Oh, hey guys. My blogging schedule, like almost every other aspect of my life, has been a bit erratic lately. I could weave you tales upon tales of misadventure and woe. But I won't. It's been a series of twists and turns, unforeseen misfortunes, and beauteous new beginnings. I moved back to the suburbs for the rest of the month. (Long, agitating story.) I'm fully trained and started my new position at work. (Making mistakes but feeling on top of the world.) I'm in the throes of wedding season. (Tiring but a much-needed escape.) And... I made a new friend. (Hint: he has four legs, a wet nose, and gives sloppy wet kisses.) Overall, I'm on the good foot. I'm adjusting. Challenges are a necessary evil and the acceptance of this indisputable truth has made my life so much more enjoyable.
Thing is, you can't control the way somebody else treats you. However, you can control your response to it. You can be either gracious or hostile. Hostility is so easy, whether it's as a defense mechanism or just simply human nature. It's been my natural instinct and immediate response. Doing so made me hardened and calloused. It took a great deal of breaking down for me to realize just how sad I was becoming.
I'm not an authority on this but I do have some experience. Here's what I've learned.
When somebody talks down to you, tries to manipulate you, or otherwise, the best response is a genuine smile. I believe the cliche term here is to "take the sword out of their hand." Be kind. It's not easy but you'll feel so much better. In the event of a disagreement, be reasonable but don't expect a reasonable response. The more somebody realizes they can't control you, the angrier they'll be. With those who aim to "steal your joy," arguments are rarely what they seem on the surface. Look deeper. If somebody in your life seems to illogically fly off the handle, take it as a sign that they're losing control over you. It's a good thing. Rejoice in your newfound independence.
You owe it to yourself to set yourself free. So do it. Be free. For me, when all else fails, avoidance is a practice I swear by. This may be an unpopular opinion but you shouldn't force conversation with somebody you have no business conversing with. Begrudgingly initiated conversation is a waste of time and if you're dealing with an emotional manipulator, it's not healthy for you. When all else fails, walk away. Sometimes that means hitting the "unfriend" button. Sometimes that means physically removing yourself from a situation. It's not easy but it'll make a world of difference. In the end, you have to do what's healthy for you. Your mind, your relationships, and your joints will thank you. (Seriously... my body has gotten less tense since I started living by these rules. It's amazing.)