This post contains Affiliate Links. Please see the disclaimer here.
The other day I was having a conversation with a friend of mine. She was feeling a little bit down herself and disheartened because some of the people in her life were saying things to her that weren’t particularly supportive and in some ways kind of mean-spirited.
Throughout our lives, we are faced with many situations and people who say things that tear us down. Sometimes it’s the people who are closest to us and other times it’s strangers and people that we don’t know very well. There are times when the intention behind it isn’t necessarily coming from a malicious place, but the words still sting. And of course at other times, the person’s intention is to cut us, and boy do they ever.
Our conversation got me thinking of a book I read a number of years ago, A Place of Yes: 10 Rules for Getting Everything You Want Out of Life by Bethany Frankel. I have such love in my heart for Bethany. I really identify with her sarcastic sense of humor and outspoken, brash way of communicating. She is perfectly imperfect, she’s a brilliant business woman and she owns every bit of her personality, the good and the bad.
At one point in her book, Bethany brought up a very important point that stuck with me. Every day, all around us, there is noise. I’m not talking about sirens and horns and babies crying and people dog’s barking at absolutely nothing, as they tend to do (especially mine!).
The kind of noise that I’m talking about (and before me, that Bethany was talking about) is chatter from people around us. Specifically, negativity. Whether or not the original intention is malicious. There will always be noise– in our work life, social scenes, parent groups, PTA, sometimes even our family.
As they say, people always remember the negatives. This couldn’t be more applicable to noise. Because when this noise comes our way, it gets right into our heads and makes a comfy little home for itself where it silently eats away at all of the good, positive things going on up there and in our hearts. And in the worst cases, it does a charming little number where it takes us off course and derails us from the great road that we are on towards achieving our goals.
Think about it. How many times has someone made a comment in passing and for hours after that, you can’t seem to get those words out of your head. You begin second guessing things you did, your reactions to people in your life, the intentions of those around you. Every little thing. And that noise rattles around in your brain while you silently tear yourself down and feel worse and worse about yourself.
So when my friend mentioned these things that people had said that they were bringing her down, I immediately thought back to reading about noise. It made such a huge impact on me when first I read about it and for years it’s stuck with me because this concept is so right on target. Especially for my friend’s situation.
You guys, we have to block this noise out. It’s dangerous. Noise is a serious hazard and road block in our journey to where we need to be. And it’s hard! I know this all-too-well, because I am the ultimate over-analyzer! Yes, I’m admitting it right here, I’m totally neurotic and completely wound up. So I get it.
The noise is constantly buzzing and swirling around all of us. In taking myself out of it and looking at it from a big picture perspective, it actually makes me pretty sad. People in general spend so much time tearing each other down. Sometimes, we don’t even realize we’re doing it. I know I’m guilty of it myself. It’s definitely an area that I’m working on being better with. From giving standpoint, I’m trying to be more mindful of the things I say, what they bring to the conversation and how they might be interpreted.
But seriously, when it comes to the noise that is thrown at us from other people, it is so important not to get sucked in. You have to put your proverbial ear plugs in, get those blinders on and keep moving forward. Because listening to that noise and letting it tear you down is not contributing anything to your journey.
People will say what they want to say. There is absolutely nothing you can do to stop them. You can’t control what other people say. What you can control is yourself and how you react. Will it sting sometimes? Yes. Will it ruin your day (or life)? That’s up to you. It doesn’t have to. Know yourself well enough and believe that you are a good person and focus on the road ahead. Keep sending out the positivity and it’s bound to come back to you. And these inevitable times when it doesn’t? Too bad. Block out the noise and move forward, it’s just not worth your time.