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  • leoneevans

Perhaps you’ve been in this situation… Where someone is telling you that you’ll never achieve x, y or z; that what you’re doing is a waste of time and even if it was going to be successful it’ll probably fail after a while anyway…

You probably felt angry, unsupported and worthless – all at the same time.

But what if instead you heard them talking about their own fears and worries? Maybe they are annoyed that you are spending your time away from them. Or they are scared that if you are successful you will spend even less time with them. Maybe they don’t want you to succeed as it would make it even more obvious how empty their own lives are. Maybe they’d like it if you don’t achieve your goals as then they can say “I told you so”; and they imagine that together you can then complain about how unfair the world is…

Next time this happens to you, try not to take it quite so personally. Perhaps they have things going on their lives which they feel they have little or no control over - much of which may actually have nothing to do with you. Some careful questioning might get to the bottom of the matter – but only if they are in a mood to listen and respond truthfully…

One response I have found to work is to ask: “What is it that you are most worried about if I do achieve x, y or z?” Often this stops them in their tracks as they are not expecting you to respond in such a way. Then you can decide if you believe their answer; or question again using different approach.

If the same people in particular are constantly running you or your achievements down, perhaps ask yourself why you tolerate their presence in your life? Which aspects of your own beliefs does their criticism reinforce, where on some deep down level you may feel you deserve their treatment?

Often when we embark on a path of self-development or take on new challenges and opportunities, we look to the people closest to us for support and encouragement as we learn and embrace a new way of living. When we find some people only want to criticise our new choices; then we might need to decide if it serves our best interests to keep them in our lives.

But if cutting them out of our lives is not practical, then choosing to minimise our interactions with them; or at the very least ensuring that our interactions are as civil or as professional as possible may be the best option we can take.

“It’s not always about you!” Indeed, as discussed, very rarely is it about me or you; most often it is about the other person and their own unique perspective of the world.

Remember that often they are voicing their own fears and concerns, and they are making it about you because it’s too scary for them to admit to themselves that deep down inside they are hurting, and they don’t know how else to express it or to get your attention.

So, if they will let you, give them your love and understanding instead…


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