People Who Want You To Feel Bad About Yourself

rockclimbing1920s2I’ve been writing publicly for thirteen years.  Periodically, someone writes me to tell me how bad I have become. I used to be good, but now I am bad. I am a shadow of my former self.

Invariably they tell me what a shame this is. I was up so high on a pedestal, and I am now down so low.  They think it’s sad. They think I am sad.

This stuff would kill me if I internalized it.  Can you imagine?  Get up and try every day, for all these years, just to be told how disappointing you…to the entire world, apparently.   It’s mind-boggling when you think about it.  People want me to feel bad about myself, but why?  I have a new theory.

Recently I was talking to my son. I’m pretty sure he felt bad about himself at the end of our conversation. I felt bad too, but my husband said it’s what you have to do when you’re a parent. You have to guide your kids and this includes telling them when they are screwing up.

It’s difficult. It’s painful. Like most parents, I want my son to do great and be great with no bumps in the road whatsoever. I want everything to be done magically.  So what about these people who write me?

It occurred to me that they may be frustrated parents…or non-parents.  Do they have me mixed up with a person, like a child, who would actually be in their charge?  Have they cast themselves as the authority, a person in a position to judge? I don’t see them as such. This is why they’re ineffective.

When you parent, it’s important you don’t punish your kid for something you do yourself. You have to set a positive example before you can complain about their performance.

I can’t talk to my son about having a work ethic, if I don’t work myself. I can’t tell him not to lie, when I do nothing but lie myself.

It’s the positive example that establishes the parent’s authority. So when a person comes around to tell me how poor I am and how sad I am and how lousy I am, when they’ve got no blog of their own, it means very little. And it may be that these people have no children or that they have problems with their parenting. Could I be standing in while they work out their angst?

Saturn Neptune, baybee.  The authority is imagined. You imagine you can stand on high and look down at a person, but in reality, you’re on the ground, apparently having forgot to climb the mountain that’s right there, with your name on it.

I may have problems, but this isn’t one of them. Most likely because I had a (grand)parent who told me when there was a mountain with my name  on it, I best get up that hill.

I tell my son that same thing today. But I also tell him, he’ll soon be at an age where my opinion is irrelevant. He’ll have to come up with his own motivation, because this parenting act is coming to an end.

I can’t imagine calling up my son when he’s 25 and telling him he’s a loser, never mind, contacting a stranger to dress them down.  I’m thinking now, this must be a Saturn problem.

Why drives an adult to try to make another adult feel bad about themselves?

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People Who Want You To Feel Bad About Yourself — 74 Comments

  1. The hierarchy. It becomes really apparent sometimes when I am working a job. Being a non-status person, a nomadic worker, and knowing people defined by their profession. They have a right to be feel good about their life without chastizing me for mine. I have the same right. I cannot count the times since uranus moved into aries that I have had to say, not everyone is the same. If nothing else, astrology has taught me that. The upside is that being exposed to all the ‘it’s all about me and my self importance’ has sunk in enough so that I have become more accepting of myself. In some way, it has detached me as an individual so I can see the gloaters for what they are. All the money and stuff and status and that’s still not enough?? What are they missing that they need to trounce on me? It probably has something to do with their idea of what power is. I deal with it now, knowing it is just the way some people are. That’s not very helpful, is it? 😀

  2. I’ll tell you, this is unfathomable to me. As a parent, I really do have to tell my son what is right and what is wrong. It’s so painful to see him feel hurt. I feel horrible at these times…and I can’t wait to get off this gig, to tell you the truth. So then I see people running around trying to scold and parents other adults who are strangers to them and it’s just freakin’ weird.
    I yearn for the day when my son take total rein of his life.

  3. And about your ‘probably’, my parents and their parents were very salt of the earth types. Talk about passionate about life. My cup overfloweth. As did theirs. Glad some spilled on me.

  4. When my father makes other people feel bad, I know it’s because he failed in his career, and so he feels the need to be a wet blanket to others.

    And I know I’ve had this issue too, I’m doing what I can to live an authentic life (as hard as it is), so that I can feel good about myself, be nice to others, and honor their aspirations and achievements.

    And yes, given my Moon-Jupiter-Ascendant t-square and Sun square Saturn, I am pretty sensitive to negative remarks, even when I acknowledge that they are necessary. I was upset that I was told to button myself up emotionally (there were other things too, but this was one of them), even though the last two months have been hard. As painful as it was to hear this, I needed to hear this. That way, I can give a good impression wherever I go, and not squander opportunities like I have in the past (I’m seeing how Venus in the 6th house square Pluto in the 9th house is playing out too). Keeping my emotions in check will be important in life, especially if I want to be low-maintenance to others.

