The Significance of YouToday has been one of those days when everything simply sucks and there has been nothing you can do to change that. And, for once, it doesn’t just seem like things are against you. Things actually are conspiring to do you wrong. People are being awful to you and they’re enjoying it. You’ve done everything you can to fix the fixable things and then other people come along and ruin the good day that you’ve worked hard to deserve.

And you’re thinking they need to go rot in a hole.

If they would do you the common decency of going somewhere cold and uncomfortable and being unpleasant there instead of in your face, then frankly the world would be a better place.

So you sit and you seethe and you think about how nice it would be if they weren’t there. It doesn’t matter where else they’d be, or if they simply weren’t, but as long as they weren’t so obviously nearby it wouldn’t bother you what they were doing.

And that just makes things worse for you.

You might not realise it until later. But you will.

As long as you’re sitting there focussing on the people that are upsetting you, you’re forgetting about all the things that you’ve made to make yourself happy. And that effort that you’ve gone to is commendable. And you should be proud of yourself for creating such a happy little world.

But instead, you’re polluting it with your resounding misery because of one spiteful fool.

And even if they don’t know that’s what you’re doing, they might guess that’s what you’re doing. And that’s what they wanted all along.

You’re suffering because of them. They wanted to tease and taunt you and to get into your head.

And no matter how staunch and firm the face you put on when you told them to get lost, that’s exactly what they’ve done.

They’ve won.

You can’t change the way other people are going to treat you. You can try to convince someone that you’re a decent, worthwhile human being who deserves their respect and their consideration. But if they’ve labelled you as someone who is below their level then there is nothing you can do to convince them otherwise.

Frankly, if you have to work that hard to convince someone otherwise then they’re not worth your time or effort anyway. You’re better off spending time with someone who already appreciates who you are.

What you can change, though, is your attitude to being treated like nothing.

It doesn’t matter what reason someone might give you for behaving like a tool. If someone won’t give you a chance to redeem yourself, that automatically makes you better than them. It automatically makes them wrong for being so judgemental and rude.

Remember always that you deserve better than this – that, just because you are a human being, born equal to every other, you are worthy of their respect.

Anyone who does not recognise that is not worthy of your anguish or your time. As difficult as it is, it’s well worth training yourself to ignore it.

Know that their behaviour is not your problem.

You don’t need to retaliate. You don’t even need to keep thinking about them once they’ve left your line of vision. You definitely don’t need to let yourself get upset because of it.

Once you’re comfortable enough with yourself to truly understand this, all the problems they cause will melt away.

And you can get back to your happy, peaceful life.

Kirstie Summers,

Daily Zen.