I like to think that I am a nice, understanding person who can usually communicate effectively enough to not argue too much with people. However, the other day I found myself in an argument with my soon to be ex-husband. Since it had been so long since I was in an all out, no holding back argument it was somewhat foreign to me. Some would say I have tough skin but honestly I am just at a point in my life where name calling doesn’t affect me the way it could others. I can remember back in my childhood, my mom and sister would call me names and say that I was a mean person because when they asked me an honest question they got an honest answer; something I thought should be rewarded in an adolescent. So when my husband began his rant going on and on about how I was a bad person and come from a bad home was I able to stay calm as a pictured myself taping his mouth shut.
Numerous people would say that it bothers them or hurts their feelings when people call them names and say mean things to and about them. Name calling periodically begins as early as preschool; children are playing nicely at recess then one child calls the other a name and that child goes crying to tell the teacher what nasty name they were just called. I have friends and friends of friends that have fallen victim to taking someone else’s opinion personally. Most often when someone calls you a name or has a negative opinion about you they are projecting how they feel about themselves on you. For example, I let my soon to be ex-husband stay at my house for free when he had no where to go. Now that I have put him on notice that he needs to find an alternative to my place I am all of a sudden a horrible person. Imagine if I was really a bad person, my ex would have had no where to go whether he asked me or not. What he was really saying was that he felt bad for not doing what he had to do to find his own place and now that time is running out he needs someone to blame for his lack of responsibility. Instead of just doing what he needed to to be on his own it was easier for him to make me the bad guy for “putting him out”.
Just because an individual has an opinion about you their opinion doesn’t have to define who you are. If someone sets their bag down next to you that doesn’t mean you have to pick it up, so why would you take on a label someone is trying to stick to you if you know what they are saying isn’t true? Many of you reading this have been to a security checkpoint at the airport. What is the statement repeated the most by security personnel? “If you are carrying a bag that does not belong to you or you did not pack speak up because if not and the bag contains illegal content it will be assumed to be yours.” Now you are at baggage claim and you have picked up a bag that isn’t yours and security pulls you to the side and says they have to take you in due to the contents of the bag. You try your best to explain but you essentially took possession of the bag so it will be an uphill battle trying to prove it doesn’t belong to you. If someone is trying to label you as something you know you are not don’t let it stick because everyone you come into contact with after that won’t be seeing you, they will be seeing who someone else alleges you to be.
Moral of the story, if you choose to live in your truth no one can take that away from you or make you something you are not. Do not let someone outside of you dictate who you are or who you have to be.
“Its not about what they call you, its about what you answer to.”