I get this question often along with…
How do you not let that shit phase you?
How do you not care what people think about you?
Reminds me of something I used to say repeatedly at university when someone threw shade my way. It wasn’t so much what I said, but the tone in which I said it,
“I don’t give a fuuuuuccccckkk“
I mean, I say I don’t care but the truer statement is actually,
I don’t give enough fucks.
Enough to possibly spark some self-awareness and reflection but not enough to lose the value I see in myself. If I decide to change something, it is exactly that; my decision.
Now I’m at the point where when someone says something negative about me or judges me for my choices, it’s usually pretty easy for me to laugh it off because I think to myself,
This issue really says more about YOU than it does about me. Girl (or boy) BYE.
So how did I get this way? There’s really no magic answer. It’s a combination of my experiences and the way I choose to respond to those experiences.
In my teens and twenties I was surrounded by those who wanted to control me and my path, those who said nasty things to or about me because of my skin, my hair, my clothes, my body – much of which I had no control over. Those who ignored me or wrote me off because of an ill-informed, preconceived notion of who I was or who they felt I was supposed to be – not unlike the experience of most young people.
Now I could assimilate. I could pretend to fit in, but even then I couldn’t bring myself to do it. Plus the truth always comes out so that really felt like a waste of my personal resources. I’d rather be by myself than change what is organically me for acceptance and so my friendship circle was always small (and still is).
Here’s my thought process from the moment the tip of a shade arrow first brushes against my shield…
1. Bitch please.
(Most often it ends here depending on the source – Example: A stranger on the internet or the street. Some THOT that’s a friend of a friend who doesn’t know me, some dude who’s trying to get at my cookie and is failing miserably).
2. What is going on with this person that has them feeling it’s imperative to share this with me?
(We only get to #2 if the source is valid. Valid sources include: friends, coworkers, close family, anyone who has both a take AND give relationship with me).
3. Should I find that this is actually about THEM and not me, I will let it slide and if I care enough, ask them if THEY are okay.
4. If I’ve made it to #4 it means that not only did the comment come from a valid source but also one who I care deeply about, who’s opinion I value greatly. This will lead to some self-reflection, self-awareness and then possibly personal changes.
Put it this way, I chose to use my previous exposure to shade as a vaccine. Slowly building up my immunity against hate and negative vibes so that now any exposure cannot rock the foundation of confidence I’ve built.
Negativity touches my shield and barely penetrates my surface layers because my confidence antibodies are like,
‘Nawww B. Not today. Get the fuck outta here’.