Very recently I received a message from someone who didn't believe what I do for work was ethical. When I opened up that message it started with... "I think that".
I should have stopped reading right at that very second, however I am human and curiosity killed the cat. The message went on to read about how I am not a very good advocate for mental health.
I say to myself weekly, "I don't care for others opinions of me". The truth is I don't, however it affected me.
How can I not care for other people's opinions yet want to write this blog post around it?
I spoke with someone who I regard as a role model in my life around this.
"I don't care, so why am I so wound up about it?" was the question I asked.
His reply in his straightforward yet genius approach was exactly what I expected and exactly why I went to him with this feeling.
"If I pulled a gun on you now, what would your reaction be?"
Well... How would you feel?
I knew in my head I'd be petrified as many of us, if not all of us, would. That's a logical way of reacting.
He went on to explain that just because you don't care what happened in the long run and it's not going to ruin your life forever because it may have turned out to be a convincing water pistol doesn't mean you won't have an initial reaction.
I felt mad.
I felt hurt.
I felt attacked.
I questioned myself.
It ruined a good few hours of my day.
When I sat down and I thought about the reason I was mad and angry it took me a while.
I wasn't mad at this person. I was mad at me.
Simply because I had responded. I didn't need to respond. I owed no explanation to who I am and what I do and how I go about my business.
Yet I still felt the need to protect my integrity.
One of my favourite ever movie quotes is from Quentin Tarantino's, Pulp Fiction.
"The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride. Pride only hurts, it never helps."
What I'd completely failed to miss was, this rant wasn't a reflection on me, yet a reflection on them. I'd not bothered this person, I'd not verbally attacked this person, I simply did not reply to a request from this person after numerous times of being asked.
I lay in my bath, lights off and candles on writing my blogs.
(I know, erase that thought quickly.)
It's my reflection time.
I was not mad at the said person. I was mad at me. I had acted in response out of sheer emotion just as I had the first initial message.
The best thing about all of this is that I learnt something new about myself. I learnt that that next time this message arrives I will hopefully remember this situation and just simply turn my phone off for a while so I can digest it.
The next time someone "attacks" you or "belittles" you here is some food for thought. Perhaps respond with a compliment.
"You're a fat lump of lard and you are good for nothing!".
Respond - I think the work you do is outstanding.
How then would you respond?
You've completely flipped a negative situation in once sentence.
Pouring your own emotions into an already emotional filled kettle will only result in both parties being scolded.
I want to leave you with this question.
Has anyone ever told you how beautiful you are when you are angry?