“You talk over people.”
“No one wants to be around you.”
Sometimes the truth coming back at you through the mouths of the people you love — is difficult to hear and can set your self-esteem back decades.
I have worked for a long time to get to a place of loving myself, being myself, and not taking any crap or abuse from anyone.
It seems my strength can be hard for others to bear.
The knee-jerk reaction? Pack a bag. Disappear. Save the world from having to “deal” with me. But seriously? You can’t just vacate your life because others are uncomfortable.
I cannot deny years of work to regain my strength and stand tall in my own skin.
So what do you do when you receive messages from the people around you that what you are doing — just being yourself — is hurting them? How do you bounce back from the reeling hurt it causes your heart?
Well, you can’t just disappear. Just because relationships get tested, your character gets challenged, and the truth slaps you in the face like a cold dead fish — doesn’t mean that you get to hang it up, pack it up, run away and hide.
“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
When the world gives you feedback — and it hurts
You have to deal. Pick up those ugly words and turn them around in your hands. Get a feel for them. Analyze them with as much emotional distance as you can.
Trust yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else. Is there truth to what you are hearing? Is there some element of this that resonates with the parts of you that you really want to work on?
Or is it just the world reacting to the person you want to be? Are you happy with the person you are? If so, what can you do?
Accept that not everyone will be able to deal with you smoothly. You can and will rub people the wrong way — and this is ok.
Apologize for any hurts you have caused others. If there is a personal change that needs to be made, and you desire to make those changes then make a plan to grow and implement change. Get counseling if this is necessary to move forward.
Forgive yourself. Fight the inner negative feelings, the damaging self-talk, the inner struggle of guilt and forgive yourself for not being perfect. Others aren’t perfect and you shouldn't hold yourself in an emotional prison because you are fundamentally flawed. We all are.
You are ultimately the person who gets to decide your character and live it. Go in the confidence that you have the power to live in your own truth.
Christina Ward is a poet, columnist, and creative writer. She often writes about life experiences and mental health issues. Follow her work: Fiddleheads & Floss Poetry, Don’t Miss Updates on Christina’s Poetry and Book Releases!