Emotional Wellbeing

Mandy Kloppers

You can’t please everyone all the time

One of the reasons that many people remain happy is due to the fact that they understand that they can’t please everyone all the time. There will always be those that disagree with you so it stands to reason that you should live your life according to your values. Focus on integrity and feel at peace with the way you live your life and your opinions. Care less about what others think, and focus on what you can control – your thoughts and actions. Do your best to be kind and considerate but don’t extend your responsibility to keeping others happy. That will only end in anxiety as this is an impossible task and is also unrealistic.

If others disagree or misunderstand you – it’s their issue, not yours. If you spend your life trying to help everyone understand all the nuances of your messages, you will expend a huge amount of effort on others. Focus on the average reasonable individual and how they would receive your messages.

Negative projection

Due to the misery and resentment in the world (and this is growing), many use ‘projection’ as a strategy to dissipate their anger and inner turmoil. This is why there are trolls and bullies. They share their misery by doing their best to make others unhappy.

This doesn’t work though with resilient individuals who understand the dynamics.

Feel compassion for underhanded, passive-aggressive and negative-projection individuals

Mental health experts are in agreement that those who project in a negative manner, bully, criticise and harrass others tend to be miserable and unhappy. They may not even fully acknowledge this fact but happy people at peace feel no need to behave in this way.

Never take malicious or unhelpful behaviour personally – rather see it as offering INSIGHT into that person’s inner emotional landscape.

What is Psychological Projection?

Psychological projection is a defense mechanism in which the ego defends itself against unconscious impulses or qualities (both positive and negative) by denying their existence in themselves and attributing them to others. For example, a bully may project his or her own feelings of vulnerability onto the target, or a person who is confused may project feelings of confusion and inadequacy onto other people.

Projection incorporates blame shifting and can manifest as shame dumping.


Reasons for unpleasant behaviour



Ditchthelabel undertook research and found the following:

Data shows that those who bully, send critical insulting messages or aim to hurt others,  are far more likely than average to have experienced a stressful or traumatic situation in the past 5 years. Examples include their parents/guardians splitting up, the death of a relative or the gaining of a little brother or sister.

It makes sense because we all respond to stress in very different ways. Some of us use positive behaviours, such as meditation, exercise and talking therapy – all designed to relieve the stress.

Others use negative behaviours such as bullying, violence and alcohol abuse, which temporarily mask the issues but usually make them worse in the long-term.

The research shows that some people simply do not know how to positively respond to stress and so default to bullying others as a coping mechanism.


66% of the people who had admitted to bullying somebody else were male. Take a minute to think about how guys are raised in our culture and compare that to the ways in which girls are raised. The moment a guy starts to show any sign of emotion, he’s told to man up and to stop being a girl.

For girls, it’s encouraged that they speak up about issues that affect them.

For guys, it’s discouraged and so they start to respond with aggressive behaviours, such as bullying, as a way of coping with issues that affect them. This is why guys are more likely than girls to physically attack somebody or to commit crimes. It isn’t something they are born with, it’s a learned behaviour that is actively taught by society using dysfunctional gender norms and roles.


In order to mask how they actually feel about themselves, some people who bully focus attention on someone else. They try to avoid any negative attention directed at them by deflecting. But know they might look in the mirror at home and hate the way they look.

There is so much pressure to live up to beauty and fitness standards that we are taught to compare ourselves to others, instead of embracing our own beauty.


Our research shows that those who have experienced bullying are twice as likely to go on and bully others. Maybe they were bullied as kids in the past, or maybe they are being bullied now.

Often it’s used as a defence mechanism and people tend to believe that by bullying others, they will become immune to being bullied themselves. In fact, it just becomes a vicious cycle of negative behaviours.


1 in 3 of those who bully people daily told us that they feel like their parents/guardians don’t have enough time to spend with them. They are more likely to come from larger families and are more likely to live with people other than their biological parents.

There are often feelings of rejection from the very people who should love them unconditionally. They are also much more likely to come from violent households with lots of arguments and hostility.


Without access to education, hate-based conversation directed at others may be the norm. They may not understand what hate speech is and why speaking about people in a derogatory way is not appropriate.


Finally, those who bully are more likely to feel like their friendships and family relationships aren’t very secure. In order to keep friendships, they might be pressured by their peers to behave in a certain way.

They are more likely to feel like those who are closest to them make them do things that they don’t feel comfortable doing and aren’t very supportive or loving.

The above evidence supports the idea that those who project negativity towards others tend to be unhappy within themselves. So keep on doing the best you can and reject attempts by others to make you feel inferior, unworthy or distressed.

Reasonable people seek to understand and problem solve rather than ‘attack’ or bring another person down. Misunderstandings occur and those that seek further info are far happier than those who ‘attack’ instead of engaging in more helpful behaviours.

Be kind, seek to be tolerant and understanding, use self-reflection and pause before responding.

Mandy X

Photo by Irene Strong on Unsplash