con-fi-dence – noun
a) feeling or consciousness of one’s powers or of reliance on one’s circumstances
b) faith or belief that one will act in a right, proper, or effective way
It’s amazing how much a single act by someone else can literally make us question our-entire-existence. Has this ever happened to you, or am I the only one? How something that someone does, says or acts dramatically affects the belief we have in ourselves and makes us lose faith in people doing the right thing (and let’s be honest – sometimes in general human kindness!).
Why is it that a small act from someone else can bring us crashing down even if we are at the highest of highs? And the reverse is true when someone pleasantly surprises us – our spirits can be lifted and we feel that we can accomplish anything. But how can we learn to not let outside behaviors bring us so far down, or for that matter, give us the false sense of being too high?
don’t worry, I’ll get to the pity party part shortly … keep reading …
“Experts” say that we can “take control of our lives” and live beyond the naysayers or the negative feelings by doing things like “know your principles and live by them” or “set a small goal and achieve it”. And there is no denying that these types of things will help us believe in ourselves. But what if we actually DO believe in ourselves … and do all the things the “experts” say. What then?
Well, sometimes we have to remember that a hurtful act is just simply that …. sometimes done so you feel pain and sometimes done to make the other person feel better without any intention of making you feel bad. In most cases people are reacting to pain that they themselves feel.
But one thing that I find is often missing in these scenarios is understanding the other person, and understanding their pain (even if you disagree with it or wish it wasn’t the case). Communication, along with listening skills and patience, can go a long way to make the situation better for everyone. Now, sometimes those first conversations may not go the way you want or hope – but with a little time and understanding from both sides – you can get to a good (or if nothing else) neutral place.
That’s why we now have “mediators” for couples divorcing … often if two people can calm their emotions down and talk through things, both sides can walk away without the permanent scars (not to mention looking and acting poorly).
I can’t say that I’m perfect on this subject – there are times when I myself am pretty relentless on a topic – but I can say with con-fi-dence that when I am being relentless, I always regret it and wish that a conversation could be had again as a “do-over”. I mean come on – they give mulligans in golf – I think they should be applied to life in general as well, right?
So – if someone hurts you deeply (regardless if it is a surprise or expected), try to reach out and talk with them about it. And if you end up hurting someone else and regret it, be the bigger person and do the right thing – say you’re sorry if you need to, but open up about why you were hurt in the beginning.
All of this isn’t to say that feeling rejection doesn’t suck-out-loud! …. so it’s important to let the hurt feel like hurt … throw yourself a pity party and do what you need to do to honor the cord struck and any mistakes you made as part of the story. But then, get over it. Don’t let it affect you at the core and take away your confidence that exists. Separate the two and move on.
And for a good Pity Party, some recommended items to bring include: a bottle of wine or whiskey, or honestly whatever is available within reach (let’s be honest it shouldn’t be the bottle you’re saving for a celebration), your favorite music (an award show is really the best in my opinion because there is a set beginning and end time period) — upbeat or melancholy is really the party thrower’s preference, an evening without roommates or family members (best to not have witnesses), your favorite salty or sweet snack — add those all together and give yourself a few hours max before you turn off the disco ball and call it a night. These are one-time parties – try to get in the habit of only one pity party per life disappointment – go instead and find the many other reasons to throw yourself a celebration!
… for the person that I hurt (if that is indeed what happened to make you react as you did) …