Monday, August 3, 2009

Negative? I am Offended!

We’ve been there – either on the receiving or giving end – of saying things and exhibiting a behavior, out of anger of a current life situation that is not necessarily ideal. When we receive harsh words – it hurts, beyond imagine, especially when we question where the words generated from. When we deliver words of regret, we typically have no hint what we have done until after the damage has taken a hold.

I have been guilty of delivering. I have received more than my share. Being on both ends allows me to make this declaration:

If you don’t have something nice to say, keep your mouth shut.

What? Your mother said that to you too? If we only knew then what we know now. That it would not be a matter of if, but a matter of when, we would find ourselves in a situation of confrontation and harsh words. Inching further we will also find that out of that situation comes the feeling of rejection.

Rejection is a verity of life. From the feeling(s) of not being liked (loved), accepted, valued, or received to the state of feeling unaccepted, unappreciated, and unwanted. This manifests from both internal and external forces. You strive for the fulfillment of your state of acceptance through the collaboration of feelings – a collaboration you seek through your friends, family, and the world around you. But still, rejection seems to happen. From not landing that ideal job, to the person who sparked your attention a few months back. From your local committees, to your family (and friends) functions. From the bank, from the “oops I dialed the wrong number”, from the “You are the Weakest Link”, from the local theatre tryouts, or even from the cable guy who said he would be there between the hours of Nine and 11, but now its going on after three pm and still no HBO ….

So much importance, I will say it again: Rejection is a verity of life. You can use it to your advantage and work through your feelings and on to a different platform in life; a platform that does not make room for those wishing to bring us down, batter our esteem, or make us question ourselves and our abilities. You have what it takes inside of you to overcome challenges, and continue on your path – or redevelop a new one. You cannot let the forces of the outside determine what is generated on your inside.

As such I have asked the genuine and intriguing, Ms. Tiffany, to write this week’s Plan B. Her story sheds light on the damage negativity and rejection can have on a life, if allowed. As you watch her story unfold you see the change in her; it was a beautiful piece to read and through sharing it with you I hope it not only continues her progress but yours as well. None of us has time to allow the negative to play the dominate role in our lives … rid yourself of that which does not make you stronger and enrich your soul with moments, people, and time that build you up and help you shine.

Negative? I am Offended!

So I’ve scolded Chrissy many times for not taking the much needed break she needs and deserves from Plan B; taking her own advice and help herself advance on to the next stage in her life, which is a big one. She then pokes back “Well would you be willing to help free me up some time and write an inspiring piece for all to read?”

I pondered for a moment and then asked, “Why would anyone want to listen to anything I have to say? I can’t be inspiring.” It wasn’t until Ann Marie stepped up to the plate and hit a grand slam with her piece on self-discovery that I realized why I was hiding from Plan B. You see, I know that everyone has internal struggles, hardships and fears that they are sometimes afraid to face and something that I’ve been trying to overcome for a while now is this negative shell that I sometimes hide within.

The Slap
I never really considered myself a negative or mean person until last year when someone kind of close to me confronted me with the opinion that I hold a negative tone – in my life and it showed on others. They further went on to say that I should leave everyone else alone and be by myself. This was a huge slap in the face and has since resulted in me keeping my true opinion to myself or bottling up my emotions for fear that I may burden someone else with my problems, or offer up advice they may not particularly be interested in hearing. Before this person’s comments to me, I was eager to listen to my friends during their hard times and offer my advice, but after this person confronted me I started to shy away from offering advice to friends and family for fear that I would say something negative.

The Repercussion

Now I find myself in this negative shell. I call it a shell because I feel like I have this covering around me that keeps the real me hidden from other people and keeps my true feelings and emotions bottled only for me to work through. This, my Plan B friends, is not the way to go. Trust me. Through Plan B is how I discovered that I only actually truly became that negative person I was accused of once I shut myself off from being the true me. I am not a negative person, and just because of one person’s comment (out of retaliation of the way their own life was heading) I shut down. I turned off. I went into a shell.

I hide my true feelings and because of this, project this completely different person that creates a depressing environment around her. Have any of you ever been in a room with someone that hates their job, life, people or just about everything? It really sucks doesn’t it? You just want to scream at those people and say do something about it! You have the power to change! Well I now feel like I was being one of those people from the outside, however inside I love my job and I love my life, family and friends. It took one person’s harsh and wrong words to shut me down for almost a year now.

Time to Break Free
Why people can have this effect on anyone baffles me, but if I have learned anything, it’s to not take everything one critic has to say to heart. Just because one person has a problem with you, your work, your goals or ambitions doesn’t mean that you should give up and create a new you. Rejection is something that is always going to happen to me and everyone else throughout his or her entire life. You can’t let it destroy who you are. Sometimes, sure you should reflect on what your critics had to say and seek out the truth in their opinions whether it be through asking friends, family, co-workers, making a list, or doing what I like to think Chrissy does and just take a moment to look back and reflect on your life and see if there really was any “bad” to it.

Don’t let anyone change who you are whether it be a “friend” or foe, a woman or man, loved one, family member, anyone. Often times, people say things to you to hurt you and bring you down to the lower level that they live in. It’s your responsibility to catch them in their act and not fall victim. Learn to stand up for yourself, your beliefs, your goals or anything that brings YOU happiness. Also, learn to choose your words wisely when giving someone else your criticism. You never know how it will impact that person. One thoughtless comment in a moment of anger could alter someone’s sense of self in a negative way, and in a world that tries to tear people down we should always try to work on building people up.


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