Thoughts on this post? Share them with me on Facebook, join the SPANily or Tweet me at @angieatkinson. ~Angie

So I’ve had a revelation. It hit me like a ton of bricks really, but it’s a good thing. So, you know how some people are just MEAN? Sometimes it’s an “out of character” mean, and other times it’s a pretty consistent mean.

I used to really let myself get upset when people would disregard my feelings or act like what I had to say didn’t matter. I’d feel like they didn’t think I was worth trying to understand or care about. I really let it get to me, so much so that I would almost obsess about it. I constantly thought about the fact that the person in question couldn’t or wouldn’t try to see ME and concern themselves with my thoughts or feelings.

I could go into a lot of detail here, but I don’t think it’s necessary. Each of us have probably experienced feelings along this line at some point in our lives, and in order to help you understand the point of this whole revelation a little better, I’m going to ask you to think of a time that someone was mean or nasty to you. Try to remember how it made you feel, whether it was angry, belittled, sad, insecure…whatever it was, remember that feeling now.

Okay, got it in your mind?

Good.

Now, consider this. By allowing yourself to be affected by the negativity of someone else, you are giving that person power over you. In fact, it IS possible to avoid being affected by MOST negativity, and all you have to do is change your mind.

First, ask yourself this: why would someone want to make another person feel bad about themselves?

It’s standard stuff folks, textbook really. Mean people are that way because they lack self confidence, and most likely, are trying to bring you to their level. They are mean because they are unhappy in some way, even if they don’t realize it.

For example, if my husband has a bad day at work, he comes home really cranky. He then finds all sorts of things to pick on at home, whether it’s me, the house, or whatever, he finds something to complain about. This used to start an argument and ruin the evening, but no more.

Since I’ve realized that he wasn’t really mad at ME, but was taking out his feelings on me subconsciously, I’ve learned to help him express himself instead. Now, don’t get me wrong, I’m not perfect, and sometimes we still argue–but on the same token, I’m quick to let those go, because logic tells me that holding on to these things will only exacerbate any situation.

The bottom line here is this: mean people are sometimes mean because of something that has nothing to do with you. Once you recognize this fact, it helps you to become more compassionate toward others, and also significantly reduces your stress level. Instead of letting yourself get upset or angry next time someone hurts your feelings, remember that being compassionate and trying to understand them may make the situation less volatile.

Disclaimer: I am in no way advocating bending over backwards to please someone. You don’t have to be a doormat to offer compassion where compassion may be due–but to offer someone the same understanding that you would want from them can make your world a better place.

And a great side effect, aside from healthier relationships and more smiles, is that it makes you feel good too. And folks, that’s what it’s all about, that’s how it all works.

Have a fabulous day, and FEEL GOOD!!

Learn it, live it, love it!
xoxo

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