Make Mean Girls Meaningless

Make Mean Girls Meaningless

You hear through the grapevine that Deborah has been telling people that you aren’t smart enough to have written your latest article. Your heart races. What if people actually believe it? What if people stop reading your stuff?

I learned long ago that life is like high school and there will always be mean girls (and boys) with something hostile to say. There is a habit I practice to make the mean girls meaningless. When I learned this, it transformed my life.

What other people think about you is none of your business.

When I researched who said this first, the quote was attributed to all kinds of people like: Deepak Chopra, Jack Canfield, Martha Graham, and Stephen Covey.

What does it mean? It means that you cannot control what other people think of you and so you should not spend your time worrying about it. If someone doesn’t like you, so what. There are plenty of people that do.

If you spend your time worrying about what other people think of you, it is crippling. It makes your self-esteem and your self-confidence so low that you are afraid to take any action. You’re not setting goals; you’re not learning or trying new things. So your life is not growing and expanding. This worry about what everyone thinks of you gets bigger with social media. People can be so nasty online. And no likes on your latest post feel just as bad as an attack. But ultimately since you cannot control people’s thoughts, the best thing to do is be the best version of yourself. Work on yourself and your dreams. Remember that no one is perfect. When you make a mistake that hurts someone’s feelings, apologize in the moment and move on.

What you can control is how you treat people. If you are nice, helpful, and positive, people will respond in kind. Making people feel good is a good operating principle for life.

People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.

Maya Angelou

Online Trolls

So what do you do when people are attacking you online with things that are unfair, untrue, and nasty?

The haters gonna hate, hate, hate, hate, hate. Baby, I’m just gonna shake, shake, shake, shake, shake. I shake it off, I shake it off.

Taylor Swift

Again, what she’s saying is you cannot control what other people are thinking, saying, or doing. Shaking it off, isn’t always easy. But keep your focus on the horizon and do not let internet trolls derail you. In the matter of online harassment, I suggest unfriend, unfollow, delete nasty comments, and turn it off. Maybe in extreme cases come off of that social media platform, either for a break or permanently. Online and in person discourse has gotten so incredibly nasty over the past few years that I am rarely on social media and it has helped my anxiety, focus, & sleep.

Gossip

It’s a horrible feeling to be attacked online, and it’s even worse, I think, to know that people who know you are saying negative things about you behind your back. Gossip is especially upsetting if someone is going after your reputation with the aim of hurting you. You have to remember one very important thing. When people are bad mouthing others, they’re the ones that look terrible, not their target. Instead of hurting who they want, their constant gossip and negativity hurts themselves. Believe me; no one likes or trusts gossips.

While it may seem odd, the best thing to counter character assassination is usually silence. Because by trying to defend and explain, you will end up saying negative things about your detractor. Then you seem just as dirty and unlikable. Staying above the fray is the power position. The people that know you, like, love, and respect you, will continue to. And those that do fall for the story, will eventually find out it’s not true or even become a target themselves. The best way to protect your reputation is to focus on your own journey of success and creativity. When you shine, you’re going to wipe out whatever negative talk has been going around.

So remember whenever you start to worry, whenever you get upset about some negative comment, what other people think of you is none of your business. Once I started practicing this point of view, it really changed my life positively. I became more confident, more creative and happier. I wish the same for you.

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Who’s on Your A List?

Who’s on Your A List?

In life we have different levels of relationships. There are spouses, family members, and best friends, good friends, and work friends. Then there are the people you don’t like, but have to deal civilly with including sometimes family, neighbors (I’m thinking of a disastrous HOA meeting), and often work colleagues and bosses. It is important to recognize that we don’t deal with all of these groups in the same way.

Last week we talked about building your cheer squad with positive people. This group is who you celebrate your wins with and share your dreams.

A, B, C or D?