    Elsa, I can understand what your son feels. He has Sun conjunct Saturn, and in my case, Sun square Saturn is even harder.

    I think it’s impressive that you work on a blog day in and day out, and all you can ask from yourself is to do your best.

    I did blogging at one point, but stopped, and one of the reasons was the realization that I write good articles and not-so-great articles. Plus I usually end up not being impressed by the stuff I think or write over time.

  5. Narcissism and power drives an adult to make another adult feel bad about themselves.
    However, my dad was a praiser; my mother never missed an opportunity to tell us what we did or said wrong. I thought she was so tough, but in the end when I began my life in the real world I was able to take criticism easily. I don’t think most people can take criticism today. If you have given performance reviews in the last 30 years you have an idea.

    • I worked a position where they did the 360 degree reviews. The manager encouraged input from employees. Dumb ass me actually believed her. Ouch!! Did I get kickback or what. Talked to a long time employee there who said she made the same mistake the first time around and since then leaves it blank. It’s like the lie about human resources being there for the employees, when most often they just want to be able to notify owners and managers of problem people.

      I think the need for performance reviews are a sad statement on the lack of day to day communication. I know they suck for the people who have to give them too.

      It’s much better for me being nomadic. I’m there to do work for a specific reason and my performance is on the line every day.

      Good luck!!

    • Oh, and it’s okay for me to work hard because I’m not a member of the club and not a threat to anyone. Good for me to re-state this to myself. Thanks boss.

      • Hi notch:
        I hate performance reviews too. All I would comment on was being late, taking too long for lunch and breaks or repeatedly calling in sick a day before or after a holiday. It’s as far as I wanted to go. However, I was appalled at the reaction from the 20/30/40somethings. Finally, my boss took that job away from me and I was ever so happy not to have to do them anymore

  6. They have no life.
    People on the internet have tried to make me feel bad about myself. I say good luck with that. You wouldn’t be able to pick me off the street and I know it.

    Sometimes people just fixate on another person and I don’t know why. I assume it’s because they feed off the energy. They claim to be victims while draining another person to their heart’s content.

  7. I asked my husband about this and he felt similar when parenting his son. As for internet people scolding other internet people, it’s too nutty for him to contemplate…which makes sense.

    I contemplate it because it’s so common. I mean, I attract this a lot, though what I am really doing is canning tomatoes (84 quarts this summer and counting) and working with clients who are not at all disappointed.

    It’s also weird, because I am an old lady.

    I try to imagine going up to one of the women in my Woman’s Club to tell them of their failures, and it’s just surreal to even consider. I would expect to be laughed at, anyway. What could it be, but a joke?

  8. Last night, I saw a teen break down…she’s a plain-looking girl, a freckled redhead…who happens to be an accomplished dancer. So accomplished she is one of `13 kids chosen to compete in national “ultimate dance” competition.

    Apparently kids hate her at school….thanks to one girl who started a “I hare Brianna” club.

    I have never seen this as a Saturn problem before, but now I am making this tie. Obviously, this gal does not want, Brianna to feel good about herself…even though she’s been busting her ass since she was a little girl, to be and become something excellent.

    • Hah. Reminds me of the “I Hate Taffy Sinclair” books and “Among Friends” by Caroline B. Cooney that I read as a kid.

      In the first series: Taffy was becoming an actress, but to be fair, for most of the series she was kind of a snothead to everyone else (but got better). In the second book, virtually the entire high school was pissed off at their most perfect student for being perfect. She worked her ass off, but she was just sooooooooo much better than everyone else (even though she wasn’t mean, never put anyone down, and never acted snobby) that literally everyone around her, even her best friends, felt stupid and dull by comparison. Nobody could feel good about themselves because everyone compared themselves to her, and it took the “perfect” girl having a nervous breakdown and running away from home for anyone to feel compassion for her.

      We don’t like women being better than anyone else in this society.

  9. These people are crazy idiots to me. I’m sorry if that sounds mean but I tell you I have had it. I have a very strong Uranus. Give people their damn space. And that means PSYCHIC space too. Fix your own life!

  10. Of course there are sick people too. But I tell you what, when my friend was dying from brain cancer he wasn’t harrassing strangers online. My therapist taught me a valuable lesson abt compassion: that in order to direct it effectively, it goes to the most vulnerable. I will spend my energy on myself and my family, which is in pain.I have no regrets. I don’t care what strangers think about me. Their opinion is meaningless and their energy is misdirected. I know I’m a good person. You cant change what I feel about myself!

