You Shouldn’t Allow People to Make You Feel Bad
Some of you already know that I have a tattoo along my left arm that says ‘bad day; not a bad life’. It’s one I got a few years back to symbolize that, regardless of what’s going on in our lives, things will always turn around again.
When you’re in the thick of it though, when you’re in the depths of a difficult period, it can seem like things will never improve. In times like this, it’s important to remember your intrinsic value, to do the things that ease your mind, and to trust the process, as they say in Philadelphia.
This past week, unfortunately, has been one of those periods for me. Things have gone slightly pear shaped in work, some individuals have accused me of awful things, and I’ve not felt entirely good about myself.
What’s mad is this was meant to be a good week too, at least that was the plan. I started it off by giving a talk on mental health for CIT’s Wellness Week, and I was blown away that I was even asked. It was great to be apart of. I suppose when you make a plan, the universe laughs.
When we have a mixture of good and bad things happen to us, we tend to focus on the negative ones. I’ve mentioned this before, but it’s a latent structure of evolution that we put more energy into negative things, well, because negative things can kill us.
Maybe it’s different for you, but for me, good things always feel general, and bad things always feel personal. When bad things happen in work, or in my personal life, I automatically fixate on that fact that these bad things happen because I’m a bad person.
On the other hand, when good things happen, I quite literally never think they have happened because I’m a good person. My mind, for whatever reason, is wired to believe that I’m a bad person deep down.
Maybe, I am. It’s all perspective in the end of the day. I’m the villain in some stories undoubtedly. I’ve definitely made some mistakes and am flawed just like everyone else.
However, I don’t think that makes anyone ‘bad’. To think of ourselves in such binary terms is counter-intuitive anyway, considering the vast complexities that make up our day-to-day realities.
What’s most important, I feel, is that I’m at least accepting that I’m bad some of the time. I don’t think anyone who is truly awful would ever stop to consider whether they’re being awful. I think good people are good because they have some rooted aversion to badness. They never assume they’re flawless.
Of course, this isn’t an excuse to do bad things. You can’t side-step the system and do as many bad things as you want, so long as you wonder if you’re a bad person after. It has to come from a genuine place.
I think that I’m a bad person so often sometimes, that I begin to feel awful when other people try to make me feel bad, and that’s not okay either. Everyone has their own shit to deal with.
What I’m trying to learn is that, when someone uses you as a way to deal with their own issues, we can’t take it personally. Some people feel better about themselves by making others feel bad.
I’m not excusing this behaviour for a minute. What I’m saying is, you don’t need to feel bad because someone else is trying to make you feel bad. If someone is trying to tear you down, I imagine you’re moving in the right direction.