Having Your Own Back When You Feel Like The World Is Against You
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Politics and Activism

Having Your Own Back When You Feel Like The World Is Against You

Having Your Own Back When You Feel Like The World Is Against You

These past couple of months have been tough. You know when something happens and you think to yourself, “Well that sucks.” Then you get over it. But then there are many consecutive "sucky" moments that pop up and you’re just like, “WHY IS THE WORLD CONSPIRING AGAINST ME!?”

Good news! I just recently found out the answer.

I'm not a conspiracy theorist, so I don't believe it’s the world and the universe conspiring against you or "teaching you a lesson.” It’s you learning the lesson from yourself and for yourself. In life, you just gotta have your own back. In some of the situations I have admittedly put myself in, I saw the red flags. Regardless, I ignored them. Why didn’t I have my own back? I have my friends’ backs. I have my family’s back. I even have my cats’ backs! But people are messy and there are many reasons that could have lead someone to not having their best interest be reflected in their behavior and decisions. You can’t simply jump to a single conclusion and call it a day. To name just a few possibilities, ignorance is a very plausible reason, not feeling worthy of being looked out for is another good one, watching how one’s parents handled situations growing up would be any Freudian theorists’ dream of analyzing. The “why” variables are endless. Although, the “why” may not necessarily be all that important. Identifying the reasoning behind our decision making is useful, but don’t get so caught up in analyzing your childhood and your behavior. All you need to do is identify beliefs about yourself and the world that keep you from having your best interest in mind. It doesn’t matter where they came from. The only thing that is going to help you change is by identifying them.

I was thinking about what it means to have your own back and I came up with what I thought was a realistic list of situations within the realm of your career and your personal life that require you to look out for yourself. They’re obvious, but when your beliefs about your own self worth or about the world get in the way, we tend to forget about the obvious or "common sense."

Having your own back means:

  • Asking questions during a job interview to make sure you understand what would be expected of you and to see whether or not your boss’s attitude about the workplace matches yours.
  • Thoroughly reading contracts, not skimming them, and asking questions when something isn’t clear.
  • Not taking people completely for their word, but also looking for the actions that may or may not follow their word.
  • Standing up for yourself by setting boundaries with the people in your life.
  • Consistently looking for life skills to learn that will enrich your own life and other people’s.
  • Keeping an eye out (but not actively looking) for red flags in a potential and/or current boyfriend/girlfriend

And more importantly,

  • Admitting when you haven’t had your own back and taking responsibility for your part in the situation.

It’s easy to blame others, but unfortunately we all know that the "sucky" people and situations don’t go away just because their "suckiness" has been pointed out. You can stop them though. When a situation comes up and you don’t like it, you can decide that you’ve gained valuable wisdom and life experience. And now you are ready to move on. You can take action to change it or change your feelings toward it.

Maya Angelou famously said:

“If you don’t like something, change it. If you can’t change it, change the way you feel about it.”

This, of course, is easier said than done! It sounds motivating now, but the minute someone takes advantage of you or does something to hurt your feelings, finding the willpower to take responsibility and decide you’ve learned a valuable new lesson is not easy in the heat of the moment. It is possible though. We’ve all learned from lessons that really stung or were painful. The more you have your own back, the less disappointed you are when other people don’t. It’s not to say that our friends and family shouldn’t have our backs. It's that we can’t expect everyone to; no matter how optimistic we are about humanity being innately good.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.

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