view of ourselves? The person that just asked me whether my job is in fact, a real job, was a complete stranger, so why am I sat here centring my entire blog post around his comment? It takes far more energy to let something go than to let it fester and affect your mood so, why can’t I let it go? The truth is, I’m human, and unfortunately, our more emotional part of our brain allows us to react in a way that we wouldn’t necessarily want to.
I remember at school and college I would wear something and one of my ‘friends’ (I use that term loosely) would comment on what I was wearing and I would feel so rubbish for the rest of the day and I wouldn’t be seen wearing that same outfit again. Now, if somebody told me they didn’t like my outfit, I’d be tempted to call them rude but it certainly wouldn’t ruin my day or change my personal opinion on that clothing. I guess this outlook comes with time and age but what’s crazy is even in your twenties, you have to put up with people saying shit and having opinions on you and your life. You would think as an adult that would have changed, but I’ve got news for you – it doesn’t. So, with that in mind, you have two choices; you can either let people’s opinions affect you on a daily basis or alternatively, let it go over your head. The truth is, this is much easier said than done.
What are the best ways to deal with negativity? This questions one that I have wanted to answer for a long time and I’m still yet to become an expert on this but I would say that I’ve definitely built a much thicker skin than I once had. At the end of the day, you are in charge of you and your the only person who knows what is best for you. Granted, you are going to want to hear what the people you love and care about think, but I’m talking more about people that aren’t your family and who don’t necessarily have your best intentions at heart. A person can only really upset you when you allow them to and give them the power to dictate how you feel. None of us are made of stone, so I’m not saying that I’m immune to getting my feelings hurt, but I think over the years I’ve learnt to recognise what is actually worth getting upset over and what is just quite frankly, irrelevant.
For example, when you put it into perspective, having your heart broken by somebody you thought you would spend your life with versus somebody writing negative comments on your Instagram picture – I feel like it’s important to prioritise the severity of these situations. The person writing the comment means absolutely nothing to you, so regardless of what they are writing, why let them affect your mood? Delete the comment and feel sorry for the fact that they must be so unhappy to go to the lengths of sitting behind a screen ridiculing people – happy people don’t go out of their way to hurt others. When a person doesn’t mean anything to you in the first place, what they think seems almost pointless doesn’t it? For years I let what people think hurt me and shape who I as and what I did. Five years on and the only opinions I care about are the ones of the people I surround myself with and people I genuinely respect.
Negativity can come in so many different forms, and I think it’s your reaction to it that really matters. Over the years, it’s natural and almost ‘normal’ that you will have experienced losing a best friend and/or been betrayed by somebody that you truly loved. You find yourself going crazy and questioning what it is that you did to make them betray your trust or let you down – psycho analysing every little thing you could have possibly done to get yourself in this situation. I remember my mum telling me that crying over things like this wouldn’t change the outcome and nor would being so hard on myself. The truth is, if somebody makes the decision to no longer have you in their life, or chooses to deceive you, that’s there problem, not yours – more fool them for not appreciating just how amazing you are and valuing who you are.
We have all been in that situation where we have been dumped and begged the person not to leave – I can honestly hold my hands up and admit that I haven’t been a stranger to momentarily loosing my mind. Looking back, the twenty-six year old me wanted to scream, ‘you stop it right now’ at the eighteen year old me. Not everybody is compatible and things don’t always work out but that doesn’t mean that it hurts any less. I think it’s always the thought that somebody doesn’t want to be with you and how dare they leave that actually hurts more than the end of the relationship. We have also all been for the ‘bad boy’ and the guy that we know is going to hurt us – why do we do this?! Now I would never get myself into the same situation because at this age, the likelihood of a person changing is slim and why would you want to be with a guy that you have to change in the first place? If you do however, you may as well lie down and just give up as you have just invited a lot of negativity into your life.
Dealing with negativity and caring about what people think is such a natural part of life and growing up but the more you prioritise what actually matters, the less likely you are to let it affect you. Girl – you amazing, don’t let anybody tell you any different.