Make Yourself a Priority



PART THREE

Make Yourself a Priority


Introduction

It’s not selfish or a sign of weakness to distance yourself or walk away from those who constantly bring down your vibe. Life is about balance. It’s about spreading kindness, but it’s also about not letting anyone take that kindness away from you.

Do you think it’s selfish to put yourself first? Depending on the context, it can be selfish to think of yourself and not others. For example, if a pie is cut into eight equal pieces and there are eight hungry people in the room, it would be selfish of you to take two pieces.

However, it’s often important to put yourself first. You have a lot of energy to give, but you must save some of that energy for yourself. You came into this world alone and you’ll leave on your own. Your longest relationship in life is with yourself. Only when you manage this relationship well can you manage your relationships with others.

Sadly, we must accept that even though someone means well, they may repeatedly inflict pain on our souls without considering the effect that their actions and words are having on us. Ideally, we want to be in a place where our mood doesn’t shift because of someone else’s behaviour, but only the most spiritually evolved among us are able to do this – to demonstrate unconditional, ongoing love in spite of others’ actions towards them. Most of us still have a long way to go before we ascend into states of consciousness high enough to allow us to love all people without condition or expectation.

If we’re not spiritually evolved individuals, then constant interaction with toxic people can suck the energy out of us, which in time will make us feel drained.

It is much easier to see the good in life when you are around positive people.

Your personal growth is an ongoing process and it can take a long time to get to a place where you’re unaffected by other people’s behaviour.

So sometimes you have to cut out those people who continuously cut you. They’re venomous and restrict your progress. After all, it’s hard to function, not to mention crack a smile, when someone keeps feeding you poison. Think of a plant: if you keep it under toxic conditions, it can’t grow and will soon start to wither. But, under the right conditions, it’ll thrive and grow into something beautiful. Once it becomes big and strong, it’s hard to destroy.

People can be toxic, too. A toxic person might be someone who criticizes everything you do; expects too much; lacks respect; shows very little support. They might ridicule, neglect, physically abuse, manipulate and belittle you. These people are usually unwilling to confront their toxic actions and make changes.

So when you find yourself around people who are toxic towards you, your inner peace will be lost and you’ll be more likely to pass on the pain this causes you to others. This begs the question: Is it selfish to think of ourselves here, or is it selfish of them to expect that we should be okay with it?

Ending a toxic relationship can be incredibly difficult; it’s hard to break free from those close to you, even if they’re hurting you. But once you remove those people from your life, you make way for a river of positivity to flow. You’ll have time and space for introspection, healing and growth, and like the plant, you too will become strong.


Check your own behaviour

We want everyone else to stop being toxic, but we rarely review our own actions. The most important relationship you have is the one with yourself, so there’s no excuse not to break free from your own toxic ways. So it’s important that you can identify any toxic tendencies you might have and that are hurting others – or yourself.

When we’re annoyed or upset, we assume that everyone around us is fine. We excuse ourselves for acting in unkind ways by blaming our mood, not realizing that other people might be going through a tough time themselves. This can bring other people down, which means that not only are you feeling hurt, but now someone else is, too.

Even those who believe they’re leading by example often forget to review their own actions, as demonstrated by an experience I’ve had myself. If you’ve seen my Instagram page, you’ll know I post quotes and advice. What you might not know is that quite often my words are lifted by other social media pages and reposted as someone else’s inspiring words. As flattering as it is to see my words and thoughts being shared by people, it’s not satisfying seeing my watermark being removed and no credit given to me.

Always review your behaviours and make an effort to change any that are toxic – towards yourself or others. This isn’t only how you grow, it’s also an act of self-love. You’re showing yourself that you deserve better than the behaviours limiting your progress.


What really strikes me is that there are a number of pages promoting positivity to huge audiences that have still refused to correct their mistake. When I reached out, the people behind these pages told me they didn’t want to take posts down and repost them correctly because they had great engagement on them and they’d lose followers. Some of these people had profited from my words but still didn’t feel the need to acknowledge my messages. One said that everyone else was doing it, so I should get over it. Among the most interesting responses was: ‘Let it go – your name doesn’t need to be on it. If you’re a positive person, then you don’t need to contact me ever again.’ This has led me to realize that even those who are doing the most preaching, and appearing to promote positivity and love, aren’t always following their own advice.

In truth, I did need to get over it once they refused to do anything about it. I had to focus on working selflessly. I’ve managed to overcome my disappointment and remind myself that the most important thing for me is that a positive message is getting out there. This is how I find my peace.

