TALKING TRASH: The person who makes you feel awful about yourself
Please read this all the way through. Too many people don’t and there’s a damn good point coming up! HINT: It’s YOU!
We’ve all met a “Mean Girl/Guy”. The one you WANT to impress but spend time with them to no avail. They are never going to let you rise. You will always be the “Karen/Ken” of the Mean Girls.
This person talks as much at the Gretchen but has the loyalty of Regina and the harsh words of Janice.
Do you have this person in your life?
These are real conversations I’ve had, and I’m exposing some ugliness to hit the point I’m trying to make about the Mean Person in your life.
YOU: “I made a mistake today. A big one.”
THEM: “Of course you did, you always make mistakes.”
YOU: “But I was so sorry for it! And I fixed what I could.”
THEM: “Yeah, but you wasted a lot of other people’s time doing it.”
YOU: “You are being kinda harsh”
THEM: “Whatever, you don’t belong here anyway. Why did they hire you?”
YOU: “Uh.. that’s a good question.”
THEM: “Don’t worry, I’m sure they won’t be bothered by you much longer. They’ll probably fire you.”
YOU: “Wow! I got assigned a big project today. It’s going to be tough, but I’m up for the challenge”
THEM: “You’ll mess it up”
YOU: “Really? Again?”
THEM: “They gave it to you because nobody else wants to do it. You are the only schmuck who will do it. I mean, good luck, but.. luck is what you’ll need because you can’t handle it.”
YOU: “They said I was good at this kind of stuff.”
THEM: “You aren’t.”
YOU: “I feel a little overwhelmed in this new role.”
THEM: “That’s because you don’t belong here.”
YOU: “Of course I do! I got hired!”
THEM: “You only got hired because they were desperate, and you were cheap enough to fill their spot.”
YOU: “No, I’m totally qualified for this job. Look at my resume!”
THEM: “All the good people must’ve said ‘No’ and you were the only option left.”
YOU: “I feel stressed out today. I wish I could get some help”
THEM: “Notice how nobody else ever whines about needing help but you?”
YOU: “No other people are stressed too.”
THEM: “They are just saying that to make you feel better as the weakest link.”
YOU: “But I work hard, and I want to get better.”
THEM: “You don’t work hard. You just chase your tail all day long. Other people have their shit together and you don’t.”
YOU: “Yeah, you are probably right.”
THEM: “Oh, and by the way, you look really fat in those pants.”
YOU: “I just said hello to my boss, and she smiled and nodded but didn’t say hello back.”
THEM: “That’s because she doesn’t like you.”
YOU: “You are right! When Bob walked by, she said ‘Hello’. She must hate me.”
THEM: “She doesn’t hate you. She just thinks you are annoying.”
YOU: “But she said the other day I do good work!”
THEM: “But if she thought you did good work, she’d say hello. Bob does good work. See? I’m right.”
YOU: “I had a really good day! I feel good about my work.”
THEM: “You didn’t have a good day – you just didn’t burn the place down.”
YOU: “Gosh, why are you so mean?”
THEM: “You are SO sensitive. You know you suck. Having one good day doesn’t make you a superhero.”
YOU: “But shouldn’t we celebrate what we do right?”
THEM: “You’ll just do it wrong tomorrow. Everyone knows you will. They even talk about behind your back.”
YOU: “There was an after-work event I wasn’t invited to, what do you think that means?”
THEM: “I think that means nobody wants to be around you.”
YOU: “I wonder why? We get along well at work.”
THEM: “Well for starters, you are fat. Second, you laugh way too loud. Third, nobody wants to hear your stupid dog stories. Finally, and I can’t punctuate this enough, nobody likes you.”
YOU: “Yeah, you are right. You listen to my dog stories, I’ll just hang out with you. You are always there for me.”
THEM: “Happy to help in any way I can. Good thing your dogs can’t talk back though, they don’t like you either.”
YOU: “I want to ask for that promotion. Should I? I’ve got SOME experience and I’m up for a challenge.”
THEM: “You should go for it! It will give them something to laugh about later when you blow it.”
YOU: “But I practiced and updated my resume and I feel confident.”
THEM: “You shouldn’t. Your confidence is as fake as those eyelashes you put on each day.”
