The process of tearing people down instead of building people up is a topic that has bothered me for years. I have always wanted to write about this issue before, but I wasn’t ready to do so until now. I was reluctant to delve into this topic because of the ups and downs that I had to reveal about my own shortcomings. If people know that you are an easy target to tear down they will do so repeatedly if you allow them to do so.
As you grow older, you will discover like I did, that there are more people who will try to tear you down than to help build you up. I know about this process as people have tried to tear me down multiple times in my life and I got through it. However, the credit goes to God, my family, and some very close friends, as I didn’t fall apart like others have. But I do know that if I didn’t have that good support system around me I don’t know where I would be today. With their assistance, I found the strength not to accept their rude and mean rejection comments they said about me and you have to do the same.
Additionally, you will learn more about your mental toughness of who you are in your moments of discomfort than when everything goes in our favor. People will tell you that you are nothing but a loser and you can’t believe those negative comments. Although their comments are painful, you can use their nasty comments as a motivation to pull yourselves out of your funk. I know this because it worked for me and I’m a regular person just like yourselves. Believing in ourselves is something that you must have in your gut and having confidence in yourselves shouldn’t waver.
If you have read some of my other articles you know my personal story. I come from a large family ( 13 ) who lived in the inner city of Brooklyn New York. There were many days when things were difficult for us as we were the family that most people laughed at in the neighborhood. Their comments were rude and belittling stating that we would always be poor as that is the fate of large families coming from our neighborhood. This was a tearing down moment that we had heard often but we didn’t believe it and I’m glad that we ignored their comments.
Fortunately, my mother didn’t allow us to accept this nasty comments as being the truth. She pushed us to believe in ourselves and to stay on course on what is most important to us. Having someone who has a strong and convincing voice to encourage us to stay on track and to do better every day was what my mother was very good at. Thank goodness I had good parents who had my your back so that comments like this wouldn’t destroy me and you need someone to do the same.
However, to be honest, in being a hot head person in my earlier years I did commit some silly and bonehead mistakes in reacting to these nasty comments, that I regretted later. I broke some windows of these nasty individuals as a response to the tearing down comments. But, I don’t want you to follow in my steps as I was young and foolish. When you are angry and upset you don’t do your best in resolving your problems as you can make them worst. Once someone attempts to tears you down, you can’t let them get the best of you because if they do, they will do it again and that isn’t good.
For an example, when I told my class that I got a job working as an intern at IBM, my high school teacher told the class that I was lying. He stated that a large prestigious firm like that wasn’t going to hire a person like me, who was just an average student from the inner city. A blue chip company like IBM only would employ a person who was college bound, and I didn’t have the grades to get into college at that time. I was so angry at the teacher for tearing me down in front of the other students that I picked up a chair and threw it through the window. I was subsequently suspended from school for a week and had to apologize to my classmates. I also had to apologize to that terrible teacher, in order to get back into the class and that hurt like hell.
From that bad incident, the Principal told me that is not the way to get even when you feel there is some injustice done. I was completely out-of-order in showing that physical outburst in class. He suggested that I had to work harder to get better grades and that would silence this negative thinking more than anything else. I got his message and starting working harder to get better grades and my school grades did improve to the point that I could go to college.
However, since this incident got on my nerves, when I got my check from IBM, I came to school to show it to my classmates and to embarrass that horrible teacher. I told them that I had taken an aptitude test and passed and that is how I was selected for the job. The teacher was surprised in seeing my paycheck but still didn’t take back their negative comments. This teacher had performed a great job in tearing me down and I’m sure he may have done the same to others students as well. This teacher should have been fired in my opinion, but they didn’t and that ignored me.
As I got older, I realized that there are a larger group of people who you will meet that will focus on tearing you down instead of building you up. These individuals will be on your job, in school, in college, in social clubs, in church and other venues. You can’t let their damaging comments deter you from going after what is important to you. If you do, they always find a way to do so and you can’t let that happen. Some people enjoy tearing people down and I’m sure you know some people like this also. These people are often not happy with themselves and they take out their disappointments on you.
I don’t know your case, but I’m sure that you have just as many stories to tell about your own tearing down moments. It’s tough to overcome these moments in our life but we have to. In those cases, it required you to demonstrate having a strong mental attitude about who you are and being confident in your own abilities. If you don’t show these signs of strength and fortitude, you can be torn down to a point where you don’t want to get back up and that is not good.
I recall after I had been laid off from my job some years ago and I was going through a tearing down moment myself. I received an unexpected fantastic gift that helped to build me up and it worked. My children had given me a surprise gift to travel to Europe. I was told that “I didn’t have to pay” as that was my reward. They had turned around a tearing down moment that I was facing into a positive situation. I’m so blessed to have children who thought that much about me to do this and I’m extremely grateful. I considered myself to be one of the lucky and blessed individuals because I got this fantastic opportunity to take a trip of this magnitude.
In taking this vacation I was given a great opportunity to visit London, Paris, Italy, Budapest, Hungry, Puerto Rico, Mexico, Bermuda and in countless Caribbean Islands. In my traveling circles, I have been able to talk to people from all different countries and these experiences were which exciting and mentally uplifting for me. I will never forget that trip as it was done with the sole purpose to help build me up and it worked perfectly.
On my return vacation trip, I was so excited about the topic of building others up that I volunteered to coach young boys on how to play basketball. I have given tutoring on financing literacy to small groups and have tried to help others whenever I can on handling their money problems. In performing each of these charitable functions I felt very proud of myself that I was able to contribute to building someone else up. If you do the same, it will uplift you as well, so do what you can to help build others up whenever you can, as it will give you a level of satisfaction that you will enjoy immensely.
In closing, as I look back now over the many tearing down moments of my life and that of my large family, where we were told nasty comments, the end results show something different. Of the 13 children from my family, six went to college and became successful. And more importantly, our children went on to attend college and have also graduated with high honors. And although my mother passed away years ago, if she was here today, she would tell all those who tried their best to tear us down, “I told you so”. I recall her telling me and my siblings, that the best justice that you get from these negative thinking people are to prove to them that they are wrong. If we use this approach, we would prove that tearing people down don’t work, and building people up will always have a better track record. So if people try to tear you down leave them alone in their misery. I hope that you remember this article that tearing down is easy, but building others up is the true measure of greatness. You want to be part of that process in your life as it worked for me and it will for you, as well.