Ditch the Bitch! Paul Martin says it’ll be a win-win


ditch the bitch Paul Martin Centre for Human Potential LGBTIQ+

As the holiday season approaches, it’s a great time to reflect on our personal attitudes to the diversity in our communities. What sort of welcome do we offer new people coming out? Some might see playing mean as witty or fabulously camp. But research says, ditch the bitch and you’ll feel better yourself.

Paul Martin is the Senior Psychologist at the Centre for Human Potential.

Many newly out LGBTIQ+ people anticipate the warm embrace of a loving, accepting and diverse ‘tribe’ of like-minded people. They expect to meet others who understand the pain of prejudice and astigmatism.

Wrong! Very wrong. Bitchiness disguised as humour is what too many do best, girlfriend!

The people in our communities are just that — people. So, members of our communities can prove as heartless as anyone else.

People who don’t fit a narrow mold sometimes find themselves subjected to rudeness and exclusion. Ever walked into a cliquey bar and felt like you’d suddenly intruded into a stranger’s lounge room? Happens all the time.

This can particularly include the obese, disabled or gender diverse. I’ve seen many clients who felt more damaged by our communities than by homophobic schools and families. This can add an additional layer of emotional harm to existing damage. And not only to the victim of rudeness and exclusion.

Listen up, bitches!

Research shows that when you devalue someone else, you also harm yourself. Conversely, when you actively value others, it can make a positive difference to your own emotional state.

Given the amount of homophobia, biphobia and transphobia out there, some in our communities suffer from low self-esteem and even self-loathing. Some attempt to feel better by putting others down.

But it doesn’t work! In fact, degrading others will actually result in feeling worse about yourself.

It’s the ultimate lose-lose situation.

It can result in emotions including resentment, anger, hatred and contempt, any of which will negatively impact your wellbeing.

You can overcome this by choosing to stop devaluing other people.

Ditch the bitch – it’s a win-win

Go for the win-win. Make people feel better about themselves — and achieve the same for yourself.

Also, challenge your negative thoughts about other people. Deliberately show interest, compassion, trust and even love to others around you.

It may seem like a bit of a wank at first, but once you do it regularly, you’ll notice a real difference in how fabulous you feel!

It also has a ripple effect and others will see you in a more positive light.

Also, remember that people coming out, often require refuge from their previous life. We are the light at the end of their tunnel. Don’t snatch that hope away.

This holiday season, set a goal of warmly welcoming new and different people into our diverse communities. Celebrate difference. They’ll feel better. You’ll feel better.

If you suffer from low self-esteem, self-loathing or any similar issues, visit your GP for a Mental Health Care Plan and see a psychologist with LGBTIQ+ experience such as those at Centre for Human Potential.

Don’t forget. Christmas is coming. Santa is also coming. He, she or they is gonna find out who’s naughty and nice!

For the latest lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, intersex and queer (LGBTIQ) news in Australia, visit qnews.com.au. Check out our latest magazines or find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

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