Rummaging through my purse, searching for my transit pass, I found a tiny orange card with three words written in white ink in the middle. It said:
DON’T BULLY YOURSELF
It stopped me cold. I was leaving to attend a holiday luncheon with people from a past job, and was full of apprehension because I had recently read something uncomplimentary one of them had written about me. As I re-read the paper, I thought, how sad that out of all the wonderful comments my co-workers had written to, and about me, the only thing that was sticking in my mind was a single, negative, personal–and frankly, rude–comment.
How often do we do that to ourselves? When someone compliments us, we have trouble accepting it, and try to modestly brush it off. But, their compliments may be genuine, and rejecting them is rude (thanks, but you have no idea what you’re talking about). Why not allow yourself to accept the compliments, if you’re going to take the insults to heart as well. We prefer to allow people to put us down, but feel self-conscious about allowing them to lift us up.
This was the intent of the card. There are plenty of people around who want to put you down, so why should you be one of them? How many times have you done something wrong and found yourself saying,”well that was stupid of me”, “you idiot”, and other such insults. Why? If someone else made a mistake, you’d say, “it happens” or something to minimize the situation, but you tell yourself that you’re not entitled to make mistakes.
On a basic level–especially for women–just standing in front of a mirror, and saying “I look great” is almost impossible to do without adding a qualifier, “except for…….”, or “if only my___ was (larger, smaller, tighter, lighter, darker, thinner), etc. Try standing there and saying, “I like my____”. Period, Don’t let yourself–even as you walk away–think, “but I wish…..”.
There are many gatherings coming up in the next few weeks, as part of the various holiday celebrations. As you head out the door, getting ready to see old friends, relatives, enemies, co-workers, and acquaintances, just remember my little card, and maybe make one for yourself…
DON’T BULLY YOURSELF