  11. Maybe out of envy, maybe out of a sense of entitlement, some strange superiority complex; some people build their egos by diminishing others in order to escape their insignificance … That doesn’t exactly show a strength of character, but people do it nonetheless. On the other hand, sometimes we have awkward ways to express our opinions without noticing that someone else gets hurt. But as an opinion, none of this should do anything to you. We all live in our own little worlds and occasionally (or all the time) lose perspective and do and say the very wrong things, instead of simply acknowledging that we developed or changed in different directions. I definitely have, and had to kick myself in the butt for it after noticing :/

  12. I have seen this happen a lot due to situations like the one you described with Brianna: some people aim for the highest target, or the person who is working toward their dream. I have wondered about this and I think it may be due in part to the idea that some compromised or buried their dreams a long time ago due to circumstances they may or may not have been able to control. Seeing someone else overcome those odds resurrects uncomfortable feelings that reminds folks of their compromises. Rather than handle their personal pain, they inflict it on someone else.

    It made me smile that your hubby won’t even go near trying to figure out some of the weirdness on the internet. My personal theory about it is that some people just project things onto others they see on the screen, and that it somehow taps into that same place that provokes us to feel emotional when we watch movies or television programs. Maybe it blurs our sense of reality or power, or touches some escapist point that we usually have under wraps. Also add to the mix that some of these internet postings in places are actually generated by non-humans (bots, software programs,etc.) and others are generated just for entertainment or “study”, and you see there are no pat answers.

  13. I think there is just a lot of crazy people out in the world. They are uneducated, no manners , no sense of ethics and have no idea how to function in a society. I deal with the public daily and this is what I see.

  14. People like to avoid pain. If I’m in pain, what better way to avoid it than to seek out “problems” that others are having and focusing in on those. Even random internet strangers. To me anger / scolding is an unmet need. What did I need, that I didn’t get? Attention, the opportunity to be heard, the chance to be praised for doing a good job, compassion, unconditional love? Now I can scold you, so I feel better… now I feel heard, now I feel “better than” you, now I feel superior… all of which distracts from my own pain of feeling unheard, worse than and inferior.

    Now, I am no bleeding heart, go fix your own goddamn life as chrispito said. But at least this view gives me perpective, and distance.

  15. My vote goes to envy. Those people are just plain envious, maybe because you are doing something they would never dare to do themselves. You are helping people in a very public way, putting yourself in a vulnerable position. I bet they would never dare to do it. They are too scared.
    Just my humble thougth.

  16. I think there is also an element of not seeing ‘the other’ as an actual, real human – a lack of empathy. And this combines with projecting their own issues onto the same other. So this person sees your writing for all these years but never links your writing with Elsa, the person creating the writing – they’re just words, and they project their own issues and beliefs about your words onto you, because they’ve never met you and experienced you as Elsa-the-person. (I think this is maybe compounded by the way you write about yourself and family – it creates the idea that us-the-reader is there and part of your life, or at least a ‘friend’ and ‘participant’)

    Then one day they are feeling bad about something in their own life, maybe it’s something their conscious of and maybe not – and something you say triggers that wound. “Elsa doesn’t agree with Leonard Cohen, how dare she, he’s the greatest modern poet, and she has constant grammar mistakes!!” or something stupid that isn’t even about you or Leonard Cohen, but about something going on in them. That combination of lack of empathy + projection + feeling like they are already a part of ‘your’ life (instead of your hologram) = they believe they have the right, the same as a friend, to ‘call you on your shit’. “Well that’s just how I am – honest and direct – I’d do the same for anybody else in my life!” They just missed the part that you, Elsa, are not a part of their life – only your words. In the movie of their life, they are the star, and you are at best some supporting character and at worst just a plot device to advance the next cycle – but never an actual person.

    • Really interesting, sophie.

      Thousands of people read what I write. I guess I should count myself lucky the *more* of them don’t decide to “call me on my shit”. And what about their shit?

      • I get this type of thing a lot too (Sun and Moon conjunct Pluto in 9H Libra – I just trigger immediate and strong reactions from people, and a lot of it doesn’t even seem to have much to do with Sophie-the-person, but what I seem to represent to others, and that’s stuff I never have visibility to), and it is really hard to deal with sometimes. I put a lot of effort into my work, I try very hard to give people the benefit of a doubt that many don’t give me, and so it can be really crushing to get these random slaps out of nowhere.