YOU: “I don’t like the way you talk to me.”
THEM: “Oh shut up, you know I’m right. There are other people who deserve that promotion far more than you. You are lucky they even keep your key fob working.”
YOU: “There’s a job at a BIG station I want to apply for.”
THEM: “You totally should!”
YOU: “Really? Thanks!”
THEM: “You’re welcome. You know they have to interview a certain amount of people and even losers like you check off a box in their paperwork.”
YOU: “Yeah, I get it. I’m hungry. Let’s overeat so we can talk more about this.”
YOU: “I’m having SUCH a good hair day! Do you like it?”
THEM: “I do! Even a blind squirrel gets a nut every now and then”.
THEM: “But did you notice how big your forehead is? That hairstyle gives me a movie screen to binge-watch Sopranos on.”
YOU: “You’ve got a big forehead too.”
THEM: “Right, but at least I don’t have those flabby thighs as you do. But by all means, focus on your hair. Maybe nobody will look at your ugly legs.”
THEM: “Of course, you are freakishly tall so nobody can see your hair but the Jolly Green Giant. Have you seen how stupid you look lurking above your friends in photos, or worse yet when you do that ‘lean down’ thing trying to hide your defect?”
YOU: “I’m in a really important meeting right now. I am so excited I was included in this.”
THEM: “I’m pretty sure they were inviting Jessica, and your name accidentally came up in the email directory. Now they wonder why you are here but feel bad for you because you are sitting there so stupidly excited.”
YOU: “No, I’m supposed to be here.”
THEM: “You are supposed to be out of sight and out of mind. Nobody here cares about you anyway.”
YOU: “Should I leave?”
THEM: “Oh gosh no, stay! You are going to be the person they laugh at after you leave, every meeting needs one of those.”
WHY DO I KEEP THIS MONSTER OF A FRIEND IN MY LIFE??
Good question, right? You’ve got this friend in your life. You talk to him/her all the time. You just don’t realize it.
That “frenemy” is the voice in your head, the person who talks to you in a way that would make you end a friendship with anyone else who talked to you that way, the person who will always doubt your success and celebrate your embarrassments. This is the person who starts and ends your day with feelings of inadequacy.
Could you imagine if you heard a friend was being talked to this way? You’d grab every weapon at your disposal to defend that friend and annihilate the adversary.
These are words we don’t say out loud, but the conversations go through our minds like on a loudspeaker calling The Purge to action.
This friend has a name. He/She is called “Critical Inner Voice”. To best beat this beast, give it a real name. I’ll call mine Renee.
Here’s a great video explanation of how it feeds itself to get stronger and stronger. It’s 6 minutes that might change your life.https://www.linkedin.com/embeds/publishingEmbed.html?articleId=8226393825452312878
Look, there are enough stressors in this world we cannot control. Current pay, workload, family requirements, pet duties, balancing work/life, searching for jobs, a mean or disinterested boss, all provide a buffet for Renee to feast on and feed us back poor impressions of ourselves.
It didn’t start with your first job in news. It started from the time you could process information as a child.
For example, my mom liked to say I was “lazy” when I didn’t finish homework or didn’t want to clean my room. You guys know my mom was my best friend, so I’m not picking on her, may she rest in peace, but I’ve done enough mental health work to know that I’ve fought my whole life to NOT be “Lazy”, to the opposite side of the spectrum. I work insane hours with little regard for things like laundry. But there she is again, “You are being lazy by not doing laundry. Your mom would be so disappointed in you.” So, I do laundry instead of sleep. Or I see the laundry pile as proof I’m an epic lazy failure before I go to work, starting my day feeling worthless.
I STRONGLY recommend you Google some ways to shut up that inner voice, there are SO many resources available that are between you and your search engine.
But it starts with knowing you’ve got an enemy in your midst, and he/she’s waiting to make you a worse version of yourself. Take control of this TODAY. Your world is going to seem a lot better when you do.
If nothing else, just yell at her “YOU CAN’T SIT WITH US!” and go about your life. Maybe even give yourself a “YOU GO, GLEN COCO!”.
The Tails Have Turned: Lessons from “Rescued by Ruby” – Jennifer R. Hardy
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