However, this response exposed something that’s very common in the world: shifting blame. We’re quick to point out what’s wrong with someone else so that we can avoid taking responsibility for our own actions.

We could say that it’s not our responsibility if others are offended by our actions. After all, it’s only their perception and ideas around our actions that are actually hurting them.

If I feel that I’m right, yet someone else feels that I’m wrong, who is right?

But even when you think someone’s overreacting, you must try to understand the root cause of why they feel the way they do. Usually it’s because you’ve violated one of their personal values. And if someone says they’re hurt by your actions, you must believe they’re hurt; you can’t decide for them whether or not they felt hurt in the first place.

I’ve learned this with my partner. Sometimes I take my jokes too far and cause offence. If she then bravely admits her vulnerability to me, the worst thing I can do is make her feel bad for opening up to me by being defensive and shifting blame onto her. You can’t tell someone that their feelings are invalid. You have to try to seek understanding first. Identify why they feel the way they do and then see what you can do to make it better.

This is important for all relationships. We’re all different and we all deserve respect for our feelings. Acknowledging and understanding someone’s pain not only allows you to learn about them, but also helps you to grow. You’re not expected to be flawless. We all make mistakes. But you must be willing to learn, grow and remain respectful.


The power of a good partner

Walking away from something unhealthy shows great bravery, even if you stumble a little on your way out of the door.

Sometimes in relationships, one partner will punish the other due to their own insecurities. They make the other feel like they have flaws, just to cover up their own limitations and to achieve a sense of superiority or authority. These relationships are often very unhealthy and toxic. They can make the one being punished question themselves and feel low or empty inside.

For example, if you think your nose is too big and then you notice your partner being friendly with someone who you perceive as being attractive, you may notice their nose is smaller and draw a comparison. As you focus on the idea that their nose is better than yours, you may feel a rush of negative emotions such as jealousy, doubt and hatred. As a result, your self-worth, confidence, and even energy, decreases.

Your mind may also suggest hideous ideas to you, such as your partner finding them attractive because their nose is perfect. You may then take your pain out on your partner, accusing them of flirting, even if it was completely innocent. You’ll project your insecurity onto them and imply that they’re malicious, they lack love and they’re disrespectful. This is emotional manipulation, where instead of taking responsibility for your own emotions, you take them out on someone else.

You’ll ensure your partner also feels your pain. You’ll question their integrity and morals, trying to convince them that they’re sinister. You’ll point out everything that’s wrong with them. This only leads to conflict, where even more insecurities may be exposed, damaging words exchanged and potentially devastating actions produced. But you need to understand where your actions are coming from. Is it your insecurities, or because your partner has been acting in toxic ways? Ultimately, this ends in pain.

Alternatively, your partner may have been genuinely flirting. In some relationships, this may be acceptable. In most, however, it won’t be. Although you can’t demand respect from someone, you can extract yourself from situations in which you’re not respected.

That said, there are plenty of healthy relationships that are full of insecurities. But they must contain mutual respect and support. Partners should be honest about their insecurities, open to working with each other to improve them and respectful enough not to hurt the other or use their insecurities against them. All relationships require work. They require endless communication and tremendous understanding, and they can be very challenging. But while giving up isn’t always the answer, sometimes you have to walk away, especially when you lose your sense of self.

Sometimes you have to break away from the toxicity so you can heal.

Unhealthy relationships drain all the goodness out of us. We give everything to someone who just won’t match our efforts and willingness to try. We empty our love bank to make them feel wealthier, while we become broke. We give ourselves up to someone who doesn’t respect us enough to treat us well in return.

You don’t have to be an expert to realize that relationships should be empowering. They shouldn’t consistently make you feel limited or lacking. You should never be feeling empty in a relationship, especially if it’s to make someone else feel full.

Sometimes, we love the idea of what someone could be, or what someone is momentarily; we love their potential. In fact, if you reflect on your past with a serious ex-partner, there was probably a point where you thought that they were the best thing ever. Later, you may have found out that they weren’t quite what you expected them to be.

None of us is perfect, so no relationship is perfect. But it’s easy to fall into the trap of hanging onto people because you see their light and their potential to be a great partner; however, deep down you know that you’re clinging to false hope.

If you’re with someone who isn’t willing to get better, you may be wasting your time.

You can’t change those who aren’t ready to change.

