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I Can’t Go Back To Yesterday Because I Was A Different Person Then

I Can’t Go Back To Yesterday Because I Was A Different Person Then

Have you ever wished that you could go back to a different moment in time? My guess is that you have. Maybe you want to go back to a moment when you thought life was simpler, easier, more enjoyable, or just different. And your magical moment in time probably corresponds to before that “one” life-changing event.

You are not alone. We have all been through something that has made us a different person. That particular moment is different for everybody, though. Maybe yours is the loss of a loved one, a divorce or breakup, an accident, a scary health diagnosis, or a big move. Whatever you have experienced, it has changed you. You can’t go back, and you can’t turn back time. Why not? Because now, you are a different person.

Moving Forward

Alice, the famous Lewis Carroll character, said it best in the book Alice in Wonderland.[1]

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“I can’t go back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.”

This bit of advice is something that can help us move forward in our lives. There is no reason to mourn the loss of yesterday if your experiences have changed you for the better.

This bit of advice is something that can help us move forward in our lives. There is no reason to mourn the loss of yesterday if your experiences have changed you for the better.

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We cannot change the past. And why would we? Change and growth are part of the human experience. Sometimes these changes are sad or difficult, but that’s no reason to wish them away. We must move forward through these tough moments and recognize that we are being shaped into a different person. How exciting is that?

Accepting the Different You

We often remember yesterday with nostalgia. We forget that the new, different person we have become might actually be better than the person we once were. The business of being human, of experiencing change, has caused you to grow into a new and better person.

Accept this new reality and cherish it. We become stronger, smarter, and more unique as life goes on. In fact, our very goal should be to become a different person than we were yesterday. You don’t want your life to stay the same, day in and day out. Change brings about progress. Life is like the movements of the universe. If it stops moving and changing, it stops existing. The universe needs to constantly change for its very survival.

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The same is true of who you are. If you compare today with yesterday and find that nothing has changed, you haven’t really been living life to its fullest. Life is change.

Controlling the Outcome of Change

We cannot change the past. Life happens and people grow. You are different today. This is something you cannot change.

Does that mean we should stand idly by and let life happen to us? If it’s going to happen, should we just sit back and take no part in the person we are becoming? Definitely not. We must be proactive in how these changes affect us. Being aware of yesterday allows us to control what exactly becomes different about who we are.

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Take the initiative. Decide what will change in your life, the kind of person you will become. You have the power to control whether yesterday is turning you into a bitter person, a wise person, a happy person, or a reflective person. If you remember that these experiences and changes are necessary for growth, you can try to ensure that your growth is healthy.

Learning From Yesterday

So, does this mean we should forget yesterday if it was a bad day? Absolutely not. Part of controlling the outcome involves reflecting on and remembering yesterday. What did you learn? How did it change you?

Don’t look back on your life with regret or sadness, at least not for too long. These emotions are natural and valid, but you can’t live in the past and live a healthy life. Accept that you can’t be who you were yesterday. Try to turn those emotions into a learning experience. I’ll be the first to admit that this is easier said than done.

How do you learn from yesterday without living in the past? By attempting to appreciate your life’s moments for what they are: the reason you are a different person. Yesterday is the reason for your current life reality and who you are today.

Featured photo credit: Unsplash via pexels.com

Reference

More by this author

Amber Pariona

EFL Teacher, Lifehack Writer, English/Spanish Translator, MPA

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Published on May 4, 2021

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

How To Spot Fake People (And Ways To Deal With Them)

They say we are the average of the five persons we spend the most time with. For a minute, consider the people around you. Are they truly who your “tribe” should be or who you aspire to become in the future? Are they really genuine people who want to see you succeed? Or are they fake people who don’t really want to see you happy?

In this article, I’ll review why it is important to surround yourself with genuine individuals—the ones who care, bring something to our table, and first and foremost, who leave all fakeness behind.

How to Spot Fake People?

When you’ve been working in the helping professions for a while, spotting fake people gets a bit easier. There are some very clear signs that the person you are looking at is hiding something, acting somehow, or simply wanting to get somewhere. Most often, there is a secondary gain—perhaps attention, sympathy, or even a promotion.

Whatever it is, you’re better off working their true agenda and staying the hell away. Here are some things you should look out for to help spot fake people.

1. Full of Themselves

Fake people like to show off. They love looking at themselves in the mirror. They collect photos and videos of every single achievement they had and every part of their body and claim to be the “best at what they do.”

Most of these people are actually not that good in real life. But they act like they are and ensure that they appear better than the next person. The issue for you is that you may find yourself always feeling “beneath” them and irritated at their constant need to be in the spotlight.

2. Murky in Expressing Their Emotions

Have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful conversation with a fake person? It’s almost impossible. It’s because they have limited emotional intelligence and don’t know how they truly feel deep down—and partly because they don’t want to have their true emotions exposed, no matter how normal these might be.

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It’s much harder to say “I’m the best at what I do” while simultaneously sharing “average” emotions with “equal” people.

3. Zero Self-Reflection

To grow, we must accept feedback from others. We must be open to our strengths and to our weaknesses. We must accept that we all come in different shapes and can always improve.

