When people say negative things about us, we can feel trapped and cornered – often forgetting that it has more to do with them than with us. Here are some things you can do to distance yourself from their negativity, remembering that the problem is theirs, not yours.
Leave the room
Simply distance yourself if you can physically do so. Inside your head, you may feel stuck with nowhere else to go. But taking a walk outside to step away from their negative vibes will clear your mind and help you center yourself.
Call a good friend who honors you
Having a trustworthy support system is useful when someone is unkind. Surround yourself with a few positive friends who know who you really are.
Use “I” sentences to express how you feel
Even if they don’t hear it, you’ve at least said it – which turns the power toward you. You can start with phrases like, “I feel really hurt when you say that about me,” rather than an accusatory phrase like, “Why do you always make me feel terrible?” They may not always work but they will have more of an impact than if you put someone on the defensive. “I” sentences force them to take responsibility for their actions and words rather than forcing them upon someone else.
Look beyond the obvious
Although it’s difficult to do, ask yourself, “How is this person really feeling about themselves?” Are their own insecurities being projected onto me? Are the things they’re saying about me the same things that they seem to be struggling with?
Remember to ask yourself, “Is this really true about me?”
And answer it (no!) Keep it moving – you have better things to do than to take their words personally. Don’t let their accusations stop you from doing good things for yourself.