You also have to ensure that they’re not pretending they want to get better. This tactic could be used to build false hope, so that you stick around for longer. Of course, this is a selfish act and it’s characteristic of someone who’s unwilling to reach their full potential.

I completely understand that it might be painful to leave a toxic person who you love; getting out of a toxic relationship is much easier said than done. That’s why many stay put and entertain the negativity for as long as they can. But you’re worth that temporary pain.

Sometimes, people will settle for inadequate relationships because they believe they won’t find someone better, or that the task of finding someone new and rebuilding something from scratch is too long and difficult. Their intuition will tell them that they deserve better but they won’t courageously act on it.

Here’s an example that might help you figure out whether you’re in a toxic relationship. Someone once asked for my opinion on their relationship. They were having problems with their partner and didn’t know if they should walk away. I don’t like telling people what they should do in their relationship because I’m not in it and can’t see the full picture. Someone can describe it to me and I can make assumptions, but the choice is ultimately theirs.

So I flipped it around and asked this person what they’d advise their daughter to do if she were in the same position. This gave them pause for thought. I already knew what they thought they should be doing – but they needed me either to justify it or talk them out of it. The decision scared them, so they were avoiding it. Yet when I asked this question, they realized they already knew the answer.

As a parent, you have natural protective instincts over your child. Even if you don’t have a child, you can probably imagine it. You’d care about them so much that you wouldn’t want them to get hurt and miss out on any joy. This person’s gut already had the answer, even before they asked me for my advice. I always tell people to trust their instinct, because that’s their soul whispering advice to them.

You’ll know it’s your gut when you have a sense of almost knowing you’ve arrived at the answer without a reasoning process.

When you think a certain thought, you’ll get a strange little feeling in your belly, and that’s what I believe is your intuition. It’s one of the best guidance systems around!

Even your most dominant thoughts aren’t necessarily your intuition speaking, because they could be rooted in fear or desire. Intuition is a calm feeling and gives you a reassuring sense of detachment. Sometimes, it will feel like something inside you is urging you to take note. It’s almost physical.

Just remember, a relationship should add value to your life and bring you good vibes the majority of the time. Relationships that are toxic will deflate your psychological health and even your physical wellbeing.

Don’t be in a relationship for the sake of being in one. If it’s time to say goodbye, be brave and do it. It might hurt now, but it will be the source of something greater in the future.


Choose real friendships

One evening, I received an email from a teenager who’d diagnosed herself with depression and low self-esteem. She didn’t feel good about life. She didn’t feel confident and found it very hard to remain positive. Telling her to stay positive didn’t work; it just made her feel worse.

After speaking to the teenager, it became obvious that her friends had put many disturbing ideas into her head, telling her she was ugly, stupid, embarrassing to be around. These friends didn’t recognize her worth, and this affected how she saw herself, too.

If someone doesn’t respect you or says you have flaws, there’s a good chance you’ll start to integrate their opinions into your sense of self. In fact, many of the thoughts in our heads aren’t originally our own. When we’re young, we might be told that we’re not meant for certain paths in life. We grow up believing what we’re told and the others’ perceptions become our reality.

Our whole lives are shaped by throwaway comments and social programming.

Sometimes, the simplest solution is to be around different people, especially when you can’t get the ones you’re already surrounded by to change. Once the teenager let go of the friends she had and made new ones, she began to feel more confident about her life.

Simplify your circle of friends. Keep those who add value to your life; remove those who don’t. Less is always more when your less means more.

Since the evolution of social networking platforms, the definition of friend has changed. They’re no longer people you know well. Virtual friendships have affected the way society labels friendships. We now call anyone a friend – even a person we met once on a night out.

How many of these people are really your friends? Could you turn to them in a time of need? Unfortunately, many modern friendships aren’t based on emotional support or a family-like connection. Instead, they’re based on drinking, smoking, partying, shopping or gossiping together – some of which happen to be habits that will lower your vibration.

A lot of these types of friendships may be based on short-term mutual gain. For example, some friends may only play an active role in your life when both of you need someone to accompany you to public events, such as parties. The person you go to the gym with might be considered a friend, but if you ever needed help moving house, would they be available to lend a hand? Would they offer to help? Although these friendships may not be bad, because they assist you in serving a purpose, they quickly fall away when you’re in need of help. You can’t always expect those people to be there for you.

Sometimes, we have more superficial friendships than meaningful ones. Consider whether your friends show you support. Do they applaud when you win? Do they encourage you to take positive actions? Do they help you grow as a person? If you’re unsure, your friendships may not be as healthy for you as you think they are.

