Bob Denny: Don’t let the bad guys win


Published: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.
Last Modified: Friday, September 27, 2013 at 4:19 p.m.

No matter how successful, popular, outgoing, involved, or connected with others you are, you’ll still find people who just don’t like you! Why? Maybe they want to feel superior to you, judge you, are jealous of you, just don’t like your looks, or maybe they’re just angry people with their own problems. Even the most friendly, wonderful people, movie and television stars, sports heroes -- even the president -- have lots of people who dislike them. In fact, it’s been said that the more well-known you are, the more enemies you have!

What’s the problem with that? When someone doesn’t like you, they may want you to feel bad, they may find fault with what you do, they may want to hurt you, or may want you to fail. They may throw criticism at you, or throw obstacles in your way. They may want to argue with you, prove you wrong, or just to hurt you.

You probably want to know, “What can I do?” Some folks respond by confronting their tormentor. You may feel like arguing, or fighting back. Some resort to gossiping about them to others, or expressing anger. Some just try to avoid the enemy, or just develop a dislike or hatred, and hold onto a long-term resentment.

Now, what’s wrong with that? When we lower ourselves to their level, we can bring out the worst in both of us. We can be left feeling negative emotions like anger, frustration, and loss of our energy and self-esteem. We may feel grief, sadness, or even guilt over our poor handling of the situation.

As it turns out, when we hold onto bad feelings, resentments, or a grudge, it actually hurts us more than it hurts them! It can stand in the way of our own well-being and happiness. What’s a better way?

Probably the best way to deal with your enemy is to find a way to do something positive, and have good feelings about action you decide to take. Even the Bible says, “Love your enemies.” Rather than letting yourself become a part of their negativity, choose happiness, success, and enjoyment of your life. Focus on the “doughnut,” not upon the “hole.” Take time to decide what you want to have in your own life that will bring you the joy, success, personal growth, self-fulfillment, and happiness that you deserve. our life will end up being the better for it. And strangely enough, they may stop playing their hateful games of finding ways to hurt you.

If attacking you doesn’t work for them, they are likely to give up that strategy, and move on to find better and more positive ways to run their own lives. It can be a win/win situation for both parties.

Don’t keep holding onto resentments. Life is too short!

Bob Denny teaches psychology at Florida Gateway College and counseled troubled youth and families for a career. Please send comments to Bob.Denny8@gmail.com.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top