Discover more from Wonderstruck from Siobhan Curham
Beware the bubble bursters
Have you ever shared some good news with someone only for them to promptly and deliberately burst your bubble?
I ask because this happened to me when I returned from America this week.
I was buzzing from a magical trip and some good news I’d received while I was in the States but when I tried sharing this with someone close to me they made it clear they weren’t really interested and employed a next level passive aggressive putdown, ensuring that the conversation was redirected onto something I hadn’t achieved; a personal shortcoming.
This is not the first time I’ve experienced this with this person. Far from it. And it had got to the point where I’d stopped sharing good news with them.
But my heart was so full of happy after my recent adventure and so full of the love I’d received from people I met while I was away I guess I’d been lulled into a false sense of security.
So when they used the sharpness of their tongue to burst my bubble it hurt all the more because I was left kicking myself at my own stupidity for opening up to them.
I hadn’t planned on writing about this this week but it crossed my mind that I’m probably not alone in experiencing this so I want to share the conclusions I came to - after some hardcore meditating!
Firstly, if you’re trying to make the best of your life by pursuing your passions and daring to dream you are not doing anything wrong. At all. End of.
So if someone feels the need to burst your bubble it’s not because there’s something wrong with you. At all. End of.
In actual fact it’s a heavy hint that there’s something up with them. A dissatisfaction with their own life. Regret over their own unrealised dreams.
It doesn’t make their treatment of you right or excusable but it makes it explainable.
And you need to hold onto that explanation as a way of countering any hurt they cause you.
And then you need to become the Bubble Burster’s arch nemesis - the Boundary Enforcer.
It’s not acceptable for people to deliberately hurt you and you need to take steps to protect yourself.
In my case I’m going to revert to my previous plan and no longer tell my bubble burster anything I think might trigger a passive aggressive attack (there’s no point in me confronting them about it because I’ve done that in the past and it still didn’t change things).
And I’m going to comfort myself with this epic quote from Theodore Roosevelt:
“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
At the end of the day, I would much rather be in the arena, striving valiantly to achieve my dreams, than sitting at the sidelines snipping away at people, curdling in my own bitterness.
If this week’s Wonderstruck has resonated with you I’m really sorry that you’ve experienced this too and I hope you find these words encouraging.
Here’s to daring greatly, even if we attract some bubble bursters along the way!