how to handle people who bring you down, part 4



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(return to Part 3)


The second thing you can do to take good care of yourself (and this is also finding something better to do) is: Do something for the world you live in.

We start with your body and your world, because they are the easiest things to do when you're down. They are concrete and physical. When you're really down, you're distorted — your perception of life is off. Respect that and don't try to make decisions or work things out with other people when you are feeling down.

Fix something, mend something, clean up a storage room, clean out a desk drawer, do something to improve your physical world. If you have a piece of paper that isn't finished, a thank you note that needs to be written, a report that needs to be done, pick up one thing and finish it.

Depression is a conviction of your own helplessness, a conviction that you can't make a difference, that you have no effect. When you physically accomplish something that you can see, it weakens your conviction that you're helpless. Your accomplishment, no matter how small, is proof positive that you can cause and effect. Your mood will rise.

Besides that, you have also physically improved your world — the environment you are in — and an improved environment usually has a positive effect on your mood.

When your personal life is in great shape, try volunteering. Volunteers experience what is called a "helper's high." It's a good feeling and boosts your immune system. People who volunteer don't have as much illness, rate themselves as having a better, fuller life, and there are also indications now that people who volunteer live longer. Again, take on a little thing. Maybe just volunteer one afternoon a month. Make the world a better place and you will feel better.



The third thing is: Learn something. Learn something to make yourself more able to handle your problems or something that will make you more able to achieve your goals. If you have an alcoholic in your family and that troubles you, read up on it. I had several in my family and tried for years to help them. One day I read a simple thing: I didn't cause it, I can't control it, and I can't cure it. A very large weight came off my back. It brought me up.

Learn about people and learn technical skills. People skills will make more of a difference in your success and happiness.

You're better off learning about your problems than you are trying to change another person. See the difference? If I try to change someone, maybe nothing will happen. Probably nothing will happen. If I go to a class and learn something to make myself more able, there's a pretty good chance my effort will make a difference.

Learning brings understanding, and understanding will improve your mood. Not being able to understand something that's happening will bring you down. A lack of understanding is a tremendous drain on your well-being.

Learn something that will bring you up. This might mean taking a class at the college, reading a book, finding a counselor, or doing anything that will help you learn more about what's troubling you.



The last thing is to get it said. If you have something you want to say and you stop yourself from saying it for some reason, do you know it doesn't go away? It stays there, hanging in suspended animation, wanting to be said. If you don't get it said, it is like a little piece of cancer inside you. If you will just get it said to someone, you will feel better.

If you have a friend in your life you can talk to, get it said to them. If you don't have anybody you can really talk to because you think it's too personal or involves someone else and you want to respect their privacy (or every person you know is a lousy listener — which is a pretty good probability), then go to the bookstore and get yourself a journal and write in that.

College students are under a lot of stress, so they were given instructions to write in a journal for 20 minutes a day about their emotionally troubling issues. Another group was told to write in a journal for 20 minutes a day about anything — what they had for lunch, what they did that day, etc. The ones who wrote about emotionally troubling issues missed less school because of illness and rated themselves as having a better attitude. All they did was get it said.

When you get something said, you can take your attention off it. It's not waiting to be said anymore. Have you ever been upset about something and spilled your guts to a good listener? When you finished, you probably gave a deep sigh of relief and felt you could go on. You had cleansed yourself of all those cancerous thoughts. Maybe you can't talk directly to the person bringing you down. If you can, try to work it out. If you can't, get it out of your system some other way. Don't let it sit in there and eat at you.

And get the good stuff said too. One common reason for leaving a job is also a common reason people leave their mates: They didn't feel appreciated. They felt taken for granted. So if you want to do something that not only brings you up, but also helps the people you're around to come up, is for you to appreciate someone. To take the time to say what you like. Take the time and notice the good in your life.

Once a day, look for something you can acknowledge in another. It's like a vitamin. It makes a big difference, in more ways than one. Be specific. Be sincere. Don't say stuff you don't mean. It will take effort. This is not some easy trick. It'll take effort and it will go against the natural negativity of your mind. Exert yourself to find something and say it. Tell someone what you appreciate and why you think it is valuable and worthy of comment.

When you have people around that you love and care about and you appreciate them, they feel better, and they're more able to handle the people in their lives who bring them down. And you have strengthened their moral backbone (increased their integrity), which will bring them up. You can make them bigger and better able to handle difficulties in their life, just by letting them know they're valuable. And it will help you.



Here's how to handle people who bring you down. First of all, be vague. Second, find something better to do. Do something good for your body or your world. Learn something. And get it said.

learn more about dealing with people successfully

Author: Klassy Evans
editor of the books, Principles For Personal Growth and Self-Help Stuff That Works
and editor of the blogs,, and
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