        The best way I’ve learned so far to deal with it is to accept that they are not the actual arbiter. Like, they have the right to their opinion, and if they are a jerk with no boundaries or empathy they might decide to force that opinion onto me to address some issue of their own. But they’re not the judge and regardless of what they say and think, they don’t get the final say in what’s right and what’s not about my actions. Saying that seems to enrage these types of people more, though – I’m ‘disrespecting them’ or something by saying that – so I try to just shrug it off and ignore. But if I’m really appalled at their actions I’ll make it clear I don’t care at all about their opinion – “Whatever you need to think to get through the night! I sleep fine but thank you for your concern!” – and if they have an iota of humility they’re recognize they’ve crossed a line and stop the attacks.

        I’m not really religious, but I can’t help but believe there is a consequence for this type of reaction pattern somewhere down the line for them – maybe nobody every truly does call them on their own shit, but I have a hard time believing that they have a loving circle of friends and family who aren’t also victimized by that kind of behavior – and who haven’t, in turn, closed themselves off from the person and denied them the validation they are so obviously seeking by attacking you.

    • What great insight, Sophie. I have sensed too (but was unable to put into words) that some strangers online have assumed they are part of my life–and thus I owe them something–and quite frankly it is such an incredible, repulsive turn-off. Even worse have been strangers who claim they are just like me. How would you even know? I owe someone I have never met nothing, emotionally. NOTHING. I have made friends online, but those friendships started the same way all my friendships have started, given my 11th House Uranus. Non-demanding. With people online, be grateful for what you get, that’s my motto. There are people I used to email all the time, I have no idea where they are now. And I don’t sit around stewing and feeling furious for it. Internet energy exchanges can be very ephemeral. People drift in and out and if we’re lucky they have time to stick around and maybe even meet in person one day. But even the two EE members I met in person? I have no idea what happened to them, either, lol. You don’t see me hating them for it. People drop in to fill a need and many people disappear when that need is met. Why begrudge them for that? I truly do not get it. Permanent solutions largely exist offline in my opinion. If they don’t, then there is inner struggle. That’s just my 2 bits.

      Sorry I have a lot to say on this topic. ;o

      • No worries – I also have a lot to say on this topic as well. 🙂

        I think your point about permanent solutions existing offline is a great one and it makes me wonder if another factor in these sorts of online attacks is due to the ability for the attacker to control the exchange in a way, by appearing and then disappearing at will. Whereas in the ‘real world’ one can’t simply disappear after an attack; there are actual potential consequences (like getting their nose broken) for this kind of bullshit.

        Also, online, one can interact purely with others who may either share their opinions or respond positively to ploys for sympathy and commiseration – and I think that plays a huge part in inflating the online ‘ego’ of someone, making them believe they are ‘justified’ in this sort of commentary or attack or expectations from the other. Like, offline, building a relationship takes work and effort and risk and work and vulnerability and work. But online you can share some interests and be ‘friends’. So some people are going to conflate the roles and responsibilities of offline friends and online; you see this all the time on facebook or whatever where people are actually hurt – in the real world – that someone online didn’t ‘like’ a picture of their kid or something.

        • “it makes me wonder if another factor in these sorts of online attacks is due to the ability for the attacker to control the exchange in a way, by appearing and then disappearing at will. Whereas in the ‘real world’ one can’t simply disappear after an attack; there are actual potential consequences (like getting their nose broken) for this kind of bullshit.”

          YES! Exactly!

          • Well, you can’t do this in real life, because people would laugh their asses off. It’s a lunatic thing to do. What adult in their right mind, approaches another adult to tell them how disappointing they are?

            If you paid for some service, then maybe. But I am talking about people who have done nothing but read my blog (and enjoyed it, apparently, since they’ve been around for years in almost all cases.)

            I have seen a strong personality, egg a weaker personaility on to send this kind of stuff. I’ve seen it for years, actually.

            Like one husband wrote me to apologize for having harassed me for years. He said his wife hated me and he did it to get along.

            ::chuckles::

            Well then you’re excused from responsibility -NOT!

            Who is going to join the “I hate Brianna club”, except for a bunch of weak cowards?

  17. Elsa~ would you explain why you would call it a “Saturn problem” ? Do you mean that they are being restrictive, authoritarian with you instead of applying their own Saturn lessons to themselves?
    And, oh yeah, fuck them!

    • I am tying this to Saturn, because it seems they are parenting me in some misguided way.

      This is very specific – see the post. It is not an attack. It is not gaslighting (I get this stuff as well). I am specifically talking about when a person communicates their disappointment in my behavior or performance.

