What characterizes people who gain success? For sure they are not afraid to speak their mind openly without having to worry that someone gets uncomfortable in their company. I had a serious problem with that kind of attitude for years, I usually kept what I really thought about others or about issues touched upon during a given conversation for myself. It seemed to me that it wouldn’t be right to say this or that, as it would hurt someone or it would be just inappropriate. Unfortunately, many people around me didn’t share similar believes, they didn’t bother with the fact that their comments about me or other issues made me feel not so good. Such a connivance with no proper response or simple expressing my own opinion, made others usurp their right to criticize even the smallest actions which I decided to take. Of course, I always emphasize that constructive criticism may be beneficial for us, however seeing the difference between the right and the wrong criticism we receive from others needs lots of time and experience. What’s more, not learning how to do that calmly will have a negative impact on our self-esteem, self-confidence and consequently the position we take in the society.
As I’ve already mentioned before, lack of articulation of our thoughts and feelings makes it difficult for other people to know our needs, as no one will read our mind to get to know that we don’t like potatoes or pork chops. Of course, this example is a little bit trivial, however we can always translate it into more important things. For instance, I don’t like what you say about me, because it influences me – as an individual – negatively. ‘Your hair is awful. You could finally do something about that! I can’t believe that you are so lazy not to care about it!’ At that point I was just thinking, hello, honey, do you sometimes look in the mirror? I created scenes out of comedy movies inside my head, in which one woman grabs the other woman’s hair and keeps struggling fecklessly instead of dealing with the problem in a fast and possibly painless manner. As I’ve already said, all these images appeared only in my mind, whereas my reaction to such words was a pure lack of reaction, paving the comments over or showing apparent ignorance towards these unpleasant words. Such an attitude just encouraged the previously mentioned individual to make further and further comments, totally negative feedback, as if I was a complete failure in all aspects of my life. Nothing makes me more mad than using the tone of speech towards me during a conversation indicating that my interlocutor is the expert in all possible fields, unlike me. What gives other people the right to believe in something like that? Your lack of reaction! There are individuals who will treat their own complexes, sorrows and other problems they are currently struggling with – at your expense, because you lack guts to stand up to it! The hit of the season, which I had a chance to hear last year, was a question whether I first write my texts in English and then translate them with the use of Google translator into Polish. OK. That’s true that I’m not a professional writer or a journalist. I make mistakes. I just keep on learning and I think that I’ve made a significant progress when it comes to my writing. However, I found this statement to be really unfair towards me. Diminishing my skills to the level that boarders on zero. Fortunately, such a passive taking things on the chin, at least in my case – will slowly belong to the past.
What have I gained by expressing my opinions and believes at peace with myself and with what I really think? Seemingly it’s not a big deal, but in fact, it can really turn your life upside down. I don’t exaggerate! I would call it a snowball effect! I’ve suddenly noticed that people are truly interested in my opinions, they laugh at my jokes, and in consequence they are more eager to spend their time with me. They start perceiving me as a valuable individual, and last week my coworker came to a conclusion that I’m a really laid-back person – and everyone who knows me a little bit better would probably say that I’m a bundle of nerves. Does it mean that I create a false image of myself in the eyes of others? Does it mean that I want to deceive them? Not at all! The way we think of ourselves is frequently completely different from the way we are perceived by others. It happens that I sometimes say something awkward, most of the times it’s not done on purpose and with no malicious intent, but I usually say first and then think … this in turn creates an explosive mixture, all in all I have still something to work on. Most possibly some people on my way will take offense at me, because through all these years I’ve made them used to the fact they can ride roughshod over me and they will take my honest opinion as a sign of my rudeness … that’s tough, but there are always casualties in war! If you think that someone may have a negative influence on you – you should free yourself from such a person, as toxic individuals will bring no good into your life, just on the contrary. Remember also not to exaggerate with expressing your opinions, as the purpose of your honesty is not to harm all the people around you or to look down on them … I’m still learning how not to make such mistakes! All the people are great and valuable in a way, but they need to find other people who share a similar perception of the world, so that they can truly develop themselves and live their lives to the fullest. Be polite, but assertive! No matter whether you talk to your relatives, friends or to your boss … you must be honest with yourself and with others!
To sum up, if you want others to respect you and if you want them to take your needs into account, you need to say what you really think and you need to stay true to what you are. Nothing will confuse another person more that taking his or her criticism with a smile and with a thankful attitude if it’s only possible. Don’t let anyone convince yourself that you are worse, you are certainly not. You’re just different. Try to surround yourself with people who accept you as you are, and who make comments on you only because they truly care of your well-being. In this way you’ll become a better version of yourself! Remember, nobody knows you like you know yourself! No one else knows why you sometimes react towards certain issues in this and not in another way. Be yourself, do what you like and surround yourself with people who love you and respect you as a person – it will surely make you happier, and in consequence, people around you will also be happier thanks to you!
See you around!