The Art of Being Resilient, or The Key to Always Feelin’ Great
by Bailey Powell
People do mean, thoughtless things. They are cruel to individuals that don’t deserve it, inconsiderate actions and words dished out due to selfishness or pure apathy. These are the people who are welcomed into someone’s home and rack some of their belongings as a thank you. They spew venom in the shape of seemingly sincere words, talking you into giving whatever it is they want and then abandon you after their gain. These are the people who rip into your bank account by way of overcharging you for something they’re aware you don’t know any better about. These are the guys who call insecure thin girls fat, the girls who ungraciously and unceremoniously slam the nice guys who go out on a limb to approach them. These are the people who do things like hop lines others have been waiting in for a lengthy amount of time and always cut people off in traffic.
People do incredibly kind things, expecting nothing in return. These are the people who carefully construct sentences in their heads before they speak or write, making sure to simultaneously say what they mean and eliminate any possibility of being accidentally offensive. They buy your Starbucks beverage simply because you’re in line behind them and chase you a block to return the car keys they saw drop out of your bag. These are the people who are good at remembering names and birthdays, making acquaintances of even the briefest encounter feel special. These are the people who say they’ll pray for you and do, the people who never forget to pay you back.
It’s in our nature to divide people into categories such as good, bad, nice, not, and so forth, but that inclination is dangerous. Whether they’re positive or negative, those labels ultimately give people a pinch of power over your mood, thoughts, and self-awareness. When someone pays you a lovely compliment, there’s most likely a temporary spring in your step as a result. On the other hand, hurtful words and actions can penetrate your self-perception (and unfortunately seem to stay with us a lot longer than their kind counterparts).
The important thing to remember is that there is no way of knowing where another person is coming from, essentially making their motivations a mystery. This is why you should be an equal opportunity human output receiver. Translation: good or bad, don’t ever take what people say or do personally. There is a direct correlation from their experiences to their behavior in general, ultimately making it all irrelevant to you despite you being on the receiving end of it. Before you decide that I’m telling you to be a barrier-ridden, callous robot, read on. Your self-esteem should be independent and healthy enough to carry yourself through whatever kind of encounters you have. If your self worth is determined by the energies other people give off you’re in for a a bumpy ride.
So ladies, next time someone compliments you on your glowing skin/philanthropic tendencies/great figure give them a sincere thank you but don’t take it to heart. Treat it the same as you would when you overhear another female defaming your name or when a boy says sweet things to you, only to soon nonverbally retract them with his inconsiderate actions. Gentlemen, the next time you brush shoulders with an insecure bro at the bar who immediately begins to instigate by loudly insulting your masculinity smile and shake your head, gracefully brushing it off the same way you would a dose of flattery.
If you’re having an issue with self worth this might be a good time to reflect on why. I’m not saying that outside environment won’t ever have an effect on your mood, but it’s important to have a handle on how much it does. It all boils down to what you allow. Why you’re an amazing individual is a vast, completely different topic, but the fact that you are is an important thing to remind yourself.
Although it could probably go without saying, the implementation of this mentality is, of course, not an excuse to go around being unconcerned about the feelings of others. I’ll leave you with this: