Have you ever had a nasty boss, a mean relative or even a friend who diminished you in some way? Well, as one of the “Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz states,“Don’t take anything personally.” What anyone says or does is a reflection of them, not you.
When someone feels inadequate or inferior, they sometimes try to build themselves up by knocking others down. Don’t take the bait. It’s them, not you. Hurt people, hurt people.
No one can ever criticize you unless YOU allow them to. Here are 4 simple strategies you can use to navigate around difficult people and situations:
1. Simply respond with a polite, “Thanks for sharing”, then choose not to let it in and move on with your day.
2. Ask them to repeat what they said. Venom always sounds worse when repeated. They may then realize it and own it. They may also become aware you are onto their game.
3. Say “Ouch” or “Are you trying to hurt my feelings?” Most will apologize. The meanest will not. But at least they will be on notice.
4. Mention that people who condemn the most, are often most critical of themselves. Calmly tell them that instead of putting you down, perhaps they should look in the mirror. “Judge not lest you be judged.”
Hurtful people will hopefully leave you alone when you use these tactics. Remember, you NEVER have to accept the “gift” of nastiness from someone unless YOU accept it. Better to leave the gift wrapped and unopened, handing it right back to them untouched and unmoved. What anyone says or does is a reflection of them, not you. Sure, hurt people, hurt people, but you don’t have to let it be you.
My life-coaching clients know one of my favorite sayings is, “Always, always, always go where the love is.” Avoid toxic people. As Desiderata writes, “They are vexations on the soul.”
They sure are. Namaste.
Registered Yoga Instructor Certified Life Coach