I recently got called out on these exact characteristics. And I was really offended.
How dare someone say these things about me? I have always considered myself to be very considerate of others and compassionate. Those are some of the reasons I chose nursing as my profession. And I typically let the little things go.
I found myself immediately hurt and quite angry. I wanted to go back in time just 5 minutes to change the course of events. As if I was the cause of all this name-calling.
To be put back into perspective….this person was the same boyfriend I left after moving him 1500 miles. I had not spoken to him in any form for months. And he rightfully owed me money from the apartment he vacated 4 months prior. I don’t feel that asking for what is mine was out of the question.
Clearly I was mistaken.
My sister sent me this article in my fit of emotional spiraling. It is entitled, Mentally Strong People: The Thirteen Things They Avoid. And its worth the read. Its been on Facebook recently and I looked right over it several times. But it applies to many situations. Especially when you begin to feel inferior about anything. It is important to ask yourself “Is this truly my fault?”. “How should I react to this?” “What can I learn?”.
I picked out my 2 favorites from the list.
#2 Give Away Their Power.
If you are mentally strong, you know or will learn when it is appropriate to feel guilty or bad about something. If it is not something that is truly your fault, you shouldn’t be affected by the reaction of another person.
My mom always told me that when another person takes out their anger or hurt on me, he/she is only doing it to make themselves feel better. If that is what it takes, fine. It doesn’t have to effect me. It doesn’t have to ruin my day. Its a hard task to reach a point when the malicious words of another person don’t hurt you anymore. To rise above. Many times it is easier to “fall to the same level” so to speak. It is easier to lash out and throw the vindictive words back. But what does this accomplish? In the end, we are still upset, our day has been ruined and that person is given a greater amount of satisfaction.
For a few minutes, this is exactly what I wanted to do. To call him out on everything he ever did wrong. To fuel the fire. To cry and let myself be hurt. And for a minute…I did. I cried. I screamed. I was angry with him for hurting me and I was angry with myself for letting him. I logically know this changed nothing. So I blew it off and took the high road.
#4 Waste Energy on Things They Can’t Control
My favorite: Mentally strong people don’t complain about other people.
We cannot control what other people do in this world. We can only control ourselves. It doesn’t serve any purpose for us to pass judgment on others. It simply wastes on our energy in an incredibly negative manner. If we took the time we use meddling in the lives of others and instead focused on ourselves, our lives would be completely different.
It isn’t easy to look into our own intentions/thoughts/actions when we do something wrong or hurtful. It is so much easier to blame someone else. To find a scapegoat. It is hard for us to believe that perhaps we did whatever it was to ourselves. It is our own fault. We were the only one in control. I was in control. I made the choices I made. They were no one else’s but mine. Taking hold of our actions means we can learn something and move forward. We are given the opportunity to grow and to change. To be better. Without this, we become stagnant and exist somewhat like hamsters. We are spinning our wheels with no recognition of the outside world.
We cannot control the circumstances surrounding us. We can only absorb them and make a decision. Choose how to react. To find the positive or the negative. To learn something. To move forward. To accept. To recognize.
The world can be a messy place. It isn’t always nice. It can sometimes be cruel. But choosing to be mentally strong can change all of that.
I can’t let the world drag me down. I can’t let all the petty, small things ruin my day. In the grand scheme of my entire life, what does it matter? Who cares if one person does not respect me? The people I surround myself with know who I truly am and support me. They are the ones who I should care about. I am learning to shift my energy from the negative to the positive. I heard somewhere that being angry/upset takes up a lot more energy than being happy. It is harder. It seems easier, but in the long run, it isn’t. And personally, I feel much more regretful that I’ve lost all that time pouting about something minor, or something I can’t control.
Life is supposed to be enjoyed. Perhaps I have 75 years left on this earth. But maybe not. I don’t want to regret a minute of it. Life goes on.
As my friends say: YOLO. You only live once. Live it to its fullest and don’t let the silly things drag you down.