It is probable that you haven’t met even one person who has never been mistreated. We’ve all been lied to, used, abused, ostracized, and beaten down. It is part of the human experience. And we shouldn’t minimize it. Being wounded profoundly shapes who we are. Often, in an effort to prevent being wounded by the same person again, we build up a wall of defense, by holding a grudge and adding said person to our Shit List.
Here’s what we do with people on our Shit Lists:
- Roll our eyes when they walk into the room or when their name is mentioned.
- Use social media posts to be cruel or passive aggressive.
- Gossip about them behind their backs.
- Try and get others to take our side.
- Go to our graves being bitter about the hurt they caused us.
As a human, I have experienced a very fair share of mistreatment. …And don’t think it doesn’t piss me off. Haaaa nope. I get pissed. Like, fuming pissed. Like, smoke coming out of nostrils, cover your grandma’s ears, ready to punch a wall pissed. And that’s not a bad thing. (Anger shows me that there is a person or a situation I need to address and/or move away from.) But staying red-hot mad long-term? You know, like having a mental list of people that raise my heart rate or make me want to seek some sort of revenge? That’s just an unhealthy waste of energy.
When I hear, “Ugh. He’s on my list,” I know what I’m really hearing is, “I’m expending valuable energy holding a grudge against a person that likely will not change just because I’m mad at her/him.”
Guess what? We’re all gonna let each other down. We’re all gonna say hurtful things. We can’t avoid this fact of life. We can walk around feeling abused and injusticed and victimized, OR we can take ownership and responsibility for who we allow to stay in our lives and our minds.
When you’ve been wounded, well-meaning people will advise you to “just let it go.”
“Haha just fuck you. No.” …is an understandable response.
I’ve been there. I know how hard it is to just keep your mouth shut, smile, and let. it. go. So here’s what I’ve found that works for me. Maybe it will help some of you.
How To Not Have A Shit List:
1) Tell people when they’ve hurt you or let you down. Be an adult and face them. Don’t talk behind their back. Don’t try and get others to take sides. Just face the person.
2) If they respond unfavorably (i.e. keep behaving the same way, ridicule you for being hurt, minimize your feelings, lie to get out of responsibility), then get away from them.
3) Once a safe distance away, wish them well. No, I’m serious. Really send good will/thoughts/energy their way. Don’t expect them to come around and apologize. If they do, it’s just icing on the delicious cake of peace and freedom that you are already experiencing without their apology.
4) If you do happen to cross paths with them, try these:
- Be a decent and courteous human when you bump into them.
- Don’t join in any gossip or badmouthing about them.
- Remember that being an asshole to an asshole only creates more… assholery.
- If you’re feeling really unfuckwithable, try saying something nice about them behind their back.
- Smile and be grateful that they came into your life to teach you something.
(^^When people talk about “spreading good vibes,” this is what they mean.)
A Shit List says, “You hurt me. I want to hurt you back.”
But sit with this alternative for a moment: “You hurt me. I want you to feel happy and loved enough that you stop hurting others. I wish you well.”
Dunno about you, but the second feels much better to me.