Reflections and projections

Today I was inspired by Effy Wild’s post. Here’s the gist: if someone posts something and you get offended by it, that’s a you problem not a them problem. Likewise if you post something and someone gets offended that’s a them problem and not a you problem. If you get triggered by someone, it’s because you have an underlying issue that you have to work on. You can’t project that onto the person who posted something or even said something to you. It’s going to keep happening with other people too. You need to actually own up to your “stuff”, take responsibility and face your issue so that you can work through it and not be triggered so much anymore.

It does sound easier said than done. I know this. But it remains the truth. You, and only you, have the power to change this. Don’t play the victim. Take your power back. Take responsibility. I’m trying to practice this myself. If people post things on Facebook that I don’t want to see, mostly because it’s too negative for me and I don’t want that filling my space or energy, I unfollow them. I don’t confront them or unfriend them (although in some cases that is necessary and then I do), I simply unfollow. That way we can still be friends, but I don’t have to get sucked into that negativity swirl. I know it’s a me thing and not a them thing. This wasn’t always the case. But it is now. And it is still a work in progress. Fact is the choice remains with me.

Since I’ve cut my hair super short I’ve had encounters with two men who have commented on my hair. Nothing really mean. Just general surprise that I would cut it so short, but something about their manner told me they didn’t like it. In the past this might have upset me. If any of you read my blog where I talked about cutting my hair, you might remember that I said one of the reasons why I’ve waited so long is because I linked my “femininity” with my long hair and thought guys won’t like me with short hair. I have since decided that that is nonsense. If a guy doesn’t like me because of my hair that’s really a him problem and not a me problem. So when these two men (separately) commented on my hair, I realized two things were happening. One my “fears” were being reflected back to me, and I realized that I don’t care whether they like it or not. I do, and that’s all that matters. I need to make me happy, not others. And two, if they really don’t like it then that it’s also a projection of their “issues” and that has nothing to do with me. That is a them problem. And I was able to shrug it off. Again it’s a work in progress. Sometimes something does hurt me, but I can acknowledge that it’s not mine or it is mine and I have to deal with it.

One of the men mentioned has been a long time friend of mine. Although in all honesty not anymore, because we speak once in a blue moon and it’s all very superficial. I realized today that I actually need to cut that cord. We aren’t really friends anymore. It’s not a two way street when we do talk. That relationship doesn’t serve me at all and the time has come for me to disconnect from that person. Because I know it won’t change. It hasn’t in all the years we’ve known each other. I know that’s a me thing and not a him thing. I don’t blame him. But I am taking responsibility and saying enough is enough

We shouldn’t be afraid to post or say what’s true for us because we might offend someone. Post. Speak. Do. Whatever. We just all need to learn to take responsibility for our issues and to not project them onto others.

praba-heart-quote-everyday-mindfulness

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