      “You could have done a lot better, Elsa, but you did not and here are the consequences I am giving you…”

      That is authority figure stuff.

  18. Oh and the kid who started the “I hate Brianna” club might as well have made a billboard reading, “I am so jealous of you I can’t see straight”.

    • That poor girl. It’s unbelievable how punishing a gang of kids can be. I personally think violence would be an appropriate response!

      I am sorry, but it Brianna beat the shit out of this girl, that would end it right there.

      Here is something extraordinary, that will get me in trouble. Once, when my son was being bullied, my husband outlined how this could be solved, in an instant. Er…he is quite well-trained, but also grew up bullied as he was small and called, spic, gringo, n-word or whatever, all through school.

      Anyway, my husband thought, Vid should break the kid’s nose. One punch – deliberately break his nose, there would be blood all over the place, make a big scene and he’d never be bullied again.

      People don’t like anything that is effective, these days, but I can tell you for sure, firsthand, that he is right.
      My sister used to beat my ass…right up until I broke her nose. I was 12 at the time and motherfucker, I just had enough.

      I felt bad after this…never hit anyone again, but when he said this would be an effective way to stop the bullying, I could see he was right. My sister never laid a hand on me after that. And fucking A, it was a big scene.

      I am sorry, but I saw this girl’s pain….and if she hauled off and beat the shit out of the president of her hate club, I’d be behind her 100%.

      • I punched a bully in the face when I was 12 (13?)
        Anyway she never harassed me again. Which was the point. I’d see her years later and she couldn’t look me in the eye. What a horrid girl she was, with her gang of minions too weak to say a thing. I hope she grew up to be someone nicer.
        I remember being hauled into the principle’s office and telling him I’d warned her multiple times to leave me alone–that I was going to freak out if she didn’t stop it. He was really unhappy but was obviously from a generation not selling this BS that if you stick up for yourself you’re an awful person. I wasn’t raised like that–I was raised to fight back and that ‘if you can’t ignore them then spit in their eye.’

        Nowadays I would likely have been ejected from school and Nasty Little Miss would be free to torment others, I’m sure.

        • I’ve just come to this point…ask nicely for someone to stop and if they don’t then, beat their ass into the ground. Sorry (says Libra), but I am not going to be bullied at this point in my life. Er…where’s the bat? Because I will swing it at you – have no doubt.

      • LOL…Elsa. When I was a kid there was this new boy who came to our school. I went to private school so we were a small tight knit group. My best friend was Nita and she was black. Well, I was sitting on the monkey bars with Nita one day and she told me that he had called her a n*****r. I remember turning my head right as she told me this and seeing him walking across the playground, I jumped down walked over to him, tapped him on the shoulder, he turned around and I punched him square in the face. I don’t remember what I said, but I had to write on the chalkboard 200 times, I will not hit or curse at people. Funny thing is, my parents didn’t punish me. My mom, the Libra, gently told me it’s not appropriate. My Dad, the Aries, said, Good on ya’, kid. As an adult, I use verbal smackdowns and believe you me, I will hit you where it hurts. You may think I haven’t been paying attention and I’m sooo nice (Pisces Asc.) but keep pushing me bitch and you will see that Virgo Stellium precision and Sadgie Moon truth hit you right in the guts! I will ferret out your wound and press that bitch hard. I don’t like to do it but that’s my …” You better back the fuck up!”

      • I agree with you, but these days Brianna (or whoever is being bullied) would probably be expelled, sued, or both, and the original bully would get off scot-free.

        I wish I had been up for hitting someone in school, but I’ve always been an obvious weakling who couldn’t beat up a bug.

  19. Very strange behavior, these people. After my saturn return I have experienced this thing quite a few times myself. I see it as some old habit which has survived from an old society where being different was equal to being in danger. These people who like to act authorities by telling me not to ‘different’- I suppose they try to protect me in some awkward way…

  20. Loved this blog. Always insightful. My opinion for what it is worth, is that some people love to make us feel less than to keep their “world” in control when threatened. Most of the time it has nothing to do with the person the remark was made to, but from some fear based thought of the person making the remark. It may be disruptive to some if you are not in the same box they always expect you to be in. It creates a situation where they either have to accept change, put you down (to make you change) or no longer interact with you.
    Fortunately as adults, we can choose how we feel about ourselves. For children, hopefully there is someone there to help them learn how to make sound choices for themselves and comprehend the world around them.
    Hopefully, we are all shadows of ourselves, (love that phrase, thank you Elsa), because we are organic, multi-faceted humans that continue to change from moment to moment in all aspects of our life. Life is growth whether we invite it or not it happens and we choose how we are going to live it.

