Believe it or not, folks, not everyone is on Team You. I know it seems unimaginable, but there are people out there who will want to make you less awesome than you are. Why? Because they can, because somehow limiting your sparkle makes them feel better about theirs.
Let’s say you’re at your nine to five and that coworker who’s always looking over at your cubicle is getting reprimanded because they didn’t do x, y, z but you did. You might feel a little guilty. They might offer you a: “Geese, thanks for making me look bad,” and try to play it off as a joke. But you know darn well, they mean it.
Maybe you’re pursuing your passion and you have a little success under your belt and that friend of a friend, who is also trying to do work, hasn’t gotten as far. They might try to say that the only reason you got where you are is because you got lucky. They’ll try and take away from what you’ve earned. This might inspire some doubt within you.
These types of people are all around us trying to tear us down. Is it fair? No. Is it easy to deal with? Definitely not. But, my friends, there are ways to get through it.
Don’t Get Angry
There have been times when I would have liked nothing better than to give that person a piece of my mind. I fight against the urge instead of fighting the wrong-doer. It’s so easy to lash out at people who make us feel like lesser versions of ourselves. Responding with kindness may be the more difficult choice, but it’s ultimately the better one. There’s no need to lower yourself to their level. By doing that, you’re allowing them to dictate your shine. They don’t get to do that. Don’t give them the pleasure of seeing you crumble before their eyes. Just because you can yell louder, that doesn’t make you right. It makes you ugly. It makes you just as bad as them.
Whip Out The Polish And Get Ready To Do Work
Someone’s trying to dull your shine? Help them feel shinier. Give them compliments on their work. Now, I’m not saying to lie or to kiss anyone’s ass because that just makes you a brown-nosing-liar. What I’m saying is to find the one (because there might only be one) thing that they seem to show interest in or the one thing they’re good at and encourage them. “OMG you’re so good at collecting those popsicle sticks. Great job!” Ok, well that one was silly and condescending and definitely needs work, but you get the idea. Not everyone is like you. Not everyone has a support system to encourage their shine. Or not everyone can shine on their own, like you can. Show this person, who is determined to dim your light, what it looks like to be a team player and be on Team You.
Forgive Yourself When You Get Angry Or When You Forget To Use That Polish
I’ve already said it won’t be easy. It’s almost guaranteed that at some point, the outside forces will be too much and you will get angry or you will try to tear someone down (feel free to use my popsicle dig). You’ll probably feel incredibly shitty afterwards (if you don’t, then just bypass this point). Guess what? You’re human and humans make mistakes. I’m not saying it’s ok to belittle someone or to give them the world’s best (worst?) passive aggressive day of their lives. What I’m saying is that it doesn’t do anyone any good to marinate in the mistake. Acknowledge it happened; promise yourself you’ll try harder next time and MOVE ON. If you hang on to that mess, you’ll be dulling your own shine. Get over it and try harder.
Shine Bright Like A Diamond
Yes, I went there. The best way to combat the attempts to bring you down at the hands of others is to do work anyways. For some, it’s the only thing they can do. I get it, being nice in the face of jerkness is not easy and for some, not possible. What is possible is being awesome anyway. They want you to dumb it down: nope. They have side comments about your achievements: keep on achieving. Don’t give in to people who mean you harm. It doesn’t do you any good and despite their attitude, it doesn’t do them any good either. So keep on working hard, keep on doing great things, keep on shining…and maybe one day their popsicle stick collection will shine as brightly as you.