Was the Subject line I was greeted with recently in an email from a dear friend. Of course I opened it expecting to see a clip of a dog rescuing ducks or a baby meeting its mother for the first time. What I wasn’t prepared for was the sweet, yet adamant, email telling me if I’m not going to stand for some bully making fun of me, why do I do it to myself?
I recently wrote a post describing my experience with a bully. I asked how friends would have handled the situation and everyone came through with words of wisdom and nuggets of awesomeness. I can’t thank my friends enough for giving me their honest feedback – some good, some bad, and yes, some downright ugly.
But the best thing to come of that post was this dear friend calling me out on my BS. I hate pictures of myself, even though I love this article and wish I could get it through my thick head. However, a lot of times when a friend posts a picture of me, I comment in some joking fashion usually with negative undertones. Case in point: I threw a surprise party for my husband last weekend. I am a very hot-natured person so naturally I was sweating up a storm during the night from the massive pile of hair on my head. I always do – it’s a given. A friend took a picture of us and I posted it online, but noted that I was “a wet poodle” in it. The next day, husband took a picture of me playing with Legos and posted it without my knowledge and I gasped when I saw it online; I was in pajamas, hair in a horrid ponytail, no makeup, and fat everywhere. I commented that I wished he would stop taking and posting such horrible pictures of me.
Then I received this email:
Last week, you posted a story about a stranger at Bourbon Street karaoke that you found out had said mean things about you, took pictures of you when you saw him again, and just generally was a demeaning ass. It hurt you so much that you left the building! It affected you to the point that you had to share it with people who care about you to help soothe your feelings.
Wanna know something? You are that asshole in your own life!
Nearly every time there is a picture of you on FB – whether you post it or not – you make a comment (though in the form of a joke) about how you look. In the picture of you and Daniel from the surprise party, you referred to yourself as a poodle because of your hair. In the picture Daniel lovingly posted of you playing with Legos, you focused on what a “bad picture of you” it was.
Why do you get so upset when someone else says hurtful things about you but then say hurtful things about yourself? All the people who know and love you think that you are an amazing, gutsy, funny, beautiful woman, but I don’t know that you always believe or claim those things for yourself.
Next time that you put yourself down – in your own head or vocalizing it to others – imagine that it was the asshole from the bar saying it and stop! If no one else has the right to be mean to you, you shouldn’t be mean to yourself, either.
The girl is right. And I owe her a ton of gratitude for verbally slapping me in the face and waking me up. Right after I received that email, I saw this great article on Tiny Buddha that said:
Take a good look at the people in your life that you love—your spouse, your children, your parents, your siblings, and your close friends…You see them as truly beautiful—and these people view you the same way. Remind yourself every day that the people who truly count recognize your beauty and try to validate their good opinion by believing it yourself.