Today we are in full-on-real-talk mode, so strap in. Even if only one person has an ‘AH HAH’ moment while reading this post, my duties as a blogger have been fulfilled. I was recently asked ‘Why do you blog?’, and this moment, today, right now, is my why. The ability to write about things which ignite passion in my soul, that’s my why. I’m poppin’ off, there’s no turning back, this is me. Raw, unapologetic, and uncensored.
This one isn’t for the children.
Now that you’re sufficiently prepped, for the realness that’s about to come crashing down, we can begin.
The other day, I came across the quote “pay attention to those who don’t clap when you win”. When I took a second and actually reflected on how these words translate to daily life…
It. got. me. SHOOK.
Let me explain why.
Haters, nay-sayers, skeptics, doubters, cynics …we all have them in our lives, and we don’t always know who they are. To put it simply, these are people who appear to be, but aren’t, on our team. Therefore, they show up, but aren’t truly ‘clapping’ for us. When I genuinely thought about this, I pictured the following scenario:
Envision an event where you are the keynote speaker, and personally know everyone in the audience. Upon finishing your speech you notice that 3/4 of the people are clapping, and the remaining 1/4 aren’t.
In this ideal situation, one can easily see who’s undoubtedly supporting them, and who isn’t. Since life is never this black and white, how then, do we identify those who aren’t conclusively there for us, yet appear to be? Why aren’t they clapping, yet choose to stay in our lives only to observe and criticize?
…. I think I know why….
Everyone has a person that they love to hate…There are many causes for this, but most are rooted in jealousy, or the feeling of being ‘less’ than someone else. I, admittedly, have had these feelings of envy. It’s human nature.
Which leads to my personal Epiphany:
Even if someone isn’t clapping, they’re still showing up.
So…. by stalking you on social media, or talking behind your back, or making snide remarks, or mocking you…. guess what?
THEY ARE STILL A FAN. They’re just not clapping.
Toxic people choose to stick around, keep tabs on you, know what you’re up to, but remain parasitic. In fact, they might even be your biggest supporter. Putting loads of time and energy into keeping up with you, but never clapping? Sounds like a swooning fan-girl to me.
How freeing is that thought? How often do you put precious energy into something or someone you legitimately don’t care about?…….Never. No one does.
So… plain and simple, they do care. They care a loooottttt, just not in a way that’s going to help you grow. And ain’t nobody got time for that.
So now for the tricky part…how do you identify the folks who aren’t clapping for you? And what is the best course of action? Sadly, since many of them appear to be ‘friends’ this creates an internal paradox. Our brain falsely categorizes these people as allies, leading us to feelings of confusion and sadness when they hurt us.
Webster dictionary defines a friend as:
One attached to another by affection or esteem, one that is not hostile, a favored companion.
Most people who aren’t clapping are still cordial (in person), so the brain involuntarily identifies them as a friend, rather than foe. We do this without even thinking about it, because the person seems ‘nice enough’ right away and we’re (mostly) trusting beings. The innate-Webster-dictionary-style faith many of us put on friendship, opens the door to our hearts, allowing the possibility for hurt to enter.
Who the heck are these people, and where can they be found, you ask?
The answer may surprise you. So here are a few people who I promise, are still fans, but…
Are. Not. Clapping.
That friend who checks their phone 100000 times while you’re ‘hanging out’? Not clapping.
That co-worker who doesn’t congratulate you on a promotion at work? Not clapping.
That mom who constantly gives her unsolicited parenting advice at play group? Not clapping.
That old roommate who says nothing on social media after you have made a big announcement? Not clapping.
That girl at spin class who laughs at you for starting a blog or taking a big risk? Not clapping.
That Instagram follower who condescendingly questions your legitimacy or popularity? Not clapping.
That childhood friend who sends you passive aggressive snaps or texts? Not clapping.
That person who blows you off for better plans? Not clapping.
You probably get the point.
Instead of realizing they just aren’t on your team and ending it there, most people swallow the pain and are left confused. Self-deprecating thoughts to rationalize their actions such as: “I’m probably too sensitive” …or… “they are just joking around” or “they didn’t mean it”, float around in our heads trying to justify the pain that’s been inflicted. Instead of telling these individuals where to shove it, we internalize and endure this draining cycle.
Now picture the keynote speaker example again. This time, imagine that quarter of the crowd who isn’t clapping, has no relation to you. Doesn’t bother you nearly as much, right? It’s interesting, because if the non-clappers were strangers, one isn’t nearly as bothered by his or her actions. Sure it may sting a bit, but it’s easy to see that they’re not on your team, so you cut them out. Your brain seamlessly identifies them as a ‘Foe’ and there’s no guesswork.
Here’s the rub. Since most of these non-clapping individuals are cloaked in ‘friends’ clothing, the water gets murky. We need to start paying attention to who is sitting on their hands not clapping, and who is putting them together cheering us on.
So now what?
Start picking apart your audience, and rewiring your brain. Look at the facts, recognize that not everyone is your friend. We need to be far more careful, and selective when it comes to our relationships, and who we allow inside. After reading the above list, you may be reconsidering some current people in your life, and that’s OK. In fact, I pray you do.
As we age, friendship transitions are painful but necessary. I personally, do not have time for those who aren’t actually supportive of me, and my life choices. It has taken me 27 years to get to this point. Taking a firm look at who we’re surrounding ourselves with, and deciding if they deserve our company is healthy. We are in charge of our own destiny, happiness, and need to defend that at all costs. If someone tries to compromise your joy by continually not clapping, yet sticks around to watch and judge, remove them. Guard your freaking heart.
We all deserve to have friends who look at us like this:
And if you’re still wondering, even Disney’s got it right:
You’re probably thinking “Katie… are you serious, you think that you merit full-on-cheerleading -squad-style friends?… c’mon that’s not realistic…”
I abso-effing-lutely do. And so should you.
I’ll say it again…YES, YOU are worthy of this type of love and ridiculous fanfare.
We all deserve to be praised, lifted up, and warrant celebration. Period. Life is too short… so please, my loves, DO NOT settle for anything less. Rather, besiege yourselves with those who are clapping, no matter what. Real friends don’t need to understand what you’re doing because, if it makes you happy, they will clap and keep on clapping. These are the people that build us up and make life worthwhile. Cutting the dead weight from our lives releases so much pressure.
Do it, I challenge you. Muster up your damn courage and go for it.
Will there be backlash? Will it be uncomfortable and seemingly worse for awhile?
You’ll probably cry, it will be painful, it will be awkward. But one morning you’ll wake up and realize you are no longer a doormat, instead a proud advocate for yourself. Would you let someone kick your dog in front of you, or spit on your child?
So do yourself a favor.
Respect yourself enough, and make some cuts to your team.
Treat yourself as the queen or king that you are, and stop putting up with shitty people.
Here are some final thoughts for clappers and non-clappers alike:
Are you showing up and clapping for others in your life?
What are you doing today to improve and lift up those around you?
Most importantly, at the end of the day, when we can be anything, why not be kind?
If Kanye can do it, there are zero excuses, people.
And if peeps’ are still throwing shade your way…heed my advice:
Put some Cardi B on the radio, summon the inner baddie that I know you are, and greet the haters and non-clappers like Beyonce does…
…Because bitch, they’re a fan.