  21. What if the person who wants you to feel badly about yourself is your own mother? What if she tries to pull you down every time you try to make something of your life…..?
    Been dealing with this childhood but the issues have intensified since Uranus went into Aries and Saturn in Scorpio….

    • Well, see my post below about how it makes some people feel better about themselves to put you down. But besides that, some parents wanted a clone as a child and get really mad when you don’t act just as they did or get “uppity” or superior to them, however they define that.

      I’m sorry your mom is like that 🙁

    • Lissy, I dealt w/this too (above post). Hard to take at the time, but I think she was pointing out my shortcomings that needed to be corrected into adulthood. Much of the criticism I’m glad I got because it gave me broad shoulders as an adult. Mum had Mars in Libra and she did rule w/a velvet glove. I hope in your older years you can heal and recover from her criticism.

  22. Elsa, interesting you’re posting about this kind of feedback you get as a blogger right now. You’ve mentioned this before, of course, but I personally have just become aware on how widespread this is. I’ve been hanging around on a general interest board, mainly to discuss fashion and lifestyle. The boards are anonymous, and some threads are pretty wild, even considering you can tell who is just trolling quite easily. However, the threads that I’ve found most mind boggling are the ones people start on blogs and bloggers.

    I honestly looked at these threads first in order to find new blogs to follow. But then I noticed the ones that go on for hundreds of messages and it’s apparent there are people who’ve been “stalking” certain bloggers whose blogs they seem to hate for years. These threads are so full of vitriol that honestly, after a couple of days, I learned not even to click them open. However, I noticed that one of the bloggers targeted – one of the wellknown and popular ones, I haven’t followed her, but she was making an actual living out of it – was accused of “jumped the shark”, and begged to quit by these online people. And she actually did so, last week. Another blogger, who I’ve been following, and who usually gets so overwhelmingly positive feedback I thought she might be moderating her comments, got attacked very randomly last week too over an issue that must have been really personal for her. The class act she is (she also seems to have a thread in that place going on for hundreds of messages, but for every negative one, there are five or six defending her, clearly written by some smart readers), she left these comments there, to speak for themselves.

    But all this truly got me thinking about what kind of people do this? I’ve been active in different online communities for more than 15 years now. I’ve seen some pretty strange behavior over the years. The way bloggers are treated truly takes the cake, though. I think so long sophie has absolutely nailed the phychology of these “hater types”, but are people who keep this up for years, without changing the target. I honestly think that’s a horrible way to live.

  23. I just watched another episode of the Ultimate Dance competition. Brianna did very well. I don’t know that she is going to win this thing, but she’ll probably come close.
    It’s pretty amazing, really. In spite of all the noise, here she is, one of the best dancers (13 or under) in the nation. That’s heart!

    • It’s also something she can put on college applications for dance scholarships. Whereas the president of the ‘I Hate Briana’ club will have that show up in facebook searches by future employers for the rest of her life. There isn’t enough money in the world to induce me to go back to high school if it were possible, but the lack of foresight demonstrated by petty haters continually blows my mind, and it’s hard not to feel a sense of vindication on behalf of people like Briana, even if it’s ‘just’ high school drama.

      • She looks like a person who would get bullied. There are redheads who stand out and others who are punished. This poor girl is one of the latter. However, she is a fierce competitor in a cutthroat competition.

        The mother said she was disliked for being type A. I guess you have to be driven to achieve on her level, however, she comes across as real sweet…but focused.

        I mean, she listens the the critique of her performance and you can see her thinking about it, almost like a machine. However, her heart shows through in her performance.

        I’d hire her in an instant. It’s not her fault she wants something in life. But I think her appearance is part of it. She’s those one of those girls who is going to have to come into their own, in spite of “mean girls”. Those personally, I would like to see her dance on the heads of these bitches. 🙂

        Ultimately, I guess that’s what she is doing. She is one of the best dancers and at this point *halfway though* she’s been told as much.

        I wonder what the girls who pick on her have done with their 13 years on the planet.

        Many in our society really hate a winner these days. They just can’t stand it.

        It’s possible she wins this whole thing,. She’s got some very stiff competition, but by God, she actually has a chance. And if so, part of the reason will be that she has learned to set this other stuff aside a focus on her goal.

        I am sorry for going on and on, but this girl is a real inspiration. The dark horse with the red hair, basically.

