#1 THING YOU CAN DO WHEN PEOPLE DON'T "GET" YOU
I'm sure that by now, the picture above has given you a clue. If not, you're too young for this post and will probably not "get" me! Just in case, and with inspiration from Rhett Butler (played by Clarke Gable - one sexy MOFO - in Gone With The Wind), the #1 thing you can do when people don't "get" you:
STOP GIVING A DAMN
That might sound a bit flippant, but hear me out.
Most of our personal suffering stems from a fear of what others think of us. Do we fit in, do we measure up, do we matter, do we seem smart/important/accomplished/successful enough? Here's the real kicker, though: for all of your worrying YOU HAVE NO CONTROL over what others think of you. In fact, others' opinions often have little to do with you and A LOT more to do with how they view themselves. Messed up, but true.
Here's an example. Susan decides she wants to attend a Barre class once a week. She signs up, gulps hard, walks nervously into her first class and...loves it! She loves it so much that, eventually, she starts going twice a week. With all of her new-found energy, she even starts going for a walk each morning before work. Susan is feeling better than she has in a long time and this gives her a lot of confidence. These changes have now influenced other areas of her life: she sleeps better, eats better and finds that she is more focused and productive at work. You would think that, with all of these positive strides, Susan's friends and family would be quick to cheer her on. Stop right there. While some may be on the "you go girl!" train others, sadly, will not. Why? Because Susan's changes will have positively influenced how she sees herself and, due to that, she has boosted her self esteem. When this happens, she becomes less interested in negative chatter, bad habits, sedentary living. The other people her life, however, may not feel so hot about this change. They may be uncomfortable with the "new" Susan who doesn't want to gossip at the water cooler. They may not like it when Susan says "no, I won't be picking up your son's best friend's dog from the vet next Monday - I'll be at my Barre class instead." Consciously or not, they are quite invested in the "old" Susan and they feel betrayed. Unless Susan is committed to ditching her new-found zest for life, she will have to hope people with eventually come around or, with love, go away. The only thing she can do is continue to make good choices for herself. THAT IS THE ONLY THING SHE CAN CONTROL.
I know, I know. "That's great Anna. I'll be a happy, healthy outcast. F-ing great!" Hang on a second. When this starts to happen, it's actually a good sign! No, really...
As I've said before, real change requires change. If you're not satisfied with something in your life, you can't expect to safely live the way you've been living without any change. That's just...um...insane! While some people may not on board with the new, evolving you, you will find that others gravitate toward you. These people will replace the negative and, before you know it, a whole new tribe of people will emerge to surround you with the support you need. These people will be your people and, when you find them, be sure to treat them like gold - they need you to be part of their supportive new tribe too!
Sharing the journey,