Don’t let planner shamers sour the productive routine you’ve established. These tips will ward off grown-up bullies when they threaten your bullet journal bliss.
|How to Deal with Planner Shamers (& Other Toxic People)|
Hello, my productive friends!
Ugh. Bullies. Today’s topic is a little out of character for me, because it touches on some of the uglier things in life. I don’t usually like airing those things on Page Flutter, but this one can’t be left alone.
I had another topic all ready for you. Then I read a recent post on a popular Facebook group. Now, I don’t want to embarrass anyone, so I won’t be naming names. The post came from a young woman who was horribly criticized by another adult for her bullet journaling. Mind you, she was off the clock, on her lunch break.
She was humiliated. Planner shamed. Bullied. AS AN ADULT!
From what I gathered, the co-worker cursed at her (This is me popping my knuckles), called her planning method juvenile (Say whaaaa?), and told her she should keep her “little diary” at home (Oh, no she di’n’t!).
The other members of the group, being the supportive people that we are, immediately chimed in to cheer up our journal buddy. Yay, team!
I have not been able to shake her experience from my thoughts, and it didn’t even happen to me. I was outraged for this young woman! Was she hurting anyone? Of course not.
So, why was she (and her journal) the target of her co-worker’s scorn?
Paper planner systems are visible
One of the reasons our BuJo pal was picked is her journal was visible. Don’t worry, I’m not suggesting her short skirt made her a target. Stay with me…An iPhone calendar is invisible to the rest of the world, it blends in with our digital world.
That’s the major advantage of paper planning: It’s more noticeable for the person using the planner. We can’t forget about it as easily as an app that disappears into Virtual Land when we put the phone down.
Hey, I’ll be the first to admit, I’m worthless without a structured planning/note-taking system. If you ever find me circling the block with a puzzled look on my face, you’ll say, “Oh, Megan lost her bullet journal again!”
We must take our journal/notebooks/planners everywhere to use them properly, so they’re bound to attract some attention at some point. People peek out from behind their computer screens like, “What’s that strange thing you’re writing with???”
Um. A pen.
Your planner is even more likely to attract attention if it’s artistic and eye-catching.
Maybe negative attention is more common than we realize. I’ve occasionally gotten some strange glances over my shoulder when I’m referencing a colorful spread or jotting an appointment in my bizarre looking calendar.
Oh, yeah, you know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’ve heard one or two of these:
- “How many notebooks do you need?”
- “OMG, you have way too much time on your hands.”
- “What is that? Your diary?”
- “Wow, that’s way too much washi tape.”
- “That can’t be practical.”
Take the opportunity to educate the person about bullet journaling, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll have a BuJo convert on your hands! Welcome to the family.
But there is a slim chance you’ll deal with criticism from someone who doesn’t understand how your bullet journal helps organize and focus your life.
How do we deal with people who can’t keep their comments to themselves?
When Haters Start Hating:
I refer to criticism of journals and paper planners here, but these techniques apply to other encounters with toxic people.
1. It’s NOT About the Journal
There are some toxic people in the world. No secret, right? They criticize every joyful thing that crosses their paths. If it wasn’t the journal it would be something else. Toxic people (a.k.a bullies) have a rare talent for seeing the downside to every situation, and they are the first to cut you down when something wonderful happens to you.
Bullet journaling creates intense life focus. You’re meeting deadlines. You’re happy and talented. You know what’s happening around you. You have a plan, and your life is taking you places.
If someone is going to criticize something that’s making you successful, it’s because they don’t share that same prosperity in their lives. Chalk it up to jealousy.
2. Gain Some Distance
Avoid these types of people when possible. Take a different route to the conference room so you don’t have to walk past this person’s desk. If you catch up on planning during your lunch break, find a quiet area away from prying eyes.
What if you can’t? Maybe your desk is across from Bertie the Bully, whose eye rolls are visible each time you color-code an appointment. Stay busy enough that there’s no room for her comments. Pick up the office phone right as she starts hounding you. Conveniently remember that you have something (anything) urgent to discuss with so-and-so who just happens to be walking by at that very instant. You’re still gaining distance from the toxic person by closing your world to them.
3. Hang on to Your Joy
Your bullet journal has been a source of joy for you. Don’t let that change. Laugh along to show the person you can take a joke. It’s time to channel your inner Lorelai Gilmore for a fight of wit and sarcasm!
When you get a question like, “How much washi tape can one page need?” nod in a agreement and say, “You’re right. It needs more.”
Then head over to this post on spicing up your bullet journal for even more fun!
If you get, “What a waste of time.” Your answer: “I know, right? It takes me ten minutes each week to make this page. There goes my gym time!”
4. Stop Being a Victim
Ignoring mean comments is a good place to start. Maybe the person will lose interest in teasing you. If not, you probably have a full-grown bully on your hands.
Adult bullies use more subtle techniques than their pre-teen counterparts, but they sometimes get more aggressive if you don’t respond to initial taunts. Be prepared to confront the person directly.
You need to make it crystal clear that you will not tolerate their rude comments.
If they’re bothering you at work, be willing to speak to a supervisor or HR about the person’s behavior.
5. Use Your Support Network
Hey, we got your back! A huge community has formed around bullet journaling and other types of paper planning. We offer each other advice, encouragement, and let our collective freak flags fly!
In the meantime, surround yourself with positive people. Toxic people lose their potency when confronted by a group.
Whatever you do, don’t let someone else poison your good vibes.
Goals take tenacity. Success takes grit. Toxic people are just another one of life’s challenges to overcome, but you can learn to deal with them.
Now, get back to those projects that are keeping you so busy!
Have you ever dealt with backlash from your journal? Comment below with your tips for dealing with planner shamers and other toxic people.
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