|Posted by Kirstin Parkin on September 2, 2015 at 1:05 PM|
My dad has given me some pretty sound advice over my life. Be kind to people. Have empathy. Be nice to the kids who need a little more support. Honesty is the best policy. Integrity is paramount.
One of the moist poignant things he ever told me was that it was human nature for people to talk about other people. People talk about people. People will also talk about events, ideas and the weather, but mostly, they will always talk about people. What they’re doing and what they’ve done will always be a popular conversation topic.
This simple fact has allowed me to put human nature into perspective. When I’m being talked about, judged, criticized, I know that it won’t last forever before a newer, more interesting person becomes the topic of speculation. I’ve been the victim of vicious rumours that felt like they would ruin me, but dad was right; eventually it blew over. People started talking about something else. Something newer and more interesting always becomes the hot topic. It has also enabled me to be more considerate when I find myself talking about others as well. I try to put myself in their shoes and keep some perspective. I am usually the one trying to be the devils’ advocate with regards to speculations and I try to avoid the whole mob mentality when it comes from making snap judgments on others. It’s not always easy to do. After all, its human nature to talk about other people, and some people are idiots.
Assuming its nature to talk, than it’s also natural to feel upset when others talk about you. To feel judged is a terrible feeling, and as much as I want to protect you from such judgemental tendencies, I know you will be better served by my teaching you how to cope with the gossip groupies.
First, to quote Taylor Swift, ‘Shake it off.’ Whether you’re getting teased on your new haircut, or because you’re the first one to put up your hand in class, or because you like a boy who the kids don’t think is cool enough, know that you don’t need their approval. YOU DON’T NEED THEIR APPROVAL. As long as you’re a nice person and try to be kind, that’s all that really matters. You don’t need friends that bring you down. You don’t need the approval of people who don’t matter.
Secondly, come home to cry about it. Once you’re safe if your parents arms, you can let your pain loose. Unfortunately, letting your pain show in public is like attracting vultures to a carcass. If they see that they hurt you, they will continue to peck at you until you snap. I know this will be hard. It’s not easy to turn off those feelings until you’re in a safe environment to deal with them, but trust me, not everywhere is safe to let your pain show. I’ve cried my eyes out in the bathroom before, only to emerge with red, swollen eyes which gave me away every time. I have been better served with my ability to detach in the moment from my emotional hurt, and deal with it later, when I have a box of tissues, a supportive ear to listen, and comfy clothes. Please don’t mistake my message though, the point is not to turn off your feelings entirely, only to know that you can tell them that you’ll deal with them at a later time. It is possible, and it is doable. As long as I’m alive, I will be your supportive ear and your shoulder to cry on.
Lastly, my advice is to rise above. Your goodness is not determined by others. Your goodness is innate, it comes from within you. You never need to justify your existence to others. Your decisions are your own, and as long as you approach life with a kind heart, you will be okay. But remember, when you are talking about others (it is human nature, after all), try to be considerate before being judgemental. It will take you a lot further in life than those who are not.