Stop Pushing People Away: 5 Things I Learned The Hard Way
“It is not about you. It is about us. Life is difficult for everyone.” – Jack Kornfield
Sometimes we’re blind to how our behavior can push people away. We have a million things to do. We are in a society that is so busy all the time. How can we help it?
We aren’t always aware of our own behavior. Sometimes this behavior can push people away.
This is not a problem, as long as we can see ourselves as we really are. With this objective perception of ourselves, we can make positive changes in our life. We stand a chance to change our current relationships and start new ones.
It all starts with a good look in the mirror. Here are some behaviors you can stop right now. Take a deep breath, and get ready for a better tomorrow. Stop beating yourself up about what you could have done yesterday, as you can’t change the past.
Stop being so self-centered
There is little as drab and uninteresting as a self-absorbed person. I learned this the hard way when one day a friend called. She stated that she was sick of always hearing about me whining about my problems. The news was hard to take. I felt crushed, and that I had failed her as a friend. She was right. I just hadn’t been thinking about anyone but myself.
Luckily, this was the kick in the rear I needed. I became more aware of how my self-centeredness was a big bore for those around me. I became more interested in what others had to say. Guess what? I started learning something new about people everyday – people I had been seeing for years.
The moral is as follows: stop being so preoccupied with yourself, and make some space for other people in your life. Let someone else feel special. Let’s face it – giving makes one happier than taking. The happier we make those around us, the happier we will be!
Leave your cynicism behind
Being cynical had become my modus vivendi. I was always negative about everything. Do you see this recurring pattern in your own life? How can we break free from the vicious circle of suffocating cynicism? For one thing, It brings other people down. We must not judge those around us all the time.
When I gained a tiny bit of humility, I became more aware of the feelings of those around me. I came to realize how distorted my perception of reality had been. I saw how my cynicism had estranged me from society. My world had become so small because I had blocked off all new ideas and influences around me. I was so convinced that I had all the answers about life that my extraordinary self-confidence and self-centeredness had pushed many people away from me.
Ready for the moral? It is that only when you become aware of your own cynicism, you will be able to overcome this negative tendency of yours. You can replace your cynicism with openness. Even if you aren’t sure something is good or that it’s going to work, give it a try. It’s OK to let others have their own ideas. The world won’t end, I promise.
Stop being a self-conceited jerk
So maybe you do make more money than that person next to you on the train. Possibly you do have more knowledge than your best friend. The point is, you do not need to brag about it all the time. Remember that your assets and personal qualities are best appreciated by those around you.
Being self-conceited has pushed people away from me on more than one occasion. I remember making a conceited remark at a baseball game once. I said something about one of the other team’s players, who never came to know about it, of course. However, the friend I was with immediately called me out on my remark. It was me who was now in the wrong. That’s usually how it happens.
Once we realize how hurtful our self-conceit is, we can change. We have the opportunity to see others as our equals. The point is, we shouldn’t think too highly of ourselves. We all breathe the same air and share the same values. Remember, it almost never looks, if you try to stand out in the crowd at somebody else’s expense.
Do not be so self-righteous
We all share different beliefs. Everyone on this planet has the right to hold their own opinion. No two minds think exactly alike and that’s where the beauty of mankind really likes. This, however, does not mean that we can’t improve our characters even further. We can, for example, try to be more humane to each other. Maybe while still being different, we can nurture common values of tolerance and respect for others.
It’s usually religion, politics, or some other touchy subject. Anything we feel strongly about can bubble up and trigger our self-righteous behavior. I have witnessed this in myself. There have been times when I thought that others were not right. Either they just couldn’t see it, or I was wrong.
The point is – they don’t have to see it. Everyone is free to believe what they want, just like we are. If we want to save the world, then we should do it. We should save the world in our own little way, without bashing others’ views. The gift we get is that we can see life through the lens of love. We can do this as soon as we’ve overcome the invisible barriers that separate us.
Don’t be a Debbie Downer
For those of you who might not know it, Debbie Downer is a fictional character invented and impersonated by the American actress Rachel Dratch. Unlike Mary Poppins, Debbie is always looking on the dark side of life. She first appeared on Saturday Night Live in 2004.
You do not need a degree in Psychology from Harvard to figure out that negative people have fewer friends than the ones who are naturally positive. Negativity has also been found to drain on our life energy. Being so negative all the time not only makes the life of those around you miserable, but it can also be bad for your health.
Would you enjoy being with someone who’s complaining all the time? I don’t think so. While bad things happen all the time, we do not need to focus on them so much. And when they happen to us, we must try hard to overcome them and move on.
I began to notice my own patterning around this. I realized some people would rather not talk to me. My negativity was chasing them away before they had had a chance to realize what a nice guy a was.
As soon as I became aware of how my negativity was pushing others away from me, I began to ask myself how I could be the gift in someone’s life.
This has proven to be effective, as I have now surrounded myself with a lot of positive people. My negative attitude to life is now in the past, along with all the toxic energy it used to generate.
If you have found yourself falling victim to such behaviors, relax. Positivism can be learned just like maths We all learn bit by bit. Just focus on the small changes that have taken place in your life.
Maybe you can hold the door open for someone. Smile at a stranger. Don’t honk if someone cuts you off. You have no clue what is going on in other people’s lives. Maybe you are the gift that the world needs at this very moment.
Maybe by focusing on these positive gestures instead of your old ways, you can change the world. In conclusion, ask yourself if you want to be surrounded by a bunch of nice people, or you want to keep pushing them away with your negativism.