In Hollywood terms, let’s call them your A list. Then there are good friends, who you like, but are not quite as close too – the B list. The C list is other folks you like, but don’t see often and work friends. And finally there’s the D list, those people that you don’t like, but have to deal with. Always smile and be cordial, but never, ever tell the D list your good news or anything personal. They do not wish you well.

This discussion is not meant to be a downer or make you paranoid. Instead, I want to encourage you to not only build your core group of support, but to understand that there is power in recognizing where people fit into your list. And that it is smart not to share everything with everybody. People can always surprise you in both good and bad ways. This way I hope you can be more prepared.

Cheerleader or Debbie Downer?

Notice how people react not just to your good news, but to others’ good news. This is a huge clue to their character. Years ago I had a colleague whose wife got her dream job. I was more excited about it than he was. All he said was “Yeah, now we’re going to have to figure out child care.” Yikes! Psychologists have long known that it not just the good news, but how others react when we share it, that makes us feel excited and energized. Unfortunately, lots of people react negatively or make it about them or do both. If someone does something like this to you, don’t give them the opportunity to do it again.

T.D. Jakes’ Three Kinds of Friends

Pastor T.D. Jakes famously said there are three kinds of friends: confidantes, constituents, & comrades. He talks about knowing who you are dealing with and who to share your good news with. You can watch the inspiring video here. It’s one of my favorites.

1. Confidantes are for you. If you’re up, they’re up. If you’re down, they’re down. This is your cheer squad.

2. Constituents are not for you. They are for what you are for. These are people that can seem supportive, but never think that they on your A List. If they meet someone who can further their agenda, they will align with them to get what they want. It is easy to mistake a constituent for a confidante.

3. Comrades not for you, and they not for what you are for. They are for what you are against. As soon as you are no longer fighting a common enemy, they disappear. I’ve noticed a lot of work friends, if you have a bad boss, can fall into this category.

I hope you found this discussion helpful. Take a look at the people you surround yourself with. Where do they fit in? Are the confidantes, constituents, or comrades? Who is your cheer squad?

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Build Your Cheer Squad

Build Your Cheer Squad

I have been working out with my amazing trainer Kay consistently since December and am so much stronger than when I started. Today I did some exercises I never would have thought I could do even two months ago. When she was celebrating my strong finish in my workout, I told her not only I am improving physically, I have kept my commitment to myself to send out my newsletter weekly for a month. She said, “Way to partner with positivity!” I loved that outlook so much, I asked her if I could borrow it. What makes this attitude so powerful is it magnifies your wins and keeps the momentum going.

So often our default setting is negativity. We think of all the the things we haven’t done, all the the things we should do, making ourselves feel lousy. I am guilty of this too and I recognized how much it was hurting me. Even before hearing my new favorite catchphrase “partner with positivity,” I had changed my outlook by building new habits of celebrating my wins in a couple of powerful ways.

Share Your Wins

Every time I have a win, even if it could be considered small, I share it with someone. Talking about my accomplishment fires me up, giving me energy and focus to do the next thing. And my friends’ positive reaction also adds to my self-confidence. Talking about wins comes with a caveat. Use discernment when sharing your good news. Unfortunately, lots of people who claim to be supportive are not. Pay attention to who celebrates your accomplishments. Those are the people to partner with positivity. You need cheerleaders in your life. It may take time, but build a small cheer squad. It can be family members, friends, coaches, and therapists. Along these same lines, I don’t recommend talking about wins on social media. It is never a good idea to share your good news with people who don’t wish you well and there are a lot of those online. Of course, there are exceptions like the release of your latest book or getting a new job.

List Three Positive Things You Did Today

Every night I list in my journal three or more positive things I did each day before I go to sleep. These don’t have to be big things. Even if it feels like you didn’t hit your daily work goals, you did something you can celebrate. Maybe it’s small things like paying bills and finally getting your car washed. Or big, like getting your blood drawn and staying calm (one of my recent wins.)

Try partnering with positivity for a month and let me know how it goes! Build your cheer squad and track your big & small wins. I bet in a month you will see positive change.


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