If you suspect jealousy or hatred directed at you within your friendship circle, you’re not surrounding yourself with the right people. True friends want the best for you. Your success is shared with them. They don’t become bitter when you get better; they help you get better and ensure you don’t become bitter!

Some friends want you to do well, but not too well. It’s important that we do not settle for these mediocre friendships either, as they’ll fill our lives with negative energy.

We all grow and mature at different rates, but some people have slow growth because they choose to remain stuck. You’ll often meet people who are caught up in the same routines, doing the same things with the same peers, and complaining about the same problems. These people actively resist change and don’t step out of their comfort zone in search of a better life. They become comfortable with their dissatisfaction.

You may be one of these people, or they may be your close friends. You may be highly ambitious and finally pluck up the courage to go for more in your life. Your friends, on the other hand, might not get it, and the difference in frequencies between you could cause separation. For example, if you wish to grow spiritually, you may become interested in concepts that are completely alien – even scary – to your friends.

The truth is, all of your friends teach you something valuable in life. They each have a role to play. Some have temporary positions, others are permanent. It’s fine to outgrow people and move on with your life. You must always focus on your own life, expanding it and growing as an individual. You can only do great things for others in the world if you genuinely feel joyful, loving and accomplished. If the people around you choose different paths or aren’t quite where you are, that’s okay. If they’re supposed to be in your life, sooner or later they’ll be there; your journeys will align again eventually.


Facing family

You can outgrow clothes, hobbies, jobs, friends – and even family members. We evolve past things that don’t contribute to our joy and wellbeing.

Just because they’re your family, it doesn’t mean they have the best intentions for you. Many of us are taught that there’s nothing more important than family. But biological relationships don’t always equal supportive, close relationships. Friends can be more like family than family itself. We shouldn’t conceal the fact that sometimes it’s our own family members who are the most toxic people in our lives.

Ending these relationships can be the most heartbreaking because, let’s face it, these people often mean the most to us, even if they do continuously put us down. It’s hard to justify ending a relationship with your parents, for example, if they’ve done a lot for you throughout your life.

Sometimes, you don’t have to. You simply need to communicate and tell them how you feel. You’ll be surprised by how many people are oblivious to their toxic behaviours towards others.

When they find out that they’re actually hurting you, they may very well change their ways.

We can also try to understand their intentions. Most of our loved ones do genuinely have good intentions for us. They want to see us happy, successful and prosperous. But they can be misled or limited in their view, which sometimes comes across as being negative.

A friend had an exciting idea about an online business he wanted to pursue, and looked for his parents’ approval. To his dismay, their reaction wasn’t quite what he’d hoped for. They ridiculed his idea and tried to talk him out of it; they simply couldn’t understand how it could be profitable. Instead, they suggested that he stopped living in dreamland and focused on studying and getting the grades he needed to go to university.

He felt that his belief in his brilliant idea was dampened by their scepticism. This wasn’t the first time either. He felt as though his parents were always knocking his aspirations, and as a result he perceived them as being negative towards him. He didn’t want to shut his parents out of his life, because he loved them – and lived with them. But at times he felt they didn’t love him!

What he failed to understand was that although his parents were critical, it wasn’t entirely their fault. Their ideas about what was feasible in life and what success looked like were different from his. Their beliefs, shaped by their experiences and social conditioning, meant they had a different outlook on life.

To recognize love in spite of criticism, you have to understand that everyone’s perspective – including your own – is limited and subjective. We all constantly gather information from everywhere, and everything we learn has an impact on what we believe and how we think – but this depends on exactly what information we’ve picked up.

If no one in your family has ever seen success by skipping university and starting an online business, the prospect of you doing this is completely new to them and may be rejected out of hand. People tend to fear what they can’t understand. So make an effort to understand where your loved ones are coming from and what may be the root of their concern or cynicism.

Most people have believed the things they do for many years. You cannot expect them to drop their beliefs in an instant because of how you perceive the world. If you feel that they’re being held back by their beliefs, you can offer an alternative perspective, but you can’t force your beliefs on someone else.

If you want their support, you have to build their trust. This is your task, as much as it’s theirs. Try to be open with them; talk to them and tell them how you feel. Involve them in your plans: give them more information or explain your alternative view; reassure them that you’ve thought about what will happen if you fail. You need to minimize their fear so that they have more faith. When they have more faith, they’re more likely to show the positive support that you want.

