Mental health is something that is not addressed or talked about enough. Put simply, there are several things affecting someone’s mental health: their home life, a workplace dynamic, relationship, (etc.) There have been a number of situations that I have experienced in my life that have led me to write this article. I want to start off by stating that I am someone who puts others feelings before my own. I am someone who is filled with empathy, compassion, and genuine concern for my loved ones and those around me. I say this because unfortunately, not everyone is the same.
There have been a number of things that have inspired me to write this article – being treated poorly in customer service jobs, being mistreated by my family, and several other situations that I am sure you have come across as well. Learning and utilizing coping strategies are extremely helpful, especially when negative people may pose a threat to our mental health or overall well being.
1. Accept One Thing: They Won’t Change
As previously mentioned, I have had my share of abuse. Without spending too much time on that, it is worth stating this: people who mistreat others 99% of the time are unhappy with themselves. This is something that may sound annoying to hear but holds deep value. HALF of the battle with overcoming situations like these is wondering how to cope with it. If I can help one person by writing this article, that will make me happy. As hard as it may seem, don’t hold your breath on that person changing. I had a particular instance where a customer sat down on the other side of my desk and told my co-worker that I was ‘awful’. I had done everything I could to satisfy their needs, and clearly, that wasn’t enough. I left in tears. Frustrated, angry, hurt, and honestly, embarrassed, I was so confused as to why someone would treat someone that way. The fact of the matter is, that person should be embarrassed, not me. It saddens me to think that employees do not have further rights to prevent this from happening to someone else.
Making a long story short, do not dignify someone else’s behavior by letting it get you upset. They aren’t worth it. As sad as it is, there are plenty of people in this world like this, and YOU need to be the one to decide it isn’t worth affecting you.
2. Consider The Source
Just like my frustrating incident at a customer service job, considering the source can help you A LOT. That unhappy customer was looking for a fight the moment they stepped foot in the door. That encounter had nothing to do with me. If that unhappy person did not pick a fight with me, it would be with the person serving her at Dunkin’. The best way to deal with situations like these is to consider the source.
Mental health is rarely talked about in schools, although in recent years it is reaching more classrooms and textbooks. I will say this – if there is one thing that all of my experiences have taught me, it is that I am stronger because of them. I always want to offer my support to others, help in any way I can, and just be someone that another person can lean on, but not everyone has that same desire. My experience growing up in a house where verbal abuse was considered OK, and physical abuse wasn’t recognized, has made me stronger. Having things be said about me in a horrible manner (by people in my household), have made me stronger. By no means is this acceptable behavior, but since the offender won’t change, I need to. My upbringing was far from perfect, and I mean, who can say otherwise?
It is difficult when you feel anxious in your home because of someone negative, abusive, or hurtful. What many people don’t realize is abuse comes in many forms and isn’t just bruises. I want nothing more for this behavior to stop.
4. Utilize Your Support
I want to raise awareness to people that may not have a voice or are afraid to speak up. Talk to someone, a counselor, a friend, a teacher, because that is the first step. Your past experiences do not define you, and YOU have the power to change how you view the situation. Treat others how you wish to be treated. My heart is filled with love, compassion, and care for those around me. My senior quote was “Try to be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud.” There is someone out there who can help your circumstances. So many people who are victims of abuse or bullying feel that THEY are the ones at fault. There is so much stigma attached to this subject, but all I can say is that it will get better. Take it from me, if no one else.
5. Be Selfish
It can be really difficult to bounce back after someone negative has impacted your mental health. One of the best ways to deal with this is to be selfish. After I was insulted at my job, by a complete stranger, all I could think about was doing what I wanted to do, and disregard everything else in the world. Surround yourself with amazing people, go to the beach, detach from things and people you need to, do whatever it is to make you happy. Things will get better, I promise.
6. Keep Your Loved Ones Close
All I can say is that at the end of the day, you are the one with friends, loved ones, and people that care about you. There are going to be miserable people everywhere, and I cannot emphasize enough – it is not you. I am someone who deeply values love. Ever since I was a little girl, (and now that you know a little bit more about me, you can probably see why) I have always wanted to fall in love, and get married. Having love that is just mine, that no negative person can take from me, is the ultimate happy ending. Having someone that protects you and makes you a better version of yourself cannot be price tagged. All of the money in the world and I wouldn’t trade the person I fell in love with. I deeply value and cherish him, and if you are someone who is also in a healthy relationship, hold on to that love. The reason I say that is because many negative people aren’t in healthy places, and that is why they feel the need to project it on to us. If you have love, you have everything. Once you have it, it will be worth the wait. To the five-year-old me: it is everything I have always wanted.
There are a number of things that can affect our mental health and leave us wondering why we are in the situation that we are in. I hope that sharing my experiences was helpful to someone. Comment below which tip you found the most helpful!
Feature Image Source: https://www.pinterest.com/pin/643874077951073476/
Senior at UMass Dartmouth with a minor in communications, writing has always been a part of me. I believe writing is a powerful form of self-expression, and I couldn't have found an internship more aligned with my goals to pursue a career in this field.