What is your problem? Or is it all in my head?
Stop. Just stop telling me how I can be a better person. You keep promising I’ll be more productive, more thoughtful, more emotionally intelligent, more calm in the face of adversity. You keep writing about how if I change this thing about myself or that thing about my routines, then I will be more successful, more rich, more heard.
You’re lying to me. I’ve tried your tips and tricks. I’ve spent the last several years trying to change myself into your version of “a better person”. But who the hell are you to tell me I’m not good enough? Who are you, you fat, trollish man who said the right things behind people’s backs to the right people and climbed your way into the inner circle? And who are you, you weak-willed hipster lady who takes credit for other people’s ideas and delegates blame? Who are you, you millionaire who inherited everything from your great grandfather and who are you, you government hack who happened to be born with the right name? Why, oh why, do you — you people out there — try to make your opinion on who I am matter?
You don’t know my struggles. You don’t know our struggles. You don’t know any thing. So why, oh why, are you spending your precious gift of a life telling other people that they should be different? Why, oh why, aren’t you trying to understand your own life instead of making judgements on someone else’s?
I often fall back into a pattern of over-analyzing myself (I mean, my Self). Someone says something with a particular tone, and I feel in my stomach a reaction. If I can’t keep something from coming out of my mouth, it is ill timed, not witty. Or I contain myself and say nothing. I spend too much time cursing myself for not being quicker, and then suddenly the wit appears. I know I what I should have said. Then I look down upon my Self because I am too late. Again. I’m too late, again. I try to remind myself that I’m brewing over something that already happened and I try, I try to forgive them. I should be forgiving myself.
Most people don’t know that the thing they are saying, the thing they are doing is hurtful to you. They aren’t thinking about you, so you shouldn’t be thinking about them. As much as I actively remind myself of that, I still catch myself brewing over something that doesn’t matter. Because no one’s opinion about me matters, except for my own.
That’s not to say that giving people feedback is pointless. However, since we’re all humans who are all in some similar state of existential crisis (at least, I assume this is a human trait?), perhaps we could try being kind? Is kindness relative? I suppose it is. Well, then, continue on. It might not be possible to come to a consensus on what kindness to your fellow human means.
Consensus or not, I’m going to be bold and say that if your sentence starts with something like “You should have…”, “I can’t believe you…”, “You are…”, “You’re not…” you should pause for just a moment and ask yourself “Am I being kind?” I’ll do the same. Maybe it’s enough.