My friend showed his parents an exact plan of what he wished to do, examples of success stories and even teachings by iconic figures who his family valued that supported his views. Gradually, he helped them change their outlook.

If you find yourself in a similar position, it’s up to you to show your doubters that you’re doing everything in your power to make your chosen path worthwhile.

If you don’t prove that you’re serious about what you want to do, you can’t expect other people to be serious about it either.

Don’t underestimate the power of leading by example. If it’s the limited thinking of the people around you that makes them cold towards you, show them that they could break free from this unhappy state of being. Be open-minded and do your best to be warm towards them. Show them how one should behave, even if being treated unfairly. Your faith and determination may, gently and gradually, inspire a change in them. They might see how great you are as an individual and how rewarding it is to be like you!

Sometimes, simply by shifting our perspective and focusing on the positives we see in people who challenge us, we’re able to feel better about our relationship with them. This is especially useful when you’re living in the same house as those who dampen your spirit. This doesn’t provide a full fix, but if you appreciate the good in them and create some distance until things improve, this can be a catalyst for healing.

It’s vital to remember that you cannot change others unless they want to change themselves. You can influence them and facilitate change, but you cannot make them change. And they’ll only decide to change when they have an incentive – such as a better life or a better relationship with you. If they don’t identify a problem with their way of being, they won’t be motivated to change.

In some cases, a family member’s behaviour can be extreme, such as inflicting physical or emotional harm. We weren’t placed on this planet to suffer at the hands – or words – of another person, regardless of our relationship with them. And pretending someone’s harmful behaviour is okay is in itself harmful. If you need to cut someone off because of continued destructive behaviour, then do it with no regrets.


Being there for others

Earlier, I wrote about the importance of being around people who are in a more positive mood than you, vibrating higher, if you want to feel good. This is often a great solution, but can, naturally, have a downside for those with the higher vibration. They may find that when they’re there for someone who isn’t feeling great, they find it difficult to remain stable in their own emotional state. Spending time with someone who’s searching for higher vibes can pull them down.

You may feel like this when a friend explains all their troubles to you and sadness suddenly spreads through your body. It’s catching. I learned this lesson at university when a flatmate of mine was feeling low after being heartbroken by a girlfriend who’d ended their relationship. One night while we were out with friends, he went back to the flat early, distraught about the break-up. The girl who he was heartbroken over became extremely worried from the texts he was sending her that he’d do something to harm himself. She let us know so we could check on him.

When my friends and I got back to the flat, his door was locked and his music was turned up loud. We kept knocking on his door, but he wouldn’t let us in. We started to panic and called the caretaker, who had a spare key to his room.

As we entered, we saw him curled up in bed with tears running down his face. We took a closer look at his wrists and saw the marks of what appeared to be self-inflicted cuts. In that moment, we realized that he was so low that he wanted to end his life. Fortunately, our entrance interrupted his desperation and we were able to console him.

Over the next few days, there was a very strange vibe in our flat. Everyone was shaken. The flatmate who’d attempted to take his own life didn’t say much about the incident, but he did want to spend time with me. I spent my evenings with him, offering support and trying to offer gentle advice to make him feel better.

But after a while, I realized that I didn’t feel like my normal self; I was starting to feel really down. I realized that as much as I wanted to be there for him, I had to think about myself, too. I felt empty, and I couldn’t pour from an empty cup.

Before you try to fix someone else’s vibe, make sure you’re not killing your own in the process. Protect your own energy first.

I created some distance between us for a while, keeping our interactions to a minimum. Inside, I was punishing myself for not being there for him more; I felt that I had to be God-like and simply accept it. However, I was already torn apart and I knew that unless I felt good in myself, I just wouldn’t be able to offer him proper support. I’d feel hypocritical for offering comfort when I was distraught myself.

He seemed to be doing okay and this gave me a little peace of mind. Eventually, I was able to get my vibration up and be there for him more effectively.

This was many years ago and since then a lot has changed. For one, I have a much greater depth of awareness and understanding. I’m fortunate to be in the position where many thousands of people feel they can share their problems with me, but because of what I’ve learned I can now keep my vibration steady, even if someone else’s vibration is very low. There are exceptions and I’m still careful to protect my energy from people who want to drain it or abuse my willingness to help them.

If my emotional state isn’t high enough to start with, I know that by trying to help someone who is feeling low, I may suffer a profound emotional impact.

If you’re listening to someone ranting on about how troublesome their life is and you’re not feeling great yourself, you could be heading for a major energy drain. Although lending an ear can be helpful, increasing the number of unhappy people in the world doesn’t benefit anyone.

