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  • Ellen Pope

Stop kicking people in their f&*king soul

As a ‘nearly decent’ functioning society, there are a few things in life we have all been taught from an early age not to do. 

Murder folk. Obvs. Another thing -  kicking people in the balls and or lady vag. A low life blow and one that should only be used in TOTAL EMERGENCIES. I mean, life and death self-defence stylee. 



No matter how much Eric from accounts, or that man that bodges in front of you every-single-fucking-day on the train, (even though you have been standing there for the best part of 10 mins) really pisses you off, you don’t put down your latte and kick them “down there”. It is unacceptable, very aggressive and if nothing else a little rude. 


So, to my point. Why has it become acceptable for people to get kicked in their souls? 


“Souls don’t have shit loads of nerve endings Popey, and it’s not an actual thing is it, so stop talking utter dog shite”- I hear some of you muttering. 


Well, A. Piss off, not keen on you reading my stuff. B. It does have nerve endings. It has every single nerve ending - it is your fucking soul. 


The role of the school bully has transitioned over the last decade from someone who chased you across a park at night to kick and harm you, to children today being horrifically bullied in the palm of their hands.


This has unfortunately permeated, or maybe even escalated, into adulthood. And I don’t know how it will end. 


Not only through my own adult life, but that of colleagues, friends and family, I have seen a rise of individuals who feel it is acceptable to belittle, undermine, abuse and erode people around them. And as women in business, I think that we take a fair proportion of the soul thumping. 


Being verbally abused, undermined for your ideas, beliefs or gender, discounted because of the way you look, act or hold yourself is as vicious as a direct kick or punch. The thing with all of the above is that because you don’t roll around on the floor, bleed or bruise you don’t see it’s detrimental effects on a person. And even as the person being thumped, you don’t realise it yourself until sometimes the relentless beating has already ruined your confidence. 


We seem to have entered a spin-cycle of ambition and success, where the world most of the time, can be anyone’s oyster as long as you work hard for it - and some have to work a lot harder than others. But with this unlimitedness ambition and need to be number one, we appear to have also added a fair whack of selfishness, bitterness, jealousy, arrogance and a solid two handfuls of bullying to our “life wash”. And it makes me sick. 


The problem with bitterness, jealousy, arrogance and bullying, is that it an emotional attack, which can erode the other person's soul very slowly and painfully over time - and at other times, almost instantly. Our desire to succeed has left some of us with a ruthless drive, that makes us envious of the people around us. 


The bullies that chased you over a field as a kid, defaced your school bags, pinched, scratched and spat at you, are now adults. That personality trait hasn’t left them, they just currently don’t have to be fit enough to run a solid 5k, they can do it in a boardroom, party or event. 


I was happy growing up and was never bullied or harmed. But in my professional career, I have been kicked in the soul, repeatedly. And I can tell you it fucking hurts. 


Trying to live as an empowered and open-minded businesswoman today, is far easier than a decade ago, but it still has a long way to go. Though there are great role models out there and more motivational quotes on Instagram than I have had hot dinners, it takes a lot of energy and a thicker skin than most can imagine being an everyday empowered person. A person who doesn’t have a book deal, 1 million followers, or does not flat lay their life for pics.


To be empowered and authentic to yourself in everyday life can be hard, and ultimately opens you up to a soul beating.  You have to back yourself and be willing to support those around you, and by doing so, you are emotionally squatting in front of bullies and asking them to kick you where it hurts as hard as you can. 


By putting your head above the parapet and believing in yourself - whether that be the way your dress, the way you communicate, your business ideas, your body, or the way you respect others - it leads to an opinion and like the famous saying says, “they are like arseholes, everyone has them”. 


Constructive criticism, whether is it work, pleasure, love or friendship is a good thing. How can we grow and learn in life without learning how we are perceived by others?  Downright being fucking vile though is not acceptable, especially when it routed in the insecurities or fundamental arrogance of the giver. Repeatedly. 


Let’s all take a step back, and think at times we have given a sly comment, belittled someones working knowledge, being rude because we just “didn’t like someone”, laughed how someone dressed or spoke, actively went out of our way to knock someones confidence. We have all done it. 


What I want you to think about is the effect it has on that person. As your quick comment in a meeting, or a tweet, might on its own be a small tup at someone's soul. But you might not be the only person doing it.


Try to praise and respect the life journey’s of people and especially the careers they have chosen. And if you don’t have anything positive or constructive to say, maybe sip your latte and have a look at yourself. 


“Cus if you wouldn’t kick them in the fanny, don’t kick them in the soul. 

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