"Don't Hate Me 'Cause I'm Beautiful!"~Getting Delivered from Others' Opinions of YOUR Success
Yep. You’ve heard it or maybe experienced it: “She thinks she’s cute” or, “she thinks she’s better than other people.” Women portraying haughty attitudes towards other women, some of whom they don’t even know. Your sister’s friend’s cousin’s mom’s supervisor’s best friend’s aunt doesn’t like “Shirley” and therefore, by proxy, you don’t like “Shirley.” The “girl wars” unfortunately begin early in life and if we don’t have moms or female role models with healthy relationships with other women, they pass down the “mean girl” jealousy gene to the next generation.
"Hating" in Pop Culture
Keri Hilson’s 2010 mega-hit “Pretty Girl Rock,” chronicles her perception of girls “hating on” her positive qualities. “My walk, my talk, the way I dress...Don’t hate me ‘cause I’m beautiful!” Though the estimation of herself may have appeared a bit exaggerated, the resentment she sensed was likely real. Now, those who know me have probably heard me say “beware of people who continuously reference their haters. Such theorizers are often legends in their own minds.” While this can be an accurate assessment, it’s been my observation that people are frequently intimidated by those with strong confidence.
Scroll any social media timeline and you’ll frequently find words of envy spoken "in jest” towards friends who post about their life adventures. When Suzanne posts her “flying dress” pictures from Santorini, someone will inevitably respond “Wow. I’m jealous.” And Ava’s up to the minute post of her new candy apple red Porsche will definitely garner a few “It must be nice” posts from Instagram followers. Let’s not forget the occasional “jk” that follows to try to diminish the fact that the respondent really feels “some type of way” about Ava’s good news. When Jada posts her 2-carat engagement ring, somebody will ultimately say “Wow” with the understood subtext “How did YOU get engaged?"
Why is it so difficult to celebrate the good news of others without questioning our own value? When friends accomplish their goals, does the “Universal Achievement Account” go bankrupt? Does the world run out of prosperity because another woman reached her goal or is it just your impression? In the 2018 Lifetime movie, “The Simone Biles Story,” the title character struggled to believe she was good enough to compete on the international level. Her parents asked a question that served as the catalyst for her gold medal gymnastics career: “Are the other girls better than you or are you AFRAID they are better than you? There’s a difference. Own up to your talent!” It’s now obvious that Simone took her eyes off of the successes of others and claimed her spot in gymnastics history!
So, you’re just walking along, living your life, when you decide to do something others perceive as daring. Skydiving, parasailing. riding a camel, writing a book, starting a business, cutting your hair, quitting your job and moving to another country, or dating someone younger, can all elicit strong opinions from family, friends, and social media stalkers. Unless the onlookers are contributors to your multi-million dollar trust fund, what makes them think they should have an opinion about your life? More importantly, why should you be moved by their opinions?
Ummm, Excuse YOU, Ma'am!
In the world of the single (whole) and amazing (impressive) people, this is an ongoing challenge. I, like you, am not immune to this phenomenon. Having attended my very first Weight Watchers meeting with my aunt at age 10, I’ve always struggled with weight. Up and down. Down and up. It’s been my life’s battle. Between 2006-2008, I lost 120 lbs. I was very proud of myself until a church member, with venom in her eyes, said “I’m jealous. Seriously. How’d you do that?” Ummm, Excuse YOU, Ma’am.
Was she jealous when I was on the treadmill at 4:30 a.m. or working out in the swimming pool in the evening? Did she feel that angst when I experienced such debilitating hip pain that I could hardly walk from my bed to the bathroom? Where was her green-eyed monster when I gained all the weight back? I recently, again, lost a significant amount of weight and the back-biting returned. This time, through a colleague who quipped “you don’t need to lose any more weight. You’re making us look bad.” When I confronted her, she apologized by saying “that was my back-handed way of saying you look good.” Insert eye-rolling emoji.
Well, the Audacity!
Basically, it all comes down to confidence or the lack thereof. In order to successfully and joyfully live the “Single and Amazing” life, confidence is key. “Confidence,” according to Webster~” a feeling of self-assurance arising from one's appreciation of one's own abilities or qualities. A belief in one's self and one's ability to succeed.” It’s not necessarily what you DO that evokes feelings of discontent in others, but that you have the audacity to have the CONFIDENCE to do it! Confidence can take one farther than skill. However, skill AND confidence make a person UNSTOPPABLE! When you’re unstoppable, it doesn’t matter what others say or think.
So how is confidence built? Here’s the “Cliff Notes” version:
- Run your own “race.” Stop comparing your life, calling, possessions, looks, and abilities to those of others.
- Keep your promises to yourself, be kind to yourself, and speak positively about yourself. Recognize and confess what you do WELL. Use positive affirmations to create strong imagery of who you’re becoming.
- Read books about increasing your confidence and listen to empowering music.
- Be decisive. If you don’t make a decision, someone else will make one for you and you may not like what they choose.
- Don’t let anyone else’s fear about who you’re becoming cause you to doubt your goals.
- Do hard things! Do things that scare you. Come out of the safe zone. As the old hymn says, “Each victory will help you some other to win!” (Okay, you’re probably not old enough to remember that song, but you get the point. LOL!)
- Learn to say “NO” without explanation.
- Become comfortable complimenting others. Make it a practice to genuinely compliment someone at least once a day. Yes, complimenting others builds YOUR confidence!
- Learn to be okay with people, especially close family and friends, not agreeing with your decisions. It’s YOUR life. They’ll get over it.
- Regularly hang around people who believe in your gifts and who help you cultivate them. In other words, find your tribe.
“Sparkle” wherever you go, even when it blinds others! Buy them some nice, expensive sunglasses, if necessary. Confidence is your “IT FACTOR.” It makes you stand out in a crowd. There are enough blessings for everyone! Get yours and don’t apologize when life flows in your favor! It’s suppose to, because you’re AMAZING!