The wisest thing for you to do in this situation is to change your state by vibrating as high as you can. This is how you protect your own vibration. By doing this, you build the strength needed to help others.


Handling negative people

Not everyone is going to get you, accept you or even try to understand you. Some people will just not receive your energy well. Make peace with that and keep on moving towards your joy.

Nearly every single person in the world, no matter how kind or amazing they’re perceived to be by the majority, will have at least one person who dislikes them. Only if you stayed alone in your house all day and no one saw you, spoke to you or knew of your existence, would no one would show hatred towards you. You acquire haters by being a somebody.

I receive negative remarks from people every now and then, even if I’ve done a good deed. This is partly because this kind of abuse is so common online in general, particularly since people don’t have to reveal their identity. Online they’re free to leave bitter remarks – things that they wouldn’t dream of saying in real life – without having to take any responsibility for their words.

I remember the first time I was mocked. It was when I was five years old. I was in school and our class had to describe our parents. Everyone in my class described both their mum and dad.

When it was my turn, I described my mum and not my dad. This invited questions from other kids, who asked me what had happened to my dad. I didn’t know what to say, and fortunately my teacher intervened. Truthfully, I had no idea that children were supposed to have two parents. I was used to having only my mum and I hadn’t questioned it.

At breaktime, some of the kids in my class started mocking me.

They said things like, ‘He hasn’t even got a dad.’

‘His dad is probably dead.’

‘His mum is his dad.’

I became more and more wound up, and reacted with violent aggression. I got into deep trouble, despite telling the teacher why I’d done what I did.

If I hadn’t been to school, I wouldn’t have had that experience. Even when we’re really young, it’s usually a lack of understanding and compassion that creates hatred towards others. If people aren’t the same as us, we’re more likely to label them as misfits and to mock them. And the more people we’re exposed to, the higher our chances of receiving judgement and criticism. This is because we’re now in front of a large audience of individuals, each with their own perceptions of what normal is.

Just think about celebrities. They’re only human, but because they reach so many people, they receive tremendous amounts of criticism. We talk about kindness to others but exclude celebrities as if they’re not human. Sadly, everyone has their gospel but fails to practise what they preach. They’re the same people reading and reciting holy words, with unholy behaviours. They’re the same people who believe they’re on a righteous path, but will judge others for not being on the same path as they are.

Remind yourself that negativity from others is unavoidable. With our constant exposure to the rest of the world, and our interactions with it, we’re bound to face some people who have a low vibration and act unkindly towards us.

Trying to keep your distance from such people can become a huge ask when there’s very little you can do to avoid them.

Here are some important reminders to help you remain peaceful when people speak negatively about you. You’ll begin to realize that the best defence is silence and joy.

‘Nobody can hurt me without my permission.’

-MAHATMA GANDHI


Misery loves company

Unfortunately, people who are vibrating at a low frequency often want to drag others down to their level. Sometimes they’ll try to expose what’s wrong with you, because they can’t handle everything that’s right with you. They probably won’t like it when others show you love or give you attention, and their resentment will probably build when, despite their efforts to make others hate you, they still love you.

The Internet is full of people who enjoy seeing other people being ridiculed and kicked while they’re down. They’re quick to accept negative assumptions and eager to celebrate failures. People who have made mistakes or fallen on hard times rapidly become trending topics due to a cultural addiction to the downfall of others.

People oppose progress

When you’re making noise, someone will try to turn down your volume. When you’re shining bright, someone will try to dim your light. It’s simple: if you weren’t standing out from the rest, people would have no reason to hate.

These haters are often individuals who feel threatened, jealous or hurt by our confidence as we strive for greatness. They may feel that our success will limit theirs, or fear losing their place to us. They may dislike the idea that our confidence leads us to be celebrated when they strongly desire their own praise. They may be offended by our unrestricted beliefs if theirs are constrained by a conditioned mind that feels powerless to change anything.

They want to dampen our will and drive so that their ego doesn’t feel overshadowed. By belittling us, they believe they won’t feel so little themselves. These people exist and they’ll show up on our path to a greater life. We mustn’t deny their existence, but we mustn’t react either. A reaction is exactly what they want to make us feel down and protect their ego.

Hurt people hurt other people

The way people act towards the outside world illustrates what’s going on in their inner world. When someone attempts to make you feel inadequate, it’s because they feel inadequate themselves. Understanding this will help you handle related situations more effectively.

