How to handle toxic people to increase your confidence
How positive psychology can help you to increase your confidence
Do you talk yourself out of achieving incredible things because you are scared you may not have what it takes?
Does indecisiveness sometimes prevent you from fulfilling your dreams?
Then these confidence building tools might help:
We can often feel less confident when we share new ideas or ventures with the naysayers in the world.
You know who I mean, those people who say:
“you don’t want to do that it’s too risky”
“you don’t have the skills”
“you’ll never make it as a successful artist or author that’s for dreamers”
They also regularly use phrases such as
“have you thought about”
ETC ETC you get the gist?
My nickname for these people are confidence vampires!!
Also, remember that these alleged “naysayers” are often concerned and envious that if you make it to the top of your career or you become a highly successful entrepreneur or executive, this might highlight their own fears insecurities and inadequacies.
So watch out, they will try all kinds of strategies to hold you back just in case: “you get too big for your boots” or “who do you think you are”
In other words “success breeds envy”
So how can we increase our confidence with these vampires around?
As they can sometimes literally suck the life energy out of us!
An excellent Coach, Lynne Paris, I once worked with coined a delightful phrase for this type of behaviour: “The Cinderella Syndrome” Lynne was an expert naysayer spotter as she encountered hundreds of naysayers when she wrote a play shown in London at age 62. Good for her !!!
And how about J K Rowling? Before she became a famous Harry Potter author she was continually criticised by people close to her for having an “over active imagination”.
Anyhow let’s back to the Cinderella syndrome what Lynne meant by this was: the higher you excel at work, in business or in your personal life the more ugly sisters you will attract.
(Though I am using the word “sister” in this context I am actually referring to both males and females because it’s rife in both genders).
Put simply, no matter what you do and how well you do it, there will always be someone there to rain on your red carpet, so it’s important to know how to spot these so called ugly sisters:
They often display envy when you achieve success, then deny it, and express negativity towards you and your accomplishments.
They look for the smallest mistake, then attack, never acknowledging any of the positives.
They’re critical of absolutely everything, are insecure, under confident really even though they often present an assertive and confident facade and are unhappy with themselves to say the least
And most significantly they are ENVIOUS OF YOU
Here’s some tips how to increase your confidence when these ugly sisters are around
One – ignore them
I appreciate that this is easier said than done what can be helpful as a first step though is begin to ask yourself what do I know?
I know that their criticism adds no value to my life, if I believe what they say to me, I may end up stuck where I am and not being the best possible version of me to fulfil my dreams and passions.
I also know that it’s important to accept that ugly sisters will always exist because it’s their occupation and I cannot change this.
Two – don’t take it to heart
Occasionally, you may experience difficulties identifying constructive criticism and ugly sister behaviour because there may be a grain of truth in their remarks.
If this is the case, remind yourself thoughts and opinions are not facts just someone’s version and perception of the world based on their past experiences.
Three – Avoid counter attacking
This takes up too much time and energy and life’s too short, so don’t give these ugly sisters the satisfaction of getting what they want, ie your attention, they don’t deserve it.
Also it this type of behaviour only brings you down to their level and that’s unseemly.
Four – Dodge apologising and overusing the word sorry
It’s not unreasonable for you to expect other people to treat you as an equal with respect and dignity and in the manner that they would expect to be treated.
Apologising and using the word sorry regularly, is highly likely to make people take you less seriously and as being somehow inferior to them.
At its worst, it can lower your confidence levels so hold on to your hard earned self respect, value and integrity. Only say sorry when it is appropriate for example when you make a mistake or when you accidentally bump into someone on the train.
Five – Stop people pleasing
According to Psychologist Susan Newman: “People-pleasers “want everyone around them to be happy and they will do whatever is asked of them to keep it that way.”
Often, even if it means abandoning their own needs to meet the needs of others.
People pleasers, yearn for outside validation. Their “personal feeling of security and self-confidence is based on getting the approval of others,” said Psychologist Linda Tillman.
Thus, at the core, people-pleasers lack confidence, she said.
As stated earlier – “If you do please everyone you are not making progress”
Worst case scenerio – when you’re walking on eggshells trying to please everyone, it’s impossible to be the best you can be and indeed to be yourself.
So is it worth it? No, because you end up bending yourself out of your true shape and continually feel resentful and disappointed because of all the sacrifices you are constantly making.
Six – Allow yourself to feel flattered
If people are continually undermining or putting you down, know that you are a star shining brightly and that it is a form of confirmation you are doing something right or that matters.
So, treat how they are behaving towards you as a compliment and remember you wouldn’t know how successful you are if it wasn’t for your entourage of ugly sisters.
I’ll end with a quote I sometimes use to increase my confidence
“I do my thing and you do your thing
I am not in this world to live up to your expectations
And you are not in this world to live up to mine
You are you and I am I
And if by chance we find each other it’s beautiful
If not it can’t be helped”
Fritz Perls Pioneer of Gestalt Therapy