        • Well then, I propose we start a, “We Love Brianna” club, right here on ElsaElsa. This reminds me of the stories of Taylor Swift and Christina Aguilera. These two young ladies grew up with their exceptional talents being apparent just as Brianna. And like Brianna, they both were unmercifully harassed, bullied, threatened, vilified and not just by other kids but by those childrens’ parents and other adults in the communities they group up in!!! Many, many people cannot tolerate someone else having something that they don’t, especially if it’s a God-given talent and shows signs of leading to success.

        • Most people don’t have that drive and ambition in life, and become sad little losers. I wish I had that drive and ambition early on in life, instead of being a clueless lameass the way that I’ve been all my life. Brianna is very lucky. Like the songs “Gives You Hell” and “Loser Like Me” point out, someday she’ll be doing a lot better than these chicks are.

  24. I think you are spot-on linking this issue with Saturn. Seems to me, as I reflect on this, that if one has a healthy sense of “Saturn” in his or her life and within – has truly worked with Saturn – then he or she is more likely to have a good sense of their own “authority” in their life and have respect for it in an empowering way. Consequently, he or she will be more likely to respect authority in someone else — to respect the “authorship” of someone else, and even work to empower and help build up a sense of authority and mastery — not tear it down, diminish it, overpower it, etc. in the attempt impose their own “faux-authority”. When one does do that, I would suspect insecurity due to an immature Saturn.

    • Well said, Michelle. This is along the lines I am thinking. “Authority” is the key. Someone thinks they are the authority, but why? Where are their credentials?

      That’s what I mentioned in the original piece. I tell my son he’s got to work harder…but point out to him that he sees me working, my husband working…we had company here last weekend…both very hard workers, who are accomplished and well developed.

      I was telling my son (who respects all four of us), that he was going to have to work harder if he wanted to rise out and rise up from the sea of mediocrity and “lousy is good enough” that is our neighborhood.

      He’s a Sun Saturn in Taurus. He’s got to earn his self-esteem. I’m sorry, but it’s just the way it is.

  25. I read some wonderful, analytical comments on this post.
    Chrispito: Very valid points you made. I had many thoughts on this post, yet chose to cut to the chase.

    You have a successful website and a family. I can’t even imagine the energy that goes into this blog alone, and family? That comes first in my life. Put your precious energy where it matters. This website is very focused, has very positive feedback, and is very direct. Facts.

    I narrow it all down with simplicity. When I’m on my death bed, who will be there? Furthermore, who would I want there? Who would YOU want there? Literally write down a list. Trust me, I’ve had to do this in bad times. The list dwindles when pencil goes to paper.

    The person emailing you would most likely be the person on the bottom of your list. Or, pretty darn close.

  26. I’ve found that it’s almost never about the target but is about the person going the targeting. Personally, almost all the people who wanted me to feel bad were insecure about something and I somehow triggered it (and to be honest, I’ve likely did the same thing before, too). By putting the target down it makes them feel better, since at least the person doing the targeting doesn’t have *that* flaw.

    I’ve also seen situations where people were unfairly criticized because the targeted person did not fit into the targeter’s perception of how he/she should be like or acted. It’s still about the targeter, though, not the target.

  27. I’m going to go out on a limb here. I don’t think it is exactly the dynamic you’re describing. I think it’s a bit different. I speak from someone who deals with those nasty comments about what we publish online. Trust me, the death threats are no fun. We serve three main groups of people and one of those groups is very very contentious, another is nitpicky down to the last detail.

    I think this is a common phenomena online and there are a couple of factors at play.

    The first is issues, aka, not enough good stuff going on in their life they feel the need to put someone else down. Issues can range from the parent/mommy issues to the anger at partner issues to general “I hate x type of people” issues. Usually those types of responses are fairly clearcut that they really need to be seeing a counselor.

    I think the vast majority of what you are getting as feedback is negative customer feedback. These people think that you are providing a product. They don’t like the product as provided. They’ve learned that if they complain they can get a different product, something free, an apology or, even better… attention.

    I’d recommend that you don’t continue to give them attention. That gives them hope that the product (you) will change and then they will have success.

    A very matter of fact “I do the best I can and provide the best stories, insight and advice possible but it’s not for everyone to hear and learn from at various stages of their life, you may need to be in a different place to learn from elsaelsa” might be a good policy.

    We have similar for our work. Somedays, the toll is still very wearing. For that I am sad you have to deal with it as you’ve definitely got better things to do and a very appreciative audience for what you do continue to do. For that I am thankful. The rest, well, they are what they are.

