Below is a short discussion inspired by the episode "Girls Trippin'" from Red Table Talk.
The negative perceptions we have of others can be caused by our internal conflicts and external influences. This means that we sometimes don’t like others because they either remind us of what we don’t like about ourselves, or because we were encouraged not to like them by others.
But we can change this about ourselves. When we address our personal issues--and surround ourselves with better and emotionally healthier groups of people--we can overcome our petty annoyances and enrich our relationships.
On In this episode of Red Table Talk, Jada ends her 17-year feud with fellow celebrity Gabrielle Union. Gabrielle explains how her personal problems have led to the tension she had with Jada and many others, and shares the steps she’s taken to heal from her pain and improve her relationships.
Here’s what we can learn from their recent reconciliation:
- Address your own insecurities. When we conquer our personal problems, we can connect with people from a place of positivity.. We have to be mindful of our thoughts and our responses, and we can do this by dedicating time to ourselves.
- The downfall of others is not your success. This mindset is both unhealthy and flawed. Everyone is dealing with his or her own sets of challenges. What they’re going through has nothing to do with us. When we stop comparing our lives with each other, we can start making connections.
- Surround yourself with better people. Energy is contagious, be it positive or negative. When we surround ourselves with people who emanate positive energy, we can connect and help others instead of judging and bringing them down.
When we commit to self-improvement and surround ourselves with like-minded people, we can connect with others from a place of positivity. We can build each other up instead of tearing each other down.
the distilld lessons
Here are the distilld lessons inspired by the Red Table Talk episode "Girls Trippin'" featuring Gabrielle Union.
Gabrielle Union and Jada Pinkett-Smith have ended their 17-year silent feud. Gabrielle goes over what shares what caused the brought them to have tension, and what pushed her to seek reconciliation in great detail.
Gabrielle was in the middle of recovering from her cancelled shows and a divorce when Jada rose to fame. This made Gabrielle resented Jada, and what caused her to avoided her, and talked about her behind her back. They then ignored each other for almost two decades.
Our insecurities are powerful forces. We burn bridges with people that It can cause us to dislike someone because they remind us of what we don’t like about ourselves.
Insecurities can also lead to low self-esteem, social anxiety, and depression. When we fail to appreciate our value, we turn to self-neglect which later compromises our mental health.
Our insecurities are our responsibility, and no one else’s. When we address our internal issues, we can prevent external conflicts and improve our well-being.
Gabrielle recommends silence and self-awareness as tools to address internal conflicts. She says that taking time for her own just to breathe and meditate allowed her to become more mindful.
Mindfulness is moment-to-moment awareness of one’s experience without judgment. Through it, we gain better control of our thoughts and our actions. We can cultivate it through solitude and meditation.
Our internal dialogue can help us self-regulate and re-prioritize our goals. This allows us to have the time and space to reflect on what we want and how we are.
Jada thinks that Gabrielle’s story is common in their industry. She claims that every celebrity’s been there. Someone new comes along, and they threaten others. Those threatened instantly react combatively.
The dynamics in the acting industry apply to any area of life. When we look at others who are engaged in similar activities or careers, our instinctive response is to measure ourselves against them.
Comparing ourselves to others often leads to a subconscious one-sided competition. When they fail, we feel like we’ve succeeded. When they improve, we feel like we’ve degraded.
The downfall of other people is not our success. This competitiveness is unhealthy and flawed. What others are going through has nothing to do with us.
Gabrielle says that the MeToo movement—a movement against sexual abuse and harassment—has been key to her newfound positivity. They’ve helped her heal from the pain from of being sexually assaulted when she was 19.
Avoid negative people. Negativity is contagious. Hateful and judgmental people can influence our perception, and we might end up turning into such people ourselves becoming like them.
When we surround ourselves with people who emanate positive energy, we can connect and help others, instead of judging and bringing them down.
- Be mindful of your insecurities. We can subconsciously project what we don’t like about ourselves onto others. Work on your personal problems, so they don’t affect your personal relationships.
- Make time for yourself. Practicing self-care is good for mental and emotional health. When we take time to develop the relationships we have with ourselves, we can be in a better position to build healthy relationships with others.
- Practice breathing and meditation. Practiced silence can widen our perception and block out any internal negative noise. We can remain calm and collected and approach others with mindfulness and a sense of security.
- Don’t compete when you can cooperate. There’s no point in tearing others down when you can build each other up.
- Avoid negative people. Negativity is contagious. Hateful and judgmental people can influence our perception, and we might end up turning into such people ourselves.
For a more in depth conversation, the distilld lessons (extended) are here.