Mental Health & Wellbeing Matters: walking away from passive aggression

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In our spot on the site where we chat about mental health and wellbeing, a few words on the people who might be slowly chipping away at you.

Hello and a very warm welcome to the bit of our site where we chat about things that may be affecting you, or people you know. Just a time out to have a chat, and hopefully come up with one or two ideas that may be of use. Not every article we run is going to be of use, we get that. But hopefully there’s something over this series of pieces that might be.

We’re chatting this week about walking away a little bit. It’s in relation to people: that whilst lots of people in our lives are brilliant and wonderful, there are some that everyone will encounter who’ll drag us down a little. Who’ll make our days a little bit harder. It might be a difficult work colleague, it might be a friend who always belittles you, it might be something far more serious.

At the far more serious end, the NHS for instance has an excellent resource with regards getting support when being on the receiving end of domestic violence and abuse. Please find that here.

What this piece is more centred on are the people who passive aggressively bring us down. The little snide comment on the work chat window, the person who always makes a dig at your expense, those who chip away at us in tiny pieces. Because, and it took me a long time to realise it, they really can make life much, much more difficult.

The suggestions here then are very simple ones, yet hopefully can be of use.

Firstly, we’d suggest you need to stop yourself a little. If there’s someone who’s difficult, don’t seek them out. Don’t look them up. Don’t check out their Facebook feed to see what they’ve been up to. Deny them your headspace. If it’s a former colleague who’s gone elsewhere, don’t check on what they’re up to now. Let them move on, and you move on. Try, as best you can, to reclaim the bit of power they’ve had over you.

Next, social media can be difficult. If you were friends with the person who’s been getting to you, or followed them, then it can cause questions you might not want if you suddenly disassociate yourself from them or defriend them. It’s still worth doing, but if you’re worried about a possible confrontation or difficult chat down the line, then let the muting options be your friends here.

Again, where possible, stop them appearing on your screen. Don’t let them get into your head. And be willing to walk away. The less headspace – easier said then done, this – you can give someone like that, the less harm they can do you.

This is a simplistic approach of course, but it’s one of those cases where the simple option might just be the best one. Self-care remains at the heart of much of what we chat about in these articles, and this is something straightforward that might just be of help. Hope so. All further suggestions welcomed in the comments as always.

You all take care, look after yourselves, and we’ll be back with this column next week.

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