I often take my queue as to what subject to choose for my blog posts from the questions I get. Over the last few weeks, I received this question, in one form or another, several times. Ok dear readers, I’m listening. 🙂 Some of the emails I received were much too personal for me to publish, even in an abridged form, so I’ll just give you some fictional examples of the many ways this question can be asked:
“This girl at school called me a bitch. How can I get her to stop? I don’t want people to be mean to me. I want them to like me.”
“Some guy left a nasty comment on my blog. What should I say to him? Can I use the law of attraction to make him nicer?”
“There’s a guy I like. Can I make him fall in love with me?”
Now, while I’ve answered the question regarding making a specific person fall in love with you here and here, it falls into the same general category as the other two questions: Caring way too much about what others think of us.
Can we use the Law of Attraction to make people in general, or anyone specific, like us?
The short answer is: no. And once you’ve listened to my explanation, hopefully, you’ll no longer want to.
You can’t create other people’s reality
Simply put, you can’t force others to do, think or be anything. You can only control your own vibration, your own energy, your own thoughts and beliefs. You can create your reality, but not someone else’s. That’s just not how it works.
So, if some girl at school called you a bitch, or a troll left you a nasty comment on your blog, you cannot suddenly turn that troll into a nice person. The reason they’re in such a dark place that dumping on others actually causes them to feel relief, has nothing to do with you. And you can’t force them to raise their vibration until they’re in a happy, joyful, loving place. Everyone is in charge of their own energy. Period.
The “trolls” are actually a very useful indicator
It really, truly is all about YOUR vibration and your own personal reality. While you can’t control others, the fact remains that you’ve allowed this experience into your personal universe. Something in your vibration was a match to being dumped on. And this nasty person, if you’re willing to see it that way, has actually done you a favor by mirroring this vibration back to you, so that you can become aware of it. They are actually a manifestation of yours.
When someone criticizes you, and you get upset about it, the belief that attracted this experience is almost always this: You care more about what other people think about you than what you think about yourself, and you’re afraid that they might be right in their criticism.
You’re giving away your power
It’s easy to see why the belief that the opinion of others matters more than our own is so pervasive. We are raised to look for validation from sources outside of ourselves. When mommy or teacher smiles at us, we’ve done a good job. When they frown, we’ve failed. We tie our self-esteem to the approval, or lack thereof, of other people. And then we do our best to fit into whatever box they want us to, hoping to please them, so that we can finally feel good about ourselves.
But that’s a bunch of crap based on a pile of false beliefs. When we tie our emotional health to the reaction of anyone outside of ourselves, we give away all of our power. We can never change enough to make someone else happy. Even if we can temporarily please them, the second they find some new condition to want, we’re back to square one. It’s a losing battle.
So, the girl at school called you a bitch and you felt horrible. But the reason you felt horrible isn’t because she called you a bitch, it’s because you felt diminished by it. You wondered if maybe there’s something wrong with you. You allowed this person, whom you don’t really care about (and whom you may not even know) to dictate how you feel about yourself, as if her opinion actually mattered. Now, you could, hypothetically, try really, really hard to become someone that she’ll approve of. You could contort yourself and become this fake person whose sole purpose is to please bitch girl. But why would you do that? You’d essentially be handing her the rights to your emotional health, telling her to do with them whatever she pleased. You’d be handing all of your power away. Not only that, but you’d be handing it to a person that you don’t even really care about!
You CAN control your own reality
Now, while you can’t control what others think or how they behave, you CAN control your own reality. Let me explain:
You can clean up your own vibration to such an extent that you won’t be a match to being called a bitch or being dumped on anymore. This means, that the people who are looking to dump on someone, won’t be able to find you. Your realities won’t match up. They’ll go and find someone else, who is a match. You can align your own energy with the vibration of Nice People, and only rendezvous with individuals who will be nice to you. It’s your energy that attracts them to you or repels them away from you.
You can’t decide WHO will be nice to you (again, that would be creating in their reality), but you can attract only pleasant people who are already nice and therefore will also be nice to you. It’s up to you what kinds of experiences you match up with.
