Have you ever felt your self-esteem being devastated after the belittlement done by someone? Do you find yourself unconvinced when someone tries to ‘downgrade’ you despite your inner conflict towards what has been said?
The belittling act is a purposeful and hurtful act to others. Please do not confound the ‘belittling act’ with ‘bantering act’. You may rib a friend for being in love or chaff your colleague about a strange hair style. But these are bantering acts which are done in a naturally good and humorous way without malice, as you clearly understand the one who receives it won’t be hurt. But there are some people who are not used to jokes and can hardly accept when someone pokes fun at them even in a good-natured way. So, please be extremely careful when you confront with those people.
The One who Spits towards the Sky is Spitting on His Own Face
Normal people will most likely be afflicted by disparagement from others. You may feel the stabbing pain in your heart especially when you are being despised in front of a group of people. It is pretty hard to avoid being upset initially, but sooner you will discover the one who keeps denigrating you is the one standing at the disadvantageous side.
When someone is trying to disgrace us, most of the time we may think that we are the one who looks bad. In fact, the one who is being bullied will always earn the sympathy, where the one who is bullying others will gain the notoriety. Do remember the offender is also ruining his reputation and accentuating his ignorance while lowering your dignity. They may not have many true friends due to their destructive act of downplaying others.
Accept the Truth – ‘Egoist is Always Like That’
I have ever encountered a superior who loves to ask, “Do you understand or not?”, “Why don’t you understand what I have explained?” He tends to increase his volume when he asks those questions to ‘ensure’ people around aware of his words. In the beginning, the one being hurled started to be skeptical about his intelligence. But after sometimes, we discover that in fact majority of the colleagues do face some problems on comprehending the message delivered by this particular superior. As this superior is being so egoistical and tries to convince himself that he has no problem with his transmission of message, so he tends to ask those questions to create the impression that the recipients have the problem of receiving his order.
Some people tend to live in a self-conceited environment like the froggy in the well and think that they are the best under the ‘tiny’ sky. As they are permeated by a strong layer of egoism, they tend to have such perception that those people around them are less important. That’s why they discredit others to further enhance their significance. They may just be living on an island that is governed under their own dictatorship.
They Experienced the Same Situation, Sympathize Them
The offender always tries to engulf other’s self-esteem to elevate own dignity. They may ever be despised in the same way, that’s why the belittling act makes them feel better after they transfer the ‘sad memory’ to others. As the belittling act will only temporarily make them feel satisfied, so they may tend to continuously play you down to maintain their gratification.
Let me provide you an example that you may ever experience. You may have failed in something, such as an examination. Assuming there are more classmates failing the same examination, would you feel better? If your answer is a resounding ‘yes’, you don’t have to feel bad of having this thought, as it is pretty normal. You feel more relieved in this situation because it indirectly shows that you are not too bad to fail in the examination as most people are also stumped with the difficult examination questions. On the contrary, if most people have passed the examination with flying colors, you may feel even more miserable as you fall in the minority who are not smart enough to pass the examination.
So let us channel back to the case of belittling, the one who disparages you most probably has a certain level of insecurity, that’s why his belittling action is trying to prove that he is not too bad, because he thinks you are worse. Thus, when you are being despised, do feel free to console yourself, “He did that to me because he wants to diminish his insecurity. I should forgive him.”
Just Walk Away
The one who is trying to discredit you will feel even uncomfortable when you do not respond to him. The offender will feel contented when you are stumbled upon his belittling ‘obstacle’. So, do not show that you care about the denigration. You may just walk away when you are being belittled. If this person happens to be your superior or someone elder than you, in order to show your respect and courtesy to him, you may give a brief response first before you walk away.
For example, someone is attempting to criticize your work performance, assuming you already know this person is notorious at belittling people. After listening one or two sentences, you may pacify the situation by responding politely to him, “Thanks for your precious comments, I will try to improve myself”, and then walk away. The reason of walking away is to avoid you from being hurt further more. Secondly, this person will feel meaningless due to his futile belittling attempt. Thirdly, you portray yourself as a magnanimous individual compared to the perpetrator.
Remind Yourself about Your Strengths
If you feel distressed by the belittlement, it means that you are indirectly agreeing what has been said by the offender. As long as you disagree and believe that the negative statements are wrong, you will be extricated from the suffering zone. But I truly understand that it is a pretty difficult to totally throw away the disgracing statements casted to us. But I am sure everyone is blessed with certain strengths. When someone is laughing at our weakness, besides rectifying our weakness, please do not forget about the capabilities that make us feel proud. It’s just like a can of ‘100 plus’ which can effectively restore your energy after the exhaustion resulting from heavy exercise.
You Have Become Stronger
Being belittled is also a way to make us growing to be a better and stronger person. You can potentially grow better as you may go through introspection and try to fine-tune your weaknesses after being looked down by someone. You can enormously grow stronger as you learn to overcome higher ‘hurdle’ in your life compared to someone who only meets with nice people around. Furthermore, you will gradually be bestowed with the virtue of patience and tolerance. Imagine you are wearing a new pair of stretchy pants, if you stretch it frequently, you will find it becoming less tight and feel more comfortable with it compared with the first time you try to fit yourself in the tight pants. To listen to ‘Stronger’ by Kelly Clarkson, click here.
Let the Positives Drown the Negatives
Most of the time, you may think that those who belittle you are pretty silly. If you have such opinion, then you definitely have to tell yourself, “Those who care about the offender’s saying are even sillier.” Why bother to interact with the hostile party? Spending more quality time for positive groups of people such as Toastmasters will be able to make you live happier. It is simply because the positive has the power to dispel the negative.
The world is formed by both positive and negative elements. We may not be able to avoid meeting people with the pernicious nature of belittling, but we can avoid ourselves from being hurt by replacing the negative impacts with more positive thoughts. Let us forget about those foolish people who purposely hurt us, and apply the 90/10 rule which helps us reacting to our life more efficiently. Be a happier person, read about Don’t Worry, Be Happy.