In the last 2 years, I have made some changes to the way I socialize within my circle. I was frustrated with feeling like a punching bag just so I can be around other humans. I took a long hard look at the way people (including family) really treated me and asked myself "Is this the way I enjoy socializing"? Well, it turns out I hate being bullied and treated like crap by other people. I needed to stand up for myself and be the one who says "I do not like the way you talk to me".
Let me explain. Culturally we give others permission to put each other down. We allow others to tell us how inadequate we are and that we will never accomplish anything. We make fun of each other and laugh about it. This treatment does not build a positive relationship that motivates success. I have no idea why I allowed it for so long. I should not have to pretend to like being made fun of by people who are supposed to be building me up. That is not a positive circle that leads to success.
I decided I cannot be successful if I continue to remain in daily relationships that make me feel like I should not even try getting out of bed in the morning. I need to stand up to my bullies and tell them and show them it is not ok. If I am not comfortable saying this, then I need to reevaluate every relationship. So that is what I did, and I must tell you it is a lonely journey. It is necessary, but it is lonely.
I wrote a blog a couple of years back about creating a positive circle. You have no idea how important that is until you start eliminating people in your life who cause you mental trauma. Once you start eliminating these people you realize you can stand up for yourself to create a mentally healthy environment in which you can focus on your goals and actually accomplish something.
Before I started this process I was confused about my career choice. I was frustrated with my finances. I did not have real personal goals, and I could not create effective career goals. I now have a clear picture of my life and finances. I now have a career goal that makes me happy, and I have people in my positive circle who only build me up and support me. I make it an important point to be direct when I do not like the way someone treats me, and I gave myself permission not to feel guilty about it.
I am sure there is someone who will read this blog who has a circle of friends that creates this mentally traumatic environment, and you feel like you have to live this way. Either because they are family, or you have known them a long time. You do not have to leave a social environment feeling bad. You can stand up for yourself. Give yourself permission to say "that is not ok". You will see that mental healing will begin and you will begin to focus on the positive things that actually make you happy. Be the one who will stand up for you, because you are worth it.
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Juanita Espino B.S. Comm., M.A.Ed.
Communications Consultant and Professional Advisor