Amy Rees Anderson

To The Victims Of Trash Talkers

“Live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you no one would believe it.” – Zig Ziglar

I absolutely love, love, love that quote! Over the years I have learned that you cannot control what things people may say about you – some will say mean or unkind things and even untrue things, and you can`t stop someone from doing that. But what you can do is make sure you are living your life in such a way that anyone who truly knows you would instantly know that any bad things being said about you are simply not true. That you can control…

There are always going to be those people out there who have their own malicious agendas and who go around saying hurtful things about others.  And there will always be those people that are willing to talk trash, or be mean, or tell lies and put someone else down to get ahead.

I’d guess most all of us have been the recipient at one time or another of some unkind or untrue things that have been said about us, so we all know how much hearing things like that being said about us can hurt. 

When that happens, the only thing we can do on our part is to make sure we are living our lives as the opening quote for today suggests, which is to “live in such a way that if anyone should speak badly of you no one would believe it”  That is about all we can do – live in a way that we have nothing to be ashamed of, nothing to feel embarrassed about, nothing we need to hide or feel regret about.  If we simply try each day to live with integrity, to be honest in our dealings with others, and be kind and thoughtful, then anyone who truly knows us will know the kind of person we are because we have SHOWN THAT TO THEM. 

Then there is the issue of what to do about those who don’t personally know you that believe the words of the trash talker without taking time to know you themselves – what do you do about them? Edward Everett gave some fantastic advice to someone who had an article written about them that was untrue which states:

“Do nothing! Half the people who bought the paper never saw the article. Half of those who saw it, did not read it. Half of those who read it, did not understand it. Half of those who understood it, did not believe it. Half of those who believed it are of no account anyway.”

Frankly if someone who doesn’t know you at all is willing to believe the words of someone who is trash talking you when the trash talker has a personal agenda for doing it, over looking at the evidence of how you are living your life – well then that person taking the word of the trash talker is a person you’re better off not having in your life anyway…  And take comfort in knowing that soon enough they will discover that trash talker is talking trash about them too which will make it painfully apparent to them that they have misjudged you.

In the meantime, just remember what Dr. Seuss said:   “Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”

Focus on showing people who you really are by the way you live your life each day.  And then celebrate the fact that you can be proud of the person you are – because you should be!

~Amy Rees Anderson (author of the book “What Awesome Looks Like: How To Excel in Business & Life” )

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