About breaking the cycle of hate.
As some of you may know, I have been avoiding going to Syria for the past 5 months because I was so afraid of what my relatives might say about my weight or the way I look. This weekend; however, I purposefully went to Syria to see how far I have come since starting therapy 5 months ago.
A lot of people have told me that I should stand up for myself when people talk to me that way and either tell them “shut the fuck up” or “Look at yourselves”, but I have never been able to do that. So I tried something different. I used a strategy similar to “kill them with kindness” . As soon as I saw each one of my relatives, I complimented their insecurities. For example, when I saw my uncle who isn’t as muscular or fit as his brother, I complimented the way he looks and asked him if he’s been working out. His face just lit up, he was so happy that I have noticed and was so proud of himself that soon enough he walked around topless at home. As for my aunt, she was trying to take a picture of herself but kept wincing at the pictures once she saw them because she did not like what she saw. So I took multiple pictures of her, highlighting her good features and I complimented how young and good she looks. And you know what? The strategy worked. This is the first time that I do not hear negative comments from any of my relatives, even though I am at my highest weight.
Point is, sometimes people put other people down because of their own insecurities. That does not justify their actions of course. But, maybe, reducing their insecurities might actually be an effective way to break the cycle of hate.