It’s Not Always About Me…Or You

The first time I ever got teased in school {which later became a daily ritual} my parents said the infamous words: “Oh Joy, don’t let them bother you. Who cares what other people think.”

Are you kidding me? Of course I cared, I was 12.

What I didn’t know was how that would set the tone for the rest of my life. I wanted approval from my peers and to know I mattered. Therefore, a comment about my appearance or negative remark about a question I had previously asked in class was always my worse nightmare. It didn’t help that I inherited my father’s Argentine nose and lived in the “awkward phase” longer than my other classmates. Luckily I survived and things began to look up when I grew into my body {and head}.

What’s funny is that I’m extremely inquisitive by nature and always have been, but at that age, it was a trait I tried to conceal at all costs. It was almost impossible for me to pretend like I didn’t automatically yearn for more information, but I did for the sake of avoiding what could be perceived as a “dumb question.”

Today, I know better, even though it’s often easier said than done. Happy people don’t have time {or energy} to hurt others. When you’re in a state of joy and appreciation with both your internal and external conditions, you want to spread that happiness as much as possible. I know this because I’ve been on both sides.

When I feel judgmental or argumentative towards an individual, 9 out of 10 times I’m feeling stressed or anxious about something completely unrelated to the person I’m supposedly upset with. The same applies when I feel at peace and someone “negative” comes around. In that case, I’m overwhelmed with empathy and feel the need to comfort them instead of meeting them at their level. How someone treats you says a lot more about them than you, always.

Forgive people more often because you truly never know what their struggles entail. And when you notice yourself staying in a circumstance where an individual continues to demonstrate the same type of negative behavior, ask yourself what about you needs healing? What part of you is okay with lowering self-worth? Being treated badly by someone does not require you to become a doormat, especially if it’s apparent they have work to do on themselves before they’re capable of being in a healthy relationship.

Detach from the need to make everything “work” or have everyone approve of you. They’re just opinions and often, not even that. Humans simply show on the outside what they’re feeling on the inside.

Joy Pecoraro is the founder and host of The WOWW Campaign Podcast a place where women share their personal and professional stories in order to bring us closer together. On the podcast, you’ll hear inspirational interviews with various women about challenges they’ve had to overcome and the life lessons they’ve learned along the way.