For example, sadness makes people act bitterly and without love; pain and internal suffering claw us into a low vibration. It causes a domino effect of hurt, because all too often people aren’t in a good mood because they’ve been hurt by someone else who wasn’t in a good mood. These newly hurt people then hurt other people, and on it goes.

But trying to heal pain by inflicting it on others doesn’t work. The Indian guru and spiritual teacher Osho once likened this to banging on a wall. His view was that attacking others to relive your pain is like someone being angry and then taking it all out on a wall, trying to cause it damage. They don’t define the wall and the wall doesn’t have the problem – they do. Eventually they’ll end up more hurt, even though the wall has not hurt them itself.

Disliking difference

People tend to feel drawn towards individuals who resemble them in some way. This is demonstrated by a neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) technique called mirroring, which shows that mimicking an individual’s behaviours encourages them to like you.

So, if you’re generally loud, bubbly and full of life, and you come across someone similar, you’d probably think they’re pretty cool. And if their speech patterns, body language and tone are similar to yours, you might think, ‘You know what, there’s something about this person I really like.’ That’s because they’re just like you.

We can also assume the opposite to be true: people tend not to feel an affinity with individuals who are different from them. And someone different from you might think you come across as a bit strange or ‘out there’. Ultimately, they won’t understand you, or want to understand you, because your energy doesn’t match theirs.


What goes around comes around

You’ve probably heard the word ‘karma’. Many people are uncomfortable with this term because it’s a theological concept (found in the Buddhist and Hindu religions, among others) that involves reincarnation. The belief is that your actions will have ramifications on your next life cycle; the more good deeds you do in this life, the better your next life will be.

Whether or not you believe in reincarnation, most of us accept the notion that one reaps what one sows. In science, we might recognize this as ‘cause and effect’, or relate it to Newton’s third law – ‘For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction.’ And if you look through the majority of religious texts, you’ll find a reference that relates to the idea that what goes around comes around.

But when people treat us unfairly, we rarely reassure ourselves that karma will catch up with them and just move on with our lives. Instead, we get caught up in our emotions while our rational mind takes a back seat.

For example, if someone is going around saying you’re violent when you’re clearly not, you might feel offended. If they persistently do this, you may feel anger building inside you. One day, you might get sick and tired of the accusations and react violently. Even if the rumour isn’t true, your actions have now made it look as though it is.

Earlier, we learned that actions driven by a low vibrational state, such as anger, will only hurt us further, and that includes the bad karma these actions will create. So don’t allow the cruelty of others to define your future.

The lonely and bored crave attention

When your life isn’t interesting, you tend to focus on other people. You seek excitement and attention from hating others and provoking reactions. This is why memes are so popular on the Internet. People want others to laugh at their attempts at mocking someone else. They’ll do it for likes, comments and shares – for instant gratification. This will make them feel good for a short time and as if they’re doing something worthwhile. Which leads to my final point…

What people say about you says more about them than about you When others judge you, they reveal themselves. They show their insecurities, needs, mindset, attitude, history and limitations. And they paint a clear picture of their future: they won’t go very far, or live a joyful life, if they’re wasting their precious time judging others.


Trying to please everyone

If you keep trying to satisfy others, you will never keep up. In the end, you will satisfy neither them nor yourself.

Hopefully, it’s clear to you now that we do a lot of things in order to be accepted, but if we want to do well in life and maintain our peace, we have to be a little selfish. We’ll never be able to satisfy absolutely everyone, and that’s exactly why we shouldn’t even try. Give up the habit of being a people-pleaser and start pleasing you!

As someone who likes helping others with their personal problems, I’ve found it difficult to stop trying to make everyone happy. In the past, I’d receive hundreds of emails a week from people telling me their problems and asking for help. aturally, I’d want to assist them.

Some people write very lengthy emails, upwards of 2000 words. I don’t believe in doing things half-heartedly, so my response would always be thorough. By the time I’d read and replied to an email this long, I’d have used up a great deal of time.

Responding to everyone was virtually impossible and some people became irate because they felt I was ignoring them. It made me feel terrible and I began to punish myself for it. Although I had other more pressing tasks to complete, I devoted an unreasonable amount of time to replying to these emails.

I became overwhelmed. I realized I couldn’t please everyone, so I shouldn’t attempt to, nor should I be too hard on myself. It was important to prioritize my needs and this is exactly what I did. I’ve never looked back.

