The whole world seems to be polarised.
In the US the Republican Party are hellbent on forcing their religious beliefs on the whole country and yet they spew so much hate and vitriol it’s actually quite sickening. They spout so many lies that although a lot of people can see through it there are a vast number who buy into what they’re saying. They project their shortcomings onto others. They think they’re above the law.
The media, especially the “news” outlets all around the world have so much control it often begs the question who is “worse” the ones who print/broadcast it or the ones who buy it or believe it. The fact of the matter is that I feel that we all have the freedom of speech and we absolutely should. However, when the freedom of speech involves so much loathing and hate it makes for a very difficult time.
Much of the bile that gets disgorged is often fear-mongering by people to try and get others on side by preying to their perceived ideals. Whether the stuff being stated is true or not seems irrelevant as long as it gets them the votes. And that my friends is politics! Rather than actually govern and lead, there seems to be playground antics and attempts at point-scoring. It’s almost like a competition to see who can shout loudest!
Of course if people actually educated themselves and news outlets decided to actually report facts rather than opinions then things could become a bit easier. The term “woke” is banded about as if it’s a negative thing and yet if I’m to be honest I can’t see how being aware of and actively attentive to important facts and issues as being bad.
Even TV shows such as Doctor Who and Strictly Come Dancing come under fire from the extremists and trolls. Again everyone is of course entitled to their opinion, but when it’s just hate being spouted I feel that’s abhorrent. Thankfully there appears to be more and more people calling out such trite but it’s a very sad state of affairs that in the year 2023 we still have to do so! Whatever happened to live and let live? “We are the party of the people”…but only if the people follow their edicts.
Sometimes, an older generation will come out with a phrase they’ve always used or voice the opinion they’ve always had. They haven’t gone with the times and perhaps don’t see why they should have to adjust their viewpoint. Maybe they should’t adjust their viewpoint, but if you can make someone happy by using their choice of pronoun, or whatever, why wouldn’t you want to do that?
It would sometimes appear that people go out of their way to get offended by something but when it’s blatantly obvious that the offensive remark is intentional I think they have every right to do so. If you say something and you know you’ve upset someone by it - surely the right thing to do is to make amends…or try to.
How many times do you hear someone make a comment about an outfit that’s being worn, or a hairstyle with comments along the lines of “Well if he dresses like a feather-duster what can he expect?”, or “Good grief, what is she wearing?!” Just because a person dresses in a way that you don’t like or appreciate doesn’t mean that they are in the wrong - they are dressing the way they want to for themselves, not you! And if they’re dressing the way they do to draw attention to themselves so be it it shouldn’t mean people have to be snide about them.
Ultimately we can’t change how people are but we can change how we respond to things. Here are some strategies that may help:
Reflect on your own values and beliefs. Knowing who you are and what you stand for can help you stay grounded in the face of judgment.
Counter negative thoughts with positive affirmations. Remind yourself of your strengths and accomplishments. Focus on your worth and capabilities.
Talk to friends, family, or a mental health professional about what you're experiencing. Sharing your feelings can provide emotional support and different perspectives.
Establish clear boundaries with people who consistently bring negativity into your life. It's okay to distance yourself from toxic individuals and prioritise your mental well-being.
Try to understand where the hate or judgment is coming from. People's opinions are often a reflection of their own experiences and insecurities. This doesn't justify their behaviour, but it can help you detach emotionally.
Focus on what you can control:
Concentrate on aspects of your life that you can control, such as your reactions, mindset, and actions. Accept that you cannot control the opinions and actions of others.
Engage in mindfulness activities like meditation or deep breathing exercises to stay present and reduce stress. Mindfulness can help you detach from negative thoughts and emotions.
Educate and inform:
If the hate or judgment is based on misunderstandings or misinformation, consider calmly and respectfully sharing your perspective. Sometimes, educating others can lead to a more empathetic understanding.
Channel your emotions into creative pursuits. Whether it's writing, art, music, or any other form of expression, creative outlets can provide a constructive way to process feelings.
Learn and grow:
Use challenging experiences as opportunities for personal growth. Reflect on what you can learn from the situation and how you can emerge stronger and more resilient.
Everyone faces judgment at some point, and it's important to focus on building your own resilience and maintaining a positive self-image. If the negativity becomes overwhelming, consider seeking professional help to navigate through your emotions and develop coping strategies. The priority must always be to look after our own mental health, but we should try to make being kind a priority too!