I was listening to a couple of writer interviews yesterday and both of them talked about how they deal with trolls and people who speak negatively and inappropriately in their lives and about their work. One of them said something really interesting–do not hand over the mic.
Handing someone a microphone is not just letting someone talk to you. It’s also allowing their words have an effect on you. It’s considering what they have to say and giving them space in your mind.
There are people in our lives who think that they have something to say about us and the way we live our lives. I’m not talking about true friends and mentors who love and understand us and really want what’s best for us. I’m talking about those who act like they know you but have never taken the time to be a friend and then speak to you like they’re entitled to an opinion. I’m talking about the people who just want to argue for the sake of arguing and really have no interest in your opinion. I’m talking about the people who just want to hear themselves talk.
Do not hand those people the mic. Do not give just anyone room to plant their ideas and opinions in their head. That doesn’t mean you should be rude, but when the negativity and snark and, well, stupid remarks start coming, step away and don’t let yourself internalize any of it.
In such a noisy world, with so many people and things vying for our attention on a daily basis, we don’t have time or space for words that don’t uplift, encourage, challenge, or motivate. Surround yourself with people who are truly interested in real conversation and relationship. Life is just too short for anything less.
It’s your mic. Do not hand it over to just anyone.