I’m sure you can relate in some way to my experience of being raised in a very judgemental community. As a child, certain career choices were sold to me as reflecting well within the community. If I became a doctor, I’d be considered intelligent, rich and philanthropic.

Yet my community would still judge me if I became a doctor. For example, if I remained single until I was 30 years old because I was working all the time, then it would indicate something was wrong with me. If I didn’t have my own house, I’d be deemed to be experiencing financial hardship. If I became a doctor and had everything apart from a child, they’d assume I was having fertility problems. That’s how these communities work. Someone will always see a flaw in you.

Sometimes, I’m accused of being arrogant or stubborn for not giving much thought to the opinions of others. It’s an extension of a judgemental ethos that leads people to this conclusion.

Constructive opinions can be very beneficial to our growth, but destructive ones that demoralize us don’t have a positive purpose. Abuse and criticism disguised as ‘feedback’ doesn’t deserve your attention.


Let your good vibes protect you

Some negative people are allergic to positivity. Be so positive that they can’t stand being near you.

After I committed myself to living life in a more optimistic manner, I gave up my unhealthy habits and embraced positivity as often as I could. I then began noticing that some of the people I associated with didn’t like this. They preferred my old behaviour – they wanted me to complain and to be aggressive and judgemental.

It was as if my attitude was too positive for them. Some people labelled me as fake. I could understand why: I’d gone from someone who complained a lot to someone who made a conscious effort to see the good in things. I’d taken myself to a different frequency from them, emotionally. The further you are emotionally from another person, the less real you appear to them. This is based on the Law of Vibration. This distance can make both individuals feel uncomfortable around one another because you just don’t vibe together. Sometimes this is a great indicator of whom you need to keep your distance from.

What was apparent from my new, positive behaviour was that it was pushing certain people away. When people were rude to me, I started reacting kindly to them. I didn’t show up to the battle they were preparing for. This repelled them because they didn’t have an answer for my response to their rudeness. This was great, because those people were the ones on a much lower frequency than I was, but who had no interest in raising theirs; they were too comfortable in their cynical ways. Our energies were incompatible and they shrank from my field of existence. I didn’t need to distance myself from them because they’d done the job for me.


Dare to leave a toxic job

Believe it or not, your purpose is not to be in a job you dislike for the rest of your life.

If you knew of a certain alley notorious as a murder site, you’d choose to avoid it. You’d know that by walking through it, you’d risk something terrible happening to you, regardless of your state of mind.

Less dramatically, if you’re invited to a birthday celebration where you know someone who regularly verbally attacks you’ll be present, you could choose to avoid it and protect your inner peace. You know your attendance will only attract drama.

But there are similarly toxic settings that are much harder to avoid. One of the most common is your place of work. There might be people there who make your life a misery, but you can’t just stay at home.

I experienced this with a new manager at the office job I mentioned earlier. When I look back at the experience, I don’t entirely blame him for his actions. He had his own life and his own pressures from those who he reported to. And I wasn’t the best employee because I didn’t enjoy the work I was doing so I wasn’t engaged in it.

Although I was thankful for having a decent job, all the signs suggested that I needed to leave and pursue my passions. I knew I wanted to spread positivity in the world and help people to better their lives. So one day I took a massive, courageous step: I quit my job and jumped into the unknown.

It was a huge risk. I left with very little financial security, as I didn’t have much money saved. Some might say I was bold and brave; others might put it down to naivety. But after I left I woke up each day with a rush of gratitude. Even though I had a few financial burdens, there was no price I could put on the sense of peace I’d found. I was soon able to follow my passions and start a lifestyle blog, sharing personal development articles.

I’ve never regretted my decision and I’m thankful for all the difficulties I faced before I started over; for example, the wounds from working the wrong jobs gave me wisdom and resolve that’s helped me create a better life for myself and others. Nonetheless, it’s very common for people to become stuck in harmful workplaces. But they push us into unhealthy mental states and greatly affect our wellbeing.

Leaving an unfulfilling job is daunting, and most of the time financial obligations prevent you from saying ‘enough is enough’ and acting on it. We all crave security and comfort, and entering the unknown can be scary. But you can’t be certain of security from a job, either; you have no control over your salary, pay rises, promotions or anything else about your job – even that you’ll continue to have it.

When you recognize that you deserve better than the toxic situation you’re trapped in, be daring enough to move on. You don’t have to rush the process, but the longer you stay in harmful conditions, the more you sabotage your own life.




THANKS FOR READING POSITIVE PEOPLE!





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