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Bubble Busters

April 15, 2011

Photo by Jeff Kubina

I doubt there is a single person alive who has not, at one time or another, encountered a bubble buster. You know, that person who too often you choose to call when you’re all excited about some new idea or adventure you’ve dreamed up, and when you share it with them they say, “What would you want to do that for?”

I loved my mother, God rest her soul, but she never genuinely shared my enthusiasm for anything.  She was my original bubble buster. I think that’s half the reason I married my husband. He’s about the most enthusiastic person you’d ever want to meet. He’s my one man cheering squad. Sadly, there will always be bubble busters in our lives. Some may even be bubble crushers. Some may even live under the same roof with us. But there is a way out. There is a way forward.

The best possible way to protect ourselves from people who bring us down and try to steal our dreams is to be grounded in who and what we are. Forget about trying to change them, or make them understand, or convince them that what you want to do is the best possible thing for you. Just convince yourself. Believe in yourself. That’s all that really matters. I know, easier said than done. But is it?

What it boils down to is a matter of “attention”. Where are we focusing our attention? Are we wasting precious energy trying to change the other person? Are we wasting our moments fuming, angry and venting about how misunderstood we are? Or, are we turning our attention away from the bubble buster and back to ourselves and focusing on what we believe to be true. In the quiet moments, away from the confidence smashing people, we know who we are. Rest there. Live there. And bubble busters will lose their power over you.

Separating ourselves from the expectations and opinions of others is a complex issue, but we are at an ideal point in our lives when we can take more time to get to know ourselves. It is time to engage in the things we love to do and spend more time with the people who lift us up and less with those who just don’t “get” us. Each little step we take to affirm who we are takes one more weapon out of the hands of the bubble busters in our lives.  (Thank you Andrea!)

This is the first in a series of blogs I will be posting on dealing with difficult people. Stay tuned. 

7 Comments leave one →
  1. April 15, 2011 4:31 pm

    Dorothy –

    Good morning! What a breath of fresh air you’ve presented here on a beautiful morning. Thank you!

    I had a counselor tell me one time to envision myself within a “clear bubble” when I encounter difficult people. I can see them, they can see me. But they cannot touch me nor harm me. There is a barrier of detachment between us. I think this is a good analogy and I’ve hung on to this concept for a long time and put it into practice on more than several occasions. Sometimes I forget about it and you’ve help to fan the flames of remembrance this morning. Thank you for your wonderful insight!

    • April 15, 2011 4:45 pm

      Thank you Diane! It’s a beautiful morning here as well and I’m so happy to see that spring is in full force. I love your counselor’s vision. It’s a wonderful way to visualize and keep in place a protective mechanism that still allows you to see the other person. Thanks for sharing it!

  2. Cully permalink
    April 15, 2011 5:00 pm

    As I read your first paragraph, I thought “That was my Mom”… and then the first sentence of your second paragraph made me just fall out. She died 14 years ago this last April 12th and I still catch myself wanting to talk to her until I remember that…
    I was always trying to get her to just once be on my side on something that I really was excited about… now I know it just wasn’t her way if it wasn’t something she understood or wanted to understand. Thank God the rest of her family was not like that! LOL
    Anyway, thank you for reminding me (us) to pay attention to our “focus”. hugz and Blessings!

    • April 15, 2011 6:08 pm

      What is it with mothers?! We were so bonded but so different! It took me a long time to figure out where one began and the other ended. Our mother’s lack of understanding of us was just that, lack of understanding. Good point. Now we get to be totally us! Thanks for your comments. Have a nice weekend!

  3. April 16, 2011 4:29 pm

    Recently I’ve been trying to deal with this in the workplace. I guess I’ve been lucky to have encountered mostly empowering colleagues up to this point in my career. Thank you for reminding me that separating myself from the opinions of others is empowering. I know what I’ll be doing next week 🙂

    • April 16, 2011 5:09 pm

      You have been very fortunate Issy! Keeping things in perspective in the workplace can be a challenge and it sounds like you’re doing all the right things! Thanks so much for your comment. It’s always helpful to have a plan! 🙂

  4. June 17, 2011 4:47 pm

    Right now I’m feeling so lucky my mom was not a bubble buster. Examining my conscience about whether I’m pouring cold water over some of my daughter’s dreams 🙂

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