There comes a time in life when we need to re-evaluate where we stand as people.

In life, we have to develop social skills. Even though these social skills tend to help us in the long run, it’s easy to be led astray by the negative people we choose to interact with. From middle school until the end of our lives, we learn two things: how great and terrible people can be at the same time.

In the words of Eleanor Roosevelt, “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” While it is comforting to know that we have the ability to be in complete control of our emotions, the situations aren’t as cut and dried. Just because we wake up confident doesn’t mean we go to bed that way. Confidence, much like riding a bike or leaning a new language, takes practice and effort.

You have to learn the difference between constructive criticism and insults. Everyone knows someone who has so little control of their personal life that they spew negativity into the world like a fountain. These not-so-rare people take pride in being toxic. Here’s a tip: No one’s perfect. But if someone is “offering” advice that doesn’t contain an ounce of advice or steps to move you forward, chances are they are insulting you. And if it’s an insult, have enough class to address it accordingly. Don’t fly off the handle or stoop down to their level.

Remember: When you argue with a fool, strangers passing by won’t know who the fool is and who isn’t.
Learn to cultivate your confidence and avoid  arrogance. Having confidence is one way to ensure success and respect. However, there is a very fine line between being confident and being arrogant. If you are ever in a position where you believe that you are good, just remember that good is the enemy of great. In life, good is just that. It’s not outstanding it’s not great. What separates good from great is the ability to work on yourself.

That being said, have confidence that you are good might land you a few opportunities. But the quickest way to sabotage future success is carrying the arrogance that you are the best. For college students particularly, there is always going to be someone better than you are. But be willing to admit you won’t stop until you are at your personal “great”.

People will always have something to say about you and you just have to get over it. In nature, animals don’t attack unless they feel threatened. People don’t pay any mind to the people who don’t challenge them. If they’re after your throat, you’re probably doing something right.

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Victoria Johnson

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