Category Archives: Self

Thursday Thoughts: Ditch the Haters

Until recently, I’ve tolerated meanness. Unkind people. People who put others down.

More often than I’d like to admit, I’ve had people in my life that always seem to put me down.

The thing about these people? These haters? I’ve realized they do the same things over and over again. I’ve learned the warning signs. Red flags. Bad behaviors that haters tend to do, actions that are easy to minimize or excuse.

  • Haters consistently speak badly about others. They consistently judge, belittle, and put others down. They celebrate pain of people they do not like. A hard lesson that’s taken me years to learn: if they talk badly about others and revel in other’s pain, they’re doing it to you too. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but they will eventually talk badly about you. Guaranteed.

  • Haters tend to have little respect for your feelings, but demand respect for their feelings. If the hater is upset or having a problem, they expect you to give them your attention and sympathy. Only occasionally will they have time or interest in yours problems.

  • Haters often look for what others can do for them. If they’re needs aren’t met, they will punish you (with words, actions, etc) for not doing what they want. It’s not a good place to be. I always struggle with this because I feel like I am a bad person for not doing what they want. Here’s the thing about that: people who love you don’t make you feel bad for not doing what they want. They accept and love you for who you are, not who they want you to be.

  • Haters have a bad temper. Haters often blame their temper on alcohol, or those around them, and they snap quickly and take out their anger on everyone around them.

  • When you call Haters out for their behavior, they label you “sensitive”. When anyone calls you “sensitive” for expressing your feelings, it is a cowardly way for them to blame others for their bad behavior.

Previously, I was willing to forgive meanness and quick to minimize bad behaviors. I want to see the best in others, and I look for the good and to forget the bad.

But, here’s the thing: whenever I’ve been mistreated by a person and allowed them to stay in my life? They do it again. They mistreat me again. Always. I’ve made this mistake so many times it’s embarrassing. It’s the definition of insanity; doing the same thing again and again and expecting different results.

I’m not doing the same thing anymore.

I’m following Nicole Antoinette’s advice to Change Your Story, Change Your Life. My Story was I saw the good in others often at the expense of myself.

change-story

A couple of Fridays ago, my friends and I were out and met a guy. This guy? Super cute. Tall. Successful. Friendly. Interesting. Blonde. (Side note: Blonde guys are totally my type, but I’ve yet to had a good experience dating one). All the things I’m looking for. Twenty minutes after we met, he insulted his friend’s girlfriend. The insult was out of nowhere, and really uncalled for. Unsurprisingly, I gave him the benefit of the doubt, but proceeded with caution. A few hours and many drinks later he was insulting others again – this time he was insulting my friends.

In the context of the conversation, you could spin his insults as jokes, but in reality, he was unkind. Having difficulty letting go of my old ways, I gave him my number.

The next day when he texted and asked for a date, I decided to Change My Story, Change My Life: I told him no and I told him why.

Crazily enough, it was a great conversation. I told him I enjoyed meeting him, but I didn’t like the way he treated my friends.

He apologized and said he really didn’t mean his insults. He said that he is a really nice guy, but he “has an edge”.

And here’s the kicker, guys. Normally, I would forgive, move on, and cross my fingers it would never happen again.

But it’s time to Change My Story, Change My Life.

I don’t need anyone – man or woman – with “an edge” in my life.

How does this story end? I’ll never see him again.

I can’t help think about what Maya Angelou has famously said,

“The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”

You know what? I believed him. The first time.

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Filed under Dating, Self, Stories, Things I've learned

Self Shaming

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I know this may come as a shock to you, but I did not eradicate judgment from my life after I wrote my Non-Judging post.

I know.

In fact, after I decided to stopallthejudging, I found myself slightly more judgmental. Especially judgmental towards myself.

Confession: Not only do I judge myself, I shame myself.

I shame myself for not making good choices.

I shame myself for not walking Tahnee everyday.

I shame myself that Tahnee has gained weight in the last year (from not walking as much). DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself for spending too much money going out with friends.

I shame myself for being tired after a night of fun (going out with friends and spending money). DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself for not calling my grandma enough. (Sorry, Grandma).

I shame myself for making mistakes at work- even though I know better. DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself that there is always dog hair on my floor.

I shame myself that my room is never clean.

I shame myself for not flossing everyday.

I shame myself for eating out when I’m tired, stressed or anxious. DOUBLE SHAME.

I shame myself that I have made poor choices in the past which have led me to unpleasant things today. (i.e. previously spending beyond my means; I am now paying off debt).

This shaming slowly leads to self hatred. Not necessarily hatred of myself, but hatred of particular qualities, tendencies, or attributes I have or may not have.

Over the past few weeks, I have been a part of a “Mindfulness and Mediation” class. During this past week’s topic, “Easing Up On Yourself,” we dealt a lot about self shame. I can relate. The instructor said something that I found to be very powerful (especially for a seasoned Self Shamer), “Do not change [yourself] out of self hatred. Change [yourself] out of love.”

This statement resonated with me.

One of the largest changes in my life recently was my recent weight loss (and muscle gain). When I think back to my first post, Operation Love Handle, I think about why I decided to take that journey…

I started Operation Love Handle for three reasons:

  1. Change my life (be healthy to live a long, healthy life)
  2. Change my mind (still working on that…)
  3. Change my body (shed the weight I gained when I was unhappy; build muscle and become strong)

These reasons were not because I hated the way my body looked. The only thing I really didn’t like was that my arms were not toned. And the only reason it bothered me was because I couldn’t do a push-up.

I started Operation Love Handle out of love for myself rather than hatred. So this is what I am thinking: I need to de-shame my shaming thoughts. In the areas of my life I’d like to improve, I have to start loving the way they are before I can change them.

Instead of:

“I shame myself for making a mistake at work – even though I knew better. DOUBLE SHAME.”

How about:

I love my job and I work really hard everyday. I put my best foot forward although I am not always successful. I will have good days and bad days, but the bad days will help me become better at my job.

Or another,

Instead of:

“I shame myself for being tired after a night of fun (of going out with friends and spending money). DOUBLE SHAME.”

How about:

I am really, really, really grateful I have friends. I’m feeling stressed about money, so I will invite them over more to cut costs.

Some shames are much easier than others to re-frame. I honestly can’t re-frame all the shames from my list, but I promise to work on it. I’m hoping to see an improvement in my Self Shaming tendencies. I have a feeling it won’t happen overnight. 🙂

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Will you join me? What do you shame yourself for?

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Filed under Life, Self, Things I've learned