4 Ways To Shake It Off

>> Friday, January 9, 2015

Ada’s got this growing obsession with Taylor Swift going, and it’s hard not getting sucked in. Especially with her latest anthem for the misunderstood and much gossiped about people of the world. In other words: All of us at one time or another. We all have moments when people just don’t get us. They think what they want to think, say what they want to say. Unfortunately (and unbelievably), this kind of stuff doesn’t stop in high school. Or in your twenties. Or seemingly ever.

Trust me, I’m from a small town where your friends’ grandparents even went to school together -- the rumor mill can be a way of life. My perspective on gossip is particularly keen for this reason. Or perhaps too sharp and sensitive. Regardless, I get frustrated when people don’t understand me. Or when they make assumptions that just doesn’t jibe with reality. Don’t you? Like everyone else, I have my fair share of frenemies. And it’s how I’m dealing with them that’s changed for the better throughout the years.

#1: Lean Social Media

One of the hardest places to look away from the train wreck is on sites like Facebook. It seems like everyone you meet immediately becomes your “friend” and those “friends” you had in the past continue to pop up. (Think #3 on this list.) Honestly, my Facebook feed is a much happier place since I purged my list by over half last spring. Now, this isn’t to say I don’t have some amazing (and surprising) connections with people that Facebook has helped facilitate. Still, it’s easy to sit and stalk people or get annoyed or otherwise waste social energy.

#2: Refocus Attention

That’s right. All of these situations waste precious time and energy. This isn’t to say you should just cut people out of your life at will. But if you find yourself spending too much mental effort on people who bring you down, stop that trend. Take the high road. Invest your time in the people who love you and bring you joy. After a while, there’s no room for the rest. After all, fickle friends can add so much stress to our days.

#3: Consider Criticism

Sometimes there is a grain of truth in the criticism I receive. I’m thinking mostly for bloggers here, since we can get “nasty” comments from time to time whether on our sites or elsewhere. More often than not, there’s something to learn in those words. Other times, yes -- criticism is unfounded or simply ridiculous. (For example, I’d get mean comments on Writing Chapter Three with a big lead in of “I don’t have or ever want kids, BUT...” and I realize these people are’t my intended audience, so why would they understand?) The way I approach these sentiments is to first see if there’s any basis in truth (it’s hard, but important for growth) and to let the other comments roll with the trolls.

#4: Relinquish Control

Let it go. I used to think I could control what people -- real or online -- think about me by being open and honest about my life. More times than not, it puts me in an even more vulnerable position. I’ve realized that, within reason, it’s not my responsibility to be understood all the time. Obviously if I’m in the wrong or have done or said something I regret, I’ll work like hell to clear that up. But I can’t work overly hard to simply be myself. I can’t apologize for my genuine thoughts and feelings. After a while, the ownership of this negativity rests in the heart of whoever is producing the hate, not me.

How do you shake off negativity?

PS: In case you missed any of the other posts this week, here’s a quick rewind. I’d love your feedback on posting frequency, content, etc. I’m trying to merge recipes, exercise, family stuff, and other musings onto one convenient space, but I could certainly use help with best practices from the reader perspective.

15-Minute Body Weight Workout
Tempeh + Flax Veggie Burgers
1/52: Snapshots of Family Life
2015 Ultimate Clean Eating Guide
Baked Veggie Spaghetti Squash
My Goals for 2015

*Troll photo found here.

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