Bad words, bad feelings.
Have you ever had them? Have you ever been on the other side; a victim of someone's insecurity, misunderstanding and revenge? I have, and it is frustrating, to say the least.
I have been misunderstood more than I find to be a comfortable norm, and some of it came from misrepresenting myself or allowing my insecurity to form a protective shell around me keeping everyone at bay. All it takes is one single incident for the reputation to take off--one person to choose to believe their perception of you--for the misunderstanding to spread like wildfire. No matter what you do, how you may change or how 'off' their perception is of you, that's your rep, built upon someone else's belief.
But, is that your problem, or theirs?
I recognize it for what it is because I've been there. I know what it's like to be on both sides. I let insecurity grow a huge chip on my shoulder. I was wretched, sometimes...a lot of times. I let potential misunderstandings fester into pseudo-truths that I would let convince me of what I wanted to believe about any given situation. I may not have sought revenge, but I often felt vengeful. It took a moment of clarity and being tired of myself and always being unhappy, feeling misunderstood and vengeful for me to change.
I longed for a new way of thinking and living and hoped that I would find it. That was it; that was the key: want, longing, the desire for something else. That's when I vowed to change and let go of my ego. I stopped caring that I may look vulnerable. I patted my insecurity on its wee little head, put it down for a nap and moved right on into living my life the way I wanted to. I stopped being afraid that people might misunderstand me and just vowed to represent myself the best I could each day (but was gentle on myself when I couldn't accomplish it.) And, as for revenge? I didn't desire to "get back" at anyone, no matter what they did to me. I grew out of petty behaviors that caused me to want to lash out like a 2nd grader.
Do I still get misunderstood? You betcha. Do I see and feel other people's insecurities dangerously coming through to their surface? Oh, yes. And do I fear their retribution because they feel slighted in some way? No. No, I don't. I definitely know it may very well be there, but I no longer fear it. You see, after losing so much in so little time, and after all that I battle and accomplish each day, I have no time for someone else's insecurities about themselves or me. Does that sound harsh? Maybe. But, when is enough...enough? You don't have to stop being pleasant and accommodating to other people, but when that line gets crossed, when negativity starts to surround you because they are having issue with their own insecurities, it's time to disengage.
You can't cure someone of their dislike, jealousy, or animosity of you. You can change your attitude and how you treat others (if that is the problem because it very well may be) in order to become a better person. But, try as you might, not everyone is going to like you, understand you, or accept you. When you're living the best that you can, and you try every day to be a better person, if what's left is someone still not treating you fairly...it ceases to be your problem. It is theirs.
I'm not trying to give permission to myself to act as I want to, and to hell with everybody else. Like I said earlier, you can try to figure out what it is about you that is such a bone of contention and vow to fix it. Not everyone needs to be fixed, though, even when you're made to feel like you do. No one is perfect and treating each other like we did back in elementary school is ridiculous. After all, we are grown adults; professionals, even.
So, when you feel the green monster rearing its ugly head, check yourself. Is it you, or is it them? Do you maybe need to make an adjustment? Or do you just need to keep living your life and give the "haters" some space? As long as you are trying to live your life the best you can, treating everyone fairly and with kindness, and being supportive when you can, what more is there to do?
"You can please some of the people all of the time, you can please all of the people some of the time, but you can’t please all of the people all of the time."― John Lydgate
I hope this helps when you are facing animosity or feeling it towards others. Life's just too short to waste it on the petty things.
Thanks for reading,