“Men and women range themselves into three classes or orders of intelligence; you can tell the lowest class by their habit of always talking about persons; the next by the fact that their habit is always to converse about things; the highest by their preference for the discussion of ideas.”
– Henry Thomas Buckle
Haven’t really been active here. But I thought I would try to write more about random topics I encounter. One of the most frequent I have dealt with, and that we all have, is the rumor mill. Or being talked about behind our back.
Unfortunately that’s something we’re going to always encounter. No matter how hard we try to avoid it. Some people simply will talk. They’ll also believe things about you that aren’t true. Is there a reason for that? I’m not sure. Maybe they need to believe that about us. After all, people aren’t that kind are they? Or something about you bothers them, and they want to hate you for something so they latch onto a rumor that isn’t so beautiful.
Human minds aren’t the strongest. We try our best, but if you implant an idea into someone’s head over and over and over again, eventually it sticks.
Think about the parent who consistently says that their child is bad. Think of that child exposed to that? Eventually that will seep into their mind and they believe it. Upon hearing it over and over they’ll convince themselves that they are bad. That’s all they’ve heard, all they’ve known. It becomes their life.
When we expect something of someone, eventually they become that. Not always, granted. But if you consistently hear that you’re a monster or not a good person, it takes a strong human being to ignore it. Eventually that person may finally think to themselves, “why bother? They’re gonna think I’m bad anyway, may as well be what they think of me.”
Personally I’ve been used to that sort of behavior. I’m kind for the sake of it. Because I’ve known pain, I’ve known abuse, I’ve known what it’s like to be hurt, and after a while, instead of wanting to hurt others, I came to a place that I gave up. I gave into the opposite. I don’t want to do onto others what has been done to me. It means that yes, I’m talked about behind my back.
When we become ourselves, when we’re authentically ourselves, we won’t always attract the good. We won’t always find that everyone says, “great, that’s wonderful!” Sometimes they will hate simply because of who you are. Simply because they don’t like the person you are. For any number of reasons. Big, small, minuscule.
Maybe even from what they’ve been through. From their lives and experiences. That brought to mind the time I was in a shopping center with my then best friend. We were simply walking through the store and the hate-filled look turned on us was incredible. We’d been doing nothing but talking and laughing. She was with her male friend, boyfriend, husband. And the mere fact that we walked past was enough to stir something inside of her that needed to warn us off. And please, before anyone says, “you were imagining things.” Women pick up on things like that. Don’t discount us so easily. We know. We sense. We KNOW that look.
Remembering that now as an adult, I can understand it. Her experiences with women or him made her feel she needed to give us that hateful look. Maybe her own life and insecurities caused it. But it was so small to us. We weren’t looking. We weren’t interested. We looked over at her and him because they walked past. That was enough for her to glare at me. Even my then best friend saw it and said that to me, “what is her problem?”
It doesn’t take much to set people off. You can’t always help it. Absolutely communicate with them if they are a friend (or anyone you’d like to fix it with) and try to make things right, but understand that some will continue to hate you. No matter what you say. Even in your apology to them for a misunderstanding. Even in the words you use. That alone could keep them in the anger phase. A place where they will still talk about you behind your back.
Some people simply have that need in their life. There are so many reasons why. I rarely think anyone is bad. So I’m not about to say that they suck for it. In a mood when I’m mad, I may. But in reality I don’t think they’re bad people. It’s just that many are lacking something in their life and that is what they need. I would like to believe that eventually someone like that would grow and find in them the ability to quit. We can’t change them though.
Only we can change ourselves. Nobody else can.
I’m not perfect. I’ve had moments I talked about someone. It didn’t exactly make me feel better. I try never to spread false rumors though. I try to remind myself that everyone is human and sometimes we mess up. We’re not perfect. I try to forgive those who talk about me behind my back. Not for them. For me. Because I see no reason to hold onto grudges and hate. That only hurts us. Not them. Picture a grudge as a ball. Who is holding it? Who is free of it? So who suffers? Us. As it gets heavier and heavier.
Does it bother me when people believe lies about me? Would it bother you? I love the people who say it doesn’t and it truly doesn’t. I’m sensitive and I know it. Not so that if someone yells at me I crumble. But to hatred? Sometimes the defenses go down and it does hurt. I do care. There’s nothing I can do about it. I don’t want to become immune to it. I feel like if I do, I may end up not remembering how it hurts. Remembering how much it hurts me ensures I don’t do it to another person. Being unfeeling is no longer in my plans. I’ve been there. I was numb to so much. And that’s not a place I want to go again.
So when they start to talk about you, when they believe those rumors? Tune them out. When you hear yourself confirming their thoughts? The hate? The negativity? Tune yourself out. We can’t quit the negativity. But we can lower the volume and turn it up on the good stuff.
Turn on the music, dance, and blast that negativity from your life. Trust me. Good things happen when you inhale sunshine and exhale negativity. And yes, even that makes people say things like, “I don’t live in fantasy land like you.” They believe being positive and wanting to celebrate the good in life means that you don’t know pain. I know pain daily. What good does it do to make it rain on you versus turning up the sunshine and warmth?
I don’t hide from pain. I absorb it, I feel it fully, then I get back to the beauty that life has to offer.
And I am grateful for my ability to do so.