    • Yes! I remember working in retail jobs from ages 15-26 and receiving some hardcore hissy fits from customers. I remember feeling angry and justified to act, but I gave that power to a manager (the highest form of power is knowing when to let go, as they say). I have no idea what it feels like to own a store or other domain such as a blog and have people falsify their interactions with you. I’m sure it sucks. I think it’s probably more entertaining to see people freak out in person, though. Gotta love sharing the dramatic stories, laughing about CHILDREN DISGUISED AS ADULTS.

      • ” I have no idea what it feels like to own a store or other domain such as a blog and have people falsify their interactions with you. ”

        Hoo boy, yes.

  28. Elsa I can’t believe that anyone would think you were anything less than absolutely Marvelous and in fact, you have very Magical qualities!

    One night I found and watched your short videos for about 3 hours and thought, ‘Who the hell is this person, who speaks in this fascinating way and gets to the heart of subjects that we all deal with – whether president or prostitute (Okay sorta’ the same thing) – who raises my energy level, and is so entertaining at the same time?!

    Sometimes, raising kids is nothing less than sheer Hell and one thing I wish I would have heard Dr. Phil say before I’d raised mine: One day, he said that our brains are not fully developed until we are about 25(?) years old! I was dumbfounded.
    `
    By the time most of us are that age, we have made major life-altering decisions. (By 25, I’d married, had a mortgage and my first child.) Had I known this then, I would have made totally different decisions and I would not have expected quite so much out of my kids – at least, not both of them in the same way, as they were very different from each other.

    I guess your husband is in Special Ops. Not so sure we would raise children the same way but then, men and women often have different approaches and we all don’t have the same brain. If he feels you should be letting your son know such-and-such, then maybe he should be the one to say it.

    But either way – a word to the wise – you’re the Greatest!

  29. I really needed to read this entry and *almost* all of the comments. My Venus was retrograde at birth, and being a rather strange-looking (Aquarius Asc) redhead, I was treated unfairly at times. Back to the comments: There is a team brewing here for Elsa! I really like what Sophie had to say about 1.)depersonalizing and 2.)fantasizing a stranger is a part of your life. Very spot on. I’m an Art Therapist, and I have seen a lot of displacement as a result of being wounded. Some people dig deeper into the wound so that it never heals. Others (the Saturn-fueled self-proclaimed Adults/Parents of the Universe) just overlay the wound with some toxic coverup that also keeps them from healing. In my profession I find it easier to address people who bully, as I can emotionally distance myself somewhat. In my own life? I haven’t really developed the courage to defend myself against abrasive attitudes in my family. I would never want to reveal that to a client.
    I want to touch on something general that I think must be Saturn-related. Conversations within the past year have been so ridiculously closed-minded. Maybe people feel that they can’t afford to put energy into possibilities. Is this a preview of what’s to come when Saturn is in Sagittarius? Someone made a comment about how human survival was once dependent on familiarity. Not any fucking more! We need to group together and embrace differences. IMO, humanity needs to give up the know-it-all act. I hate know-it-all attitudes–how they negate other perspectives. To make it in my field (still struggling, btw) I was told to “fake it until you make it.” I cringed when I heard that phrase. We have all had to do this at some point, I’m sure.
    Anyway, I loved reading about others’ struggles with difficult people and circumstances (especially when we are conditioned to SMILE AND BE HAPPY). And–how many good movies are there that address these issues? A book or movie that I love is Howl’s Moving Castle (yeah, I’m such a child!) and it inspires me to fight through compassion.

  30. Thank you Elsa and everyone for getting so deep into something I’ve experienced that needed to be brought to light. Describing this negative aspect of human nature and sharing how to handle it provides a lot of valuable insights and feels good.

  31. Hmmm interesting… Now that of think of it, you can tell a person with Saturn problems because of thier defences.. unconscious or not, They are picked up on. I can see how someone with major Saturn defenses can be ridiculed. And I think that’s a great insight.. about people with thier own Saturn defenses picking up on it and projecting. Sometimes. It could be just a bully, a plutonian bully. They sense this stuff.

  32. It makes the bully feel good about themselves to put you down. It makes them feel smug and superior to grind your face into the dirt.

  33. It’s been days since logging onto EE, but this read has been interesting.
    Elsa, you posted:
    Anyway, my husband thought, Vid should break the kid’s nose. One punch – deliberately break his nose, there would be blood all over the place, make a big scene and he’d never be bullied again.

    Your husband thinks like mine. He would say…”it’s the only message they (the bullies) get.”.

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