By far, rejection is one of the most painful aspects of interacting with others. There is no greater confidence killer than when others do not reflect how you feel back to you. Before any of us wallow in misery for too long, there are some basic units of knowledge that will help you see maladaptive interactions for what they really are. You see, people who are bubble busters are people who are deeply unhappy inside. The goal of markedly unhappy people is to destroy your happiness and confidence. Unhappy people need you to feel small so they can feel superior. Really simple, hey!
So the question is, how to you avoid getting down on yourself when others try to tear you down?
First, realize that the maladaptive behaviors of others have nothing to do with you. Unless you are a person who enjoys destroying the joy and hope of others, you have nothing to worry about. These people know how to push the buttons of others. Of course, if you are an intelligent, empathetic, introvert like me, it is hard to wrap your mind around the why of maladaptive behavior.
Next, make certain to stay in your positive self talk. As children we were socialized to please our parents. As a side note, a child’s desire to please their parents is directly related to the need for survival. Also, a human’s neural networks do not finish forming until his or her mid twenties. As adults, we are not required to live as people pleasers. We can seek and judge our happiness and worth based on our life’s purpose and rational thought.
Thirdly, you want to keep your self care activities up. Eating healthy foods, getting enough sleep, maintaining personal hygiene, and taking time for relaxing. I think focusing on gratitude is also important. Gratefulness brings joy no matter your circumstance. If you are treating yourself like gold, you will quickly detect that bullies do not treat themselves well, thus their discontent in life.
Finally, be assertive. Let others know that you don’t put up with behavior that brings you down. You can set boundaries by refusing to be affected by negative people, avoid them if you have to. You can also say things like, “you are allowed to have any opinion of me that you want, but I don’t see myself that way”. You can also say, “I hear what you are saying, but, no I do not accept your opinion of me”. Do know that sometimes disagreeing with others can set off their shame cycle. If you feel the person is dangerous, try, “I need to finish a report or I need a time out”.
For anyone who feels “thin skinned” know that you are a person with adaptive behaviors. Vulnerability is the mark of being human. Love yourself for having feelings and knowing when enough is enough. Unfortunately individuals who behave maladaptively do not have the privilege of feeling truly alive.
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All the best!