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Tiny Wisdom: How We Pit People Against Us

“When you live on a round planet, there’s no choosing sides.” -Wayne Dyer

I’ve read a lot of articles about achieving your dreams and creating the life you want. There is a common message that always creates a disconnect in me: Many otherwise empowering articles lose me when the authors suggest we should “tune out our haters.”

This seems to imply that there are people out there who want us to fail–who purposely act hateful with the intention of pulling us down.

I know the world is a lot simpler when we view things in black and white terms–good and bad; right and wrong; for us and against us. But labels can hurt us far more than they people to whom we assign them because they generally come from fear. Fear keeps us from seeing things as they really are. Very little is as it seems.

Some people may seem to be purposefully hurtful, but in all reality, they’re dealing with their own struggles and insecurities, and that translates as a lack of support. Some people may seem to be negative or judgmental, but in all likelihood, they’re simply trying to help you see things from a different perspective.

This doesn’t mean that people always have good intentions; it just means far fewer have poor intentions than we think.

It might be a lot quicker and simpler to put people into narrow little boxes. It certainly takes a lot less energy to assume certain people are on your side and certain people aren’t.

But we end up seeing people as enemies and allies instead of realizing we’re all on the same team. It is possible to tune out words that don’t serve us without labeling the people who speak them as bad and assuming they want us to fail.

This leaves us with a choice: We can shut other people, assuming they’re not on our side; or we can break down a wall by trying to see where they’re coming from, so that sides no longer exist. The world becomes a far more  understanding and supportive place when we choose to be understanding and supportive.

Photo by igb

About Lori Deschene

Lori Deschene is the founder of Tiny Buddha. She’s also the author of Tiny Buddha’s Gratitude Journal and other books and co-founder of Recreate Your Life Story, an online course that helps you let go of the past and live a life you love. She recently launched a Mindfulness Kit to help reduce our stress and increase our peace and joy. For daily wisdom, join the Tiny Buddha list here. You can also follow Tiny Buddha on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

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