Are there negative people in your life? Do you have someone whom you know (knew) who never fails to jeopardize your day or spoil your mood whether he or she is still (in)directly in your life?
Have you ever had that feeling that you tend to always compare yourself to someone you know? Do you cringe every time you hear their names or some news related to them?
Do you seek and pry for information about them?
They – need not be your past relationships – could be the damaged friendships with whom you shared some connection in the past but have or a family member who has severed relations with you, or even a person you once cared for.
Even though you know you are in a better situation now, living the life you want now and have achieved much more than before, you still measure yourself against them. Even though you have lost touch with each other long ago?
You get on with life and comes a day when you bump into them or hear something about them and you’re suddenly are back to the bottom of the pit, feeling below them even though you have no idea exactly how they are getting on.
Without being even present in your life, they still seem to hover around you invisibly, demand your attention and curiosity, and even suck the energy of life out of you. Before you know it, they (and even if you haven’t even seen or heard from them personally) are affecting your emotions sometimes for hours, even days.
So how do you get away from this malicious loop of self-doubting/comparing/despairing habit that not only with destructing your confidence, belief, trust and relationship with yourself but also others around you?
#1 Remove the Root of the Problem
Have you ever ask yourself why?
Why do you feel beneath them even when what’s going on in their life has nothing to do with you?
What does it mean to you when they are simply living their own life? Why does their life or happiness concern you so much?
Why do you compare yourself to them?
And, why do you feel so awful but still want to know more about them?
More often than not, it is not about them.
It is about you, your thoughts and feelings within you that are acting up.
When you feel a need to compare yourself to them, you take them as a benchmark. (Perhaps, before you hear about them, you have 99% of your life on track. And you came to know one update about them. Who knows, it could be 99% of their lives has been going wrong and 1% that’s going right. You hear about that 1% and you beat yourself up for not measuring up your 99% that’s going well to that 1% that they have? Absurd but true how our emotions are so easily affected!)
They could have been more superior than or over you in the past and you probably hated them so much, but times are different now. What you experienced or encountered in the past may not even be relevant today anymore. Moreover, we all progress in life, you yourself have also come a long way. Give yourself the credits for the good life you have built for yourself and the challenges you have overcome too.
That’s one question you have to keep probing within yourself and have to work on to resolve this constant need to benchmark yourself against others.
Perhaps you are not comparing, but you are still unhappy whenever you receive news about them.
Do you feel dissatisfied when someone else is happy? Could it be because you have unresolved emotions within yourself that you have not fully let go? Why can’t you give them your blessings and well wishes? What’s gnawing at your inner self to not let them be happy? Do you instil hatred in them so much that you are not allowing yourself to be happy when they are happy? Do you hold anger, disappointment or hatred towards them?
Most times, we are insecure about ourselves. We get betrayed once, we relinquish the rights of others to be trustworthy. Then, we become afraid of being open and vulnerable because the hurt was too much. We carry the history of hurt too much for too long, never really letting the emotions go.
Honestly, the only way to out-win them and be happier than them is to know that you are living your own life the best you can now. What’s past is past. Only when you decide to not be involved with them, or not be affected by them, then only you can freely let go.
But how do we do that?
Forgiveness is a big word that requires time and effort. They could have done you wrong in the past, disappointed you, hurt you, or the people you love, or done wrong things to get to where they are today. Perhaps you don’t feel that they deserve to be happy.
And forgive yourself too! Forgive yourself for allowing yourself to fall into the victim trap then, and decide to get out from there!
Only you can decide to let go, and choose to live for yourself now.
#2 Break the Recurring Loop
Done with your inner emotional battles?
Before you get affected by the same person the same way, break the chain now.
How do you get information or updates about them? Are they still on your radar? Do you hear about them from someone you know?
Remove yourself from the communication chain. Tell those involved that you want to stop hearing news about them, not to tell you anything more. Remove their contact from your phone. Stay out of their lives.
There were times when I had to break off friendships, even social circles, because of the negative vibes I was getting on regular basis. I hadn’t learned how to deal with my emotions, nor my reactions back then. On better days, they would make me feel bad. On the bad days, I was constantly thinking about them, what happened between us, why hadn’t I stood up for myself, what they did or said and how it affected my days. It wasn’t until I left the circle that I realized they had been self-serving among themselves. I didn’t belong there.
#3 Shift Your Focus
Most of us hold beliefs that we started building from very young age. Someone said something about us, and they stayed stuck with us for life.
My aunt once told me that the chicken skins are most fattening. From then on, I have never eaten boiled chicken skins, but that didn’t stop me from being fat with the other junk foods I was taking. The point is, what my aunt said, stayed with me for life even though there were a gazillion stuff that she said too and that was one belief I built from then.
Someone told me I was not as street smart when I was about 12. At that age, I was still ignorant about fashion or brands. And, because I was being compared to another person, I decided that I would not be able to surpass her anyway. it wasn’t until I was in my 20s that I started learning to dress up and be comfortable with myself.
A friend of mine asked me why I had such smooth complexion at 15 when we were just completing high school. My skin was one of my pride then. So when I had a serious hormonal imbalance that resulted in breakouts at 25, I was completely thrown off my life. I became extremely self-conscious, and my esteem was battered really hard. I could not even look at anyone in the eyes. When I had scars on my face, I felt very bad about my self-image. Then, I decided to either do something about it or accept the fact that these scars though permanent, are barely visible so it was okay for me.
If you don’t expose yourself to the possibilities available to you, how would your visions widen? Had I been so fixated in my beliefs that I built at my young age, I would not have improved nor been able to move on in life.
When you feel you cannot forgive, ask yourself why not? And work on it.
Identify what doesn’t serve you and challenge your beliefs. Instead of seeing yourself as beneath that someone, challenge that thought and be objective about it.
Rather than being indignant, perhaps try to see things from another perspective, from their point of views.
#4 Count Your Blessings i.e. Show Appreciation for What & Who You Have
Focus your attention on people and stuffs that matter, those that benefit you or make you happy instead.
Many of us will have achievements in this journey called life. They may be big, or small, they may be easy or difficult, but regardless, you have and you will achieve more in life.
Why downplay your wins instead of celebrating them? Why stuff them all into the box of ‘low self-esteem’ when you can display them on your rack of ‘confidence building’?
Understand that you have your own life to lead and master, they have theirs. What you achieve is none of their concern and vice versa. Guard your esteem so well that no one can come near them, much less the people who don’t even matter.
If you still think you have nothing to celebrate about, how about this? You’re alive.
Send them your good wishes and move on with your life, appreciate who and what you have now.
How did you break free from the negative influences in your life? Was it as hard as it seemed? Share with us here
Ps: If you require assistance moving on from negative people in your life but not sure how, I can help. Sign up to reserve your 45 – 60 minutes complimentary coaching session.Follow Me