Actually, It’s You
It’s the guy in the car behind me who rides my tail so that I’m too nervous to stop and slide through a yellow-turning red. It’s the lady at work who complains about work, but then complains again when we have a random blessed snow-day. It’s the cashier who glares at the bulging cart I roll into her checkout aisle as though the bulk of my purchase is a personal assault on her day. It’s the guy from the company who, regardless of the number of emails, attempted calls and left voicemails, refuses to get back to me!
I laugh when I think of Mae West and how she cleverly articulated her own experience with a man like this. She said, “He looked at me as if I was a side-dish he hadn’t ordered.” I can totally relate. The problem is, I still tend to take it personally. I ask myself, “What’d I ever do to that person?” or, “Are they always like this or is it me?” I am somewhat sensitive and reflexively err on the side of self-blame; but the more I experience these kinds of interactions the more I think–no way.
You know the tried and true breakup phrase, “It’s not you, it’s me?” Sometimes I just feel like screaming, “Actually, it’s YOU!” It’s you with your rushed, annoyed, crabby, complacent attitude! It’s you with your joy-leaching, smile-draining, fun-sucking personality! It’s you with your, “Won’t be happy until I make you miserable too,” lifestyle! It’s NOT me, it’s you.
So what do we do about it? Can’t change them, (God knows I’ve tried). I’ve even adopted the classic, stay away if I can and surround myself with positive people method. But if we’re being honest, (which I almost always am) that too is impossible. Sometimes, as listed above, it seems these individuals with black-hole-personalities are placed strategically in my day to bring it down. And I try so hard to be unaffected, but man that negativity is magnetic isn’t it? Suddenly I find myself snapping and snarling when, only minutes before I was in a delightful mood. And that bothers me!
I don’t like to think that my mood, my actions or my words are that easily affected by someone throwing their junk on me. Still, regardless of whether or not, “it’s them,” (which we’ve established it is) I am the one allowing them in. I let them drag me down and stain my day. But I say no more! No more to all of it; whatever it is they’re trying to share, I’m not taking it. Immunize yourselves with me to those who would like to infect you with their pessimism. Everyone has bad days, and, in my opinion, no one needs to carry the weight of anyone else’s. So when you feel that darkness creeping in remember, it’s not you, so don’t let it be. Keep shining and carry on.