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Blocking out negativity is such a crucial skill when it comes to self-love and self-care. I don’t mean to brag but I’ve experienced a lot of negativity over the years. Whether it was about my gender identity, my activism or just my personality, people have directed hatred towards me on countless occasions. Here’s how I’ve always managed to deal with it.
It doesn’t matter if people don’t like you.
A lot of people are just assholes. They’ll be rude, they’ll be spiteful and they’ll try to hurt you. Whether they’re jealous, bigoted or just plain stupid is not up for you to decide. In fact, as difficult as it sounds, you should work to get to a point where you don’t think about them at all. Don’t try and fight fire with fire. Don’t try and act differently to impress them. Just step back and focus on something else. The best revenge is disinterest.
It doesn’t matter if people don’t like what you do.
Just like the last point, there are a lot of people who will respect you, but won’t support or enjoy what you do. There are certain people around me who seem to enjoy my company, but don’t like the fact that I’m so outspoken about certain things. There are people who will sit down and chat to me, but the minute I mention my work or my books, will not have an interest at all. This is okay. Don’t try and convince them to like what you do. Don’t try and stop doing what you want to. Just step back from them and carry on with what you’re doing. You are not your work or your product. When people criticise something that you do, they’re not criticising you. You can’t please everyone.
Standing up for yourself is overrated.
I definitely think that no one should let themselves be put down by anyone, but standing up for yourself is exhausting. When I was in secondary school, a lot of people took issue with me for no reason. They used to harass me in many different ways and everyone always used to tell me to stand up for myself. And I did stand up for myself as best as I could. But it only resulted in me becoming a huge bitch. I was so focused on standing up for myself all the time that I stopped enjoying being around people. Now, I take the rise above approach. If someone says something to me, I ignore them. If someone stares at me, I stare them right back down. If someone tries to get in my way, I walk around them. Being 6 foot 3 helps with the whole superiority thing.
Cut people away.
If you don’t like someone’s posts on social media, unfollow them. If you don’t like someone’s behaviour towards you, try your best not to be around them. If you don’t like the person your friend has changed into, step back. This can create sticky situations sometimes. I’m constantly deleting people from social media and it can be awkward. But I feel a lot calmer when I don’t have statuses or comments that make my blood boil constantly appearing on my timeline.
Work on yourself.
I’m quite a selfish person, but that helps me to be a better person so much. I believe that in most cases, our main focus should be on ourselves. We should always be working to better ourselves and diminish any ugly traits from our personality. Stop bitching about girls that are doing nothing to harm you. Stop trying to piss off people that you find annoying. Stop watching drama unfolding around you and smiling. Spend your time doing things to improve yourself and your relationships with the people around you.
Negativity is everywhere and it’s near impossible to erase it from your life completely. But one of the most rewarding things you can do is to make a real effort to remove negativity from your life and your space. It’s one of the quickest ways to make a real difference to your mental health.