Self-reflection requires us to think, forgive, admit fault, and learn from our mistakes. But to do that, we have to be able to adopt a level of genuineness and depth that fake people don’t routinely have. A fake person generally never apologizes, but when they do, it is often followed with a “but” in the next breath.

4. Unrealistic Perceptions

Fake people most often have an unrealistic perception of the world—things that they want to portray to others (pseudo achievements, materialistic gains, or a made-up sense of happiness) or simply how they genuinely regard life outside themselves.

A lot of fake people hide pain, shame, and other underlying reasons in their behavior. This could explain why they can’t be authentic and/or have difficulties seeing their environment for the way it objectively is (both good and bad).

5. Love Attention

As I mentioned earlier, the biggest sign that something isn’t quite right with someone’s behavior can be established by how much they love attention. Are you being interrupted every time you speak by someone who wants to make sure that the spotlight gets reverted back to them? Is the focus always on them, no matter the topic? If yes, you’re probably dealing with a fake person.

6. People Pleaser

Appreciation feels nice but having everyone like you is even better. While it is completely unrealistic for most people to please everyone all the time, fake people seem to always say yes in pursuit of constant approval.

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Now, this is a problem for two reasons. Firstly, these people are simply saying yes to things for their own satisfaction. Secondly, they often end up changing their minds or retracting their offer for one reason or another (“I would have loved to, but my grandmother suddenly fell ill.”), leaving you in the lurch for the 100th time this year.

7. Sarcasm and Cynicism

Behind the chronic pasted smile, fake people are well known for brewing resentment, jealousy, or anger. This is because, behind the postcard life, they are often unhappy. Sarcasm and cynicism are well known to act as a defense mechanism, sometimes even a diversion—anything so they can remain feeling on top of the world, whether it is through boosting themselves or bringing people down.

8. Crappy friend

Fake people are bad friends. They don’t listen to you, your feelings, and whatever news you might have to share. In fact, you might find yourself migrating away from them when you have exciting or bad news to share, knowing that it will always end up one way—their way. In addition, you might find that they’re not available when you truly need them or worse, cancel plans at the last minute.

It’s not unusual to hear that a fake person talks constantly behind people’s backs. Let’s be honest, if they do it to others, they’re doing it to you too. If your “friend” makes you feel bad constantly, trust me, they’re not achieving their purpose, and they’re simply not a good person to have around.

The sooner you learn to spot these fake people, the sooner you can meet meaningful individuals again.

How to Cope With Fake People Moving Forward?

It is important to remind yourself that you deserve more than what you’re getting. You are worthy, valuable, precious, and just as important as the next person.

There are many ways to manage fake people. Here are some tips on how to deal with them.

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1. Boundaries

Keep your boundaries very clear. As explained in the book Unlock Your Resilience, boundaries are what keep you sane when the world tries to suffocate you. When fake people become emotional vampires, make sure to keep your distances, limit contact, and simply replace them with more valuable interactions.

2. Don’t Take Their Behavior Personally

Sadly, they most likely have behaved this way before they knew you and will continue much longer after you have moved on. It isn’t about you. It is about their inner need to meet a void that you are not responsible for. And in all honesty, unless you are a trained professional, you are unlikely to improve it anyway.

3. Be Upfront and Honest About How You Feel

If your “friend” has been hurtful or engaged in behaviors you struggle with, let them know—nicely, firmly, however you want, but let them know that they are affecting you. If it works, great. If it doesn’t, you’ll feel better and when you’re ready to move on, you’ll know you tried to reach out. Your conscience is clear.

4. Ask for Advice

If you’re unsure about what you’re seeing or feeling, ask for advice. Perhaps a relative, a good friend, or a colleague might have some input as to whether you are overreacting or seeing some genuine concerns.

Now, don’t confuse asking for advice with gossiping behind the fake person’s back because, in the end, you don’t want to stoop down to their level. However, a little reminder as to how to stay on your own wellness track can never hurt.

5. Dig Deeper

Now, this one, I offer with caution. If you are emotionally strong, up to it, guaranteed you won’t get sucked into it, and have the skills to manage, perhaps you could dig into the reasons a fake person is acting the way they do.

Have they suffered recent trauma? Have they been rejected all their lives? Is their self-esteem so low that they must resort to making themselves feel good in any way they can? Sometimes, having an understanding of a person’s behavior can help in processing it.

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6. Practice Self-Care!

Clearly, putting some distance between the fake person and yourself is probably the way to go. However, sometimes, it takes time to get there. In the meantime, make sure to practice self-care, be gentle with yourself, and compensate with lots of positives!

Self-care can be as simple as taking a hot shower after talking to them or declining an invitation when you’re not feeling up to the challenge.

Spotting fake people isn’t too hard. They generally glow with wanna-be vibes. However, most often, there are reasons as to why they are like this. Calling their behavior might be the first step. Providing them with support might be the second. But if these don’t work, it’s time to stay away and surround yourself with the positivity that you deserve.

Final Thoughts

Remember that life is a rollercoaster. It has good moments, tough moments, and moments you wouldn’t change for the world. So, look around and make sure that you take the time to choose the right people to share it all with.

We are the average of the five people we spend the most time with, so take a good look around and choose wisely!

More Tips on Dealing With Fake People

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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