But in order to match up with niceness, you have to take back the control over your emotions. You have to be the one who determines how you feel. You have to get rid of the idea that what others think about you matters.
Every time you get upset by what someone said you to, that negative emotion is telling you that you’ve got an active vibration within you that just created that experience. Only by getting to the point where others can no longer upset you (i.e. you’ve released that vibration) will you be able to allow a reality where such experiences don’t exist.
What to do when you’re criticized:
When someone criticizes you and you get upset, it’s only because you’re afraid they might be right. Analyze that thought and really take it apart. Ask yourself the following questions and really ponder them:
1.) Does this person’s opinion really matter more than my own? Do they have any special skills that make them more qualified to judge a person’s intrinsic worth than I am? (Hint: the answer is NO!)
2.) Is what they said about me actually true? Can I think of any examples of when it hasn’t been true? (Example: “Am I really a bitch? Are there any examples of when I’ve been a nice person?”)
3.) Why am I giving this person the right to determine how I feel about myself? Why am I letting anyone determine that?
4.) Do I believe that I have the power to change how I feel? Can I change how I react? (Hopefully, the answer to this will be “yes”.)
Hopefully, at this point, you’ve decided that giving all that power to his person isn’t a good idea. Here’s a few more pointers:
- DO NOT confront this person. You’d only be doing so to try to change their mind (even if you’re just wanting to know why they criticized you, it would ultimately be with the goal of using the information to make yourself more likeable.) And why would you want to change their mind unless you still care what they think? Also, never feed the trolls.
- I know it’s counterintuitive, but try to send some gratitude towards this person. You don’t have to go and thank them, this is an exercise in your own mind, but if you can shift your perspective from “Why are they so mean to me?!” to “Wow. This is an indicator of a vibration I have that isn’t serving me, and this person helped to show me that”, you’ve pretty much done the job.
A personal example
I will give you an example from my own life, because sometimes it’s easier to recognize this situation in other people: When I wrote a post about cursing, I used a funny and provocative subject to make the point that words don’t actually matter, the energy behind them does. I received a very nasty email from a subscriber who wanted me to know that she was deeply offended by my post.
Now, I had two choices: I could let the opinion of one person, whom I had never met and knew nothing about, make me feel awful. I could’ve spent days wallowing in despair about how someone out there didn’t like my post. I could’ve even come to the conclusion that I’d done something wrong and that perhaps I should censor myself in the future. But if I’d done that, my writing would no longer be authentic and honest. Even though I get tons of emails every day telling me how helpful my words were to someone, I could’ve used this person’s opinion as an excuse to feel horrible and maybe even destroy my blog.
Instead, I recognized that her being offended said a lot more about her than it did about me. If she didn’t like my post, there was nothing I could do about that. She simply wasn’t a match to my writing. I could, however, focus on those who do resonate with me and like what I write. And that’s what I did. I thought the fact that she would get so angry over a simple, little blog post, that no one forced her to read, was actually kind of funny. Clearly she was a match to being offended, and I had served the purpose of giving her something to be offended by. Yay me. And yes, I was very proud of myself, because the fact that I didn’t react negatively meant I’d successfully shifted my vibration on this subject. There was a time when that email would’ve left me devastated.
Interestingly enough, that was the first and last nasty mail I got. My energy is determining my experience. Do you see how ridiculous it would’ve been for me to get upset or take this criticism seriously? Do you see how ridiculous it is for you to do the same?
Take back your power!
No one has the right to determine how you feel except you. And no one can ever take that away from you, but you can hand it to them, and people do it all the time. If the barrista smiles at you and tells you look nice today, you’re in a good mood. If your boss yells at you, even if you know it’s only because he had another fight with his wife, you get angry. But you don’t have to let the actions and opinions of others dictate how you feel. You can take back your power, right now. You can shift your energy and decide to feel good, no matter what. You deserve it. But don’t take my word for it… 🙂