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Hanging On To Worthless Feelings

by Nancy
(Toronto, Ontario, Canada)

I am an artist in a competitive field. I started late in life (50 years old) and have a great reputation. I reunited with a friend's husband ten years after her death as he was well established in the business I was entering. He remarried immediately after my friend died and she was his former wife's close friend.

A lot of people in our circle had opinions about this but I didn't. We just lost contact, which is common after someone dies. We started working together professionally and there was nothing unhealthy or threatening about our newfound comradery, but the wife started hanging around when we were working.

I must admit that she is homely, overweight and insecure, but I welcomed her in, asking if she was interested in doing what I do for a living. She repeated many times that there was no way, but that she liked to hang out. I must make the point that I have trained many juniors in this industry and continue to mentor them along the way.

Cut to the chase, she is now doing my job and is on a coveted list of artists who all work for the same client. She is now my competition and this bugs me to no end as I feel she was lying to me. Moving forward, I pulled back from being friends with both of them. I unfriended them on FB but that was all. I guess it was obvious as time passed, because she and I bumped into each other in a back hallway and I was less than thrilled to see her, saying I was in a rush.

That night I got an email from her husband, my old friend, asking what was wrong. I ignored it, thinking that no good would come from telling the truth. After the fourth attempt to contact me, I replied. I carefully said that I was disappointed, felt like I had been used as the wife would ask me questions about my tools, my clients, my technique. I said that friends don't do this to each other.

This was all done by email. I got a reply from the wife informing me that she always read her husband's emails (poor guy) and that she was sorry that I was threatened by her talent. What? I really feel that I am correct in feeling used. I would love to hear that she is not good at what she does but I don't want to initiate that conversation.

All I hear is that she makes snacks for everyone in the studio, so I know she is becoming popular. I feel like a silly schoolgirl and hate the feelings of revenge that cloud over me every time I hear her name but honestly, I wish she would get hit by a bus. How do I get over this, as it’s been two years of carrying this garbage around?

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Nov 01, 2016
Shift Your Focus
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Nancy - Thanks for telling your story here. It is great that you want to shake off these feelings, because as you know, they will only make you miserable.

While it's not easy, this is what works. Get so busy focusing on your own success, gifts, blessings and posshitive aspects that you have no room left in your mind for negatively focusing on this other person.

Try these techniques:

1) Every time you find yourself thinking about her, say to yourself, "I will not use her as a reason to feel bad."

2) When you find yourself dwelling on the resentment and desire for revenge, just shift your thoughts a little at a time, by saying to yourself, "Well, that's good...and that's good...and that's good," focusing on one small or big positive aspect of yourself, your life and the world around you at a time. This will "walk you out" of those bad feelings.

It's been shown through research that gratitude blocks toxic emotions, and that's what these methods utilize.

You are too smart to be wasting your time and energy focusing on someone in a negative way.

You can do this, Nancy.

My best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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