By Beatrice Mokwunye
A shark cannot survive any other habitat apart from the ocean. The same way, women and girls struggle to thrive in a hostile environment. This is the greatest battle confronting virtually all women today. They crave for love, approval, and care; when it’s not there; they feel lonely, bitter and depressed.
That’s why you probably can’t survive under one of these circumstances: You wanted daddy to compliment your B3 grade in English. After scanning through the transcript, he looks at you in pretty disdain, “where were you when others were scoring A’s?” Disappointed, you went in sobbing because it wasn’t what you expected. You had expected a compliment, but not anymore.
Probably, your own case is a cantankerous mum or a step-mom or, maybe your aunt whom you report to. She’s too mean and imposing—always piling up controversies and never willing to compromise. Everything you have done to please her always ends in a Waterloo. You crave so much approval from this person, but she is always on your nerves.
I quite understand the severity of the pains and humiliations, the defeats, and guilt you had to bear, but I will like you to know this my darling: you’re not alone and, for stopping by here, a breakthrough has eventually emerged. I have two powerful gimmicks to help you triumph over a hostile environment. All you need do is:
DISCOVER AND LOVE THE PERSONALITY IN YOU
For you to survive a hostile environment, you must be able to understand who you’re and what you stand for in the universe. This is the master-key to survival in a strange land. If you don’t know who you are, You will become a prey to anybody.
To develop self-awareness, evaluate your life generally: what are your likes and dislikes? What are the worst things you can do, under what condition? For instance, what would compel you to smash a bottle of Hennessy on someone else’s head, hit your head on an electric pole, or even jump into the red sea?. Simply put: what is the worst thing you can do.
What are your strengths and weaknesses—emotionally, mentally, spiritually and intellectually?
LOVE AND APPRECIATE WHO YOU ARE–BOTH THE BEAUTIFUL AND THE UGLY
Learning to love you is the greatest love of all (Whitney Houston). The truth is, the world may hate you, the people you cherish may turn against you, but there’s only one person who will love you till eternity–that person is you. Don’t ever look down on you.
The golden rule says: do to others what you’d want them to do for you. That is, if you want to be loved, show love to everyone especially the most annoying people. The love we’re talking about here is sacrificial. Sometimes, you don’t need to dance to their tune because that can hamper your personal life and health, all you need is a simple gesture that changes their perspective about you. The best way to love unconditionally is by being proactive. To be proactive means to envision the worst thing people can do to you. When you imagine someone will hurt you, and it happens, it can never affect you.
IF SOMEONE IS ANGRY WITH YOU, BUY THEM GIFT
A little gift can do great wonders. Since 2012, I’ve found it hard to forgive an aunt for indicting me wrongly—don’t want to go deep into it, but the bottom line is, I hated her for hurting me. Surprisingly, in 2016, at her sister’s wedding reception, she came to me with a can of opened-drink; initially, she took it for herself but later changed her mind. The moment she gave me the drink, something much more than ecstasy sprang up within me. That, immediately, changed my mindset about her, and my heart softened towards her.
The best tool to get into the heart of a stubborn enemy or hater is gift—almsgiving. Wait there, don’t assume I was a ‘stubborn’ enemy to this aunt oh, smiles. But sincerely, gifts are powerful mediators—they don’t need to be enormous and expensive, no! Just give those little things you feel they need to solve a particular problem at a particular time; it will ultimately change their attitude towards you.
So, to withstand hostility, first, you must build your mind; develop a high sense of who you are, and channel your thoughts to internal things—your skills, talents, and potential. These are your strengths.
And finally, give out what you wish to have in order to get what you don’t have. Love unconditionally—even when it hurts. And offer them a gift; it changes their perspective about you.