I have been working with a client recently who is the target of, what I call, crazy.
It could be a friend, a family member, a co-worker, a fellow writer or someone you weren’t even aware of who gets triggered by something you said, did, or wrote and they go on a hate spree. From personal emails to public social shaming, they will try to hurt you. Discredit you. Force you to engage in their filth tactics.
And there is one way out: Don’t engage the crazy.
You’ll want to explain. Don’t.
You’ll want to defend. Don’t.
You’ll want to throw the crazy person under the proverbial bus. Don’t.
The only way to beat crazy is to not engage it. Gotta starve it out.*
I know because I’ve been there. And my attempts to clarify, explain and defend only made things worse. That was when my therapist at the time gave me the advice:
Don’t feed the crazy.
Because you know what happens when you feed the birds, ducks, bears, and crazy? They keep coming back for more.
So instead of expending your valuable energy fighting crazy… delete negative comments, block unkind people, remove yourself from places where the trolls are, and set whatever healthy boundaries you can.
It takes practice and a LOT of support. So be patient with yourself, cry when you need to, and surround yourself with the people who are behind you 100% and will support you through the process.
Then focus on putting more positive into the world—on speaking, loving, and giving to those who want what you have to say.
THAT is energy well spent.
And the crazy? With nothing to eat, it will eventually die off and become a footnote in your life.
Loves & hugs,
* Caveat to starving out the crazy. In our professional lives there are times when we have to address the crazy directly. My rule? Just once. I remove emotion, blame, finger pointing, etc… I use professional tones… I cite written rules (if violated)… I wish them the best in their endeavors… and I have other people read it before I hit send to make sure I haven’t been unkind or unprofessional.
The question I’m always asking myself: “If this communication was published to the world, would I be okay with others reading what I’ve said?”
Discerning when to respond and when to ignore takes practice and a lot of grace for yourself. But I promise, it’s worth it.
It’s part of the difficult yet fulfilling road of being a human leaves this world better than she’s found it.