We all find ourselves in situations where we have to deal with people who want to bring us down. When this happens we need to have a strategy for getting out of the situation or surviving it with our self image intact. Here are a few ways to do just that. As always not every strategy works in every situation.
- Get out: There is nothing wrong or weak about removing yourself from an unpleasant situation. If you do not feel comfortable or capable of dealing with people who are harassing you for whatever reason and you can afford to walk away, do it.
- Think socially: Most ridicule we come under is because we are perceived as a social threat, whether that threat is from being better at something then our attacker or because we represent a break from the social norm. We need to realize that they are attacking out of their own discomfort. This may sound counterintuitive, but by working to make our tormenters more comfortable, while not appearing weak we can give them less reason to attack. Finding the common ground with those who would tear us down can turn them from attacker to supporter.
- Understand why it hurts: When others come at us with words of derision, the ones that hurt the most are the ones we have told ourselves. We have to be able to know why we hurt when we hear things and address those issues in ourselves. Am I not normal? Am I different? Then we need to figure out how to accept our differences and be proud of them. If we find that we are not comfortable with these things in our lives then we need to figure out how to change them.
- Talk to others: Sometimes we can't get away and we are not willing to change and not willing to meet others half way. When this happens we need to reach out to people we can trust and share our pain, not necessarily to get advice or for them to help out. We need to talk because it lets the pain out, out of our head and out of our hearts.