Maybe it is just me, or I am hanging out at the wrong places, but there seems to be in my life a wave of not so nice people. Where do they come from? It doesn’t matter. What does matter is what to do when mean people come into your life.
The natural impulse for many people is to become defensive and/or attack back. The problem with this response is when you respond with unkindness it lowers you to the level of the person not being nice.
Assuming you are a bigger person, and you don’t want to sink to that level, how can you handle the attacks?
Step One: Realize or remember that it is not about you. When a person is attacking you, it says a whole lot more about them than you. You happen to be the receiver. It is them with the issue, and if you choose not to own their issue, it is easier not to take it personally.
Step Two: When I have someone that is just blasting me with a whole bomb cloud of negative, I imagine a protective shield around me and in my mind’s eye I send the negativity back to them. I say, “Return to sender.”
Most of the time those two steps take care of the problem, but there are few times when what the negative person sends out does cause a disturbance. When this happens, it’s time to take Step Three.
Step Three: Look for where what you believe in what the person said says is true. If the comment hurt then, there is something about what they said that you are owning. For example, if I told you that you had purple hair, and you had brown hair would you believe? No. So why would you believe someone who called you stupid? The only reason you would believe that put down is because there something inside you resonates with it. If that is the case, it is time to look for the truth really, and if you are honest about it, you’ll discover you are not stupid.
Step Four: If the person being mean becomes vicious or aggressive, then that may require professional help. No one should be torn down and if you are continually being put down it is critical you learn how to set strong boundaries and have a safety net that you can retreat to.
When others are mean to you, most of the time that is a result of their low self-esteem or ignorance. The huge trick is not to take it personally and to remove any button the mean person pushes because he or she is not worth giving your sanity, too.