Have you ever found yourself in a situation where a friend treats you in a manner that makes you say, “What the hell?!” I’m imagining you shaking your head “yes” and now maybe you are thinking of that person, what they did, and it is bringing up those feelings of pain again.
I have come across this instance more than a few times in my life, and every time it has happened I have turned the blame onto the other person; however, at what point do we consider the role we have played in the act? Granted, some people do deserve the blame. Some people are just assholes, and it is what it is, and that is just who they are – selfish; however, more times than not this is not the case at all. If it were, you probably would have never been drawn to them as friend in the first place. What often happens is people treat us the way that permit them to treat us, or in a way that mirrors how we treat ourselves.
I will use myself as an example: I am always busy (at least up until recently). I will over-commit myself to multiple meet ups, charitable activities, and then there is the daily grind of work – all while attempting to be a good friend, a good wife, a good daughter, and a good sister. That balancing act isn’t easy – and do you know what makes it even more difficult? Completing it all with genuine love when you have not given any of that love to yourself. In my case, it had been a long time since I had given myself time, grace, and love. What happened was all of the pressure of being everything to everyone literally made me crumble beneath it and I found myself in a really bad depression period.
What else happened?
I noticed friends would easily be able to cancel plans. At first, I couldn’t help but ask, “WTF?” I mean, I gave my heart to them? I gave them my time? I bent over backwards for them and would drop everything to help them. How DARE they! But in reality, they were only treating me the same way that I treated myself – with lack of consideration. I, too, could be quick to change a date with myself in order to help someone else. I also was canceling down time with myself to commit myself to something else. I wasn’t portraying myself as someone who was valuable of keeping plans with because I wasn’t even keeping plans with myself! If I wasn’t portraying myself as valuable, then it made it easier for those individuals to not see me as valuable as maybe they should have. They watched me cancel plans with myself time and time again with no consequence – so maybe I gave off the vibe that there wouldn’t be consequences for them either. And there weren’t – there were only consequences for me as I sat and felt lousy and alone. That was the reward I gave myself for putting myself last – lousy feelings. Awesome, huh? Can you relate to this at all?
Which brings me to my next point: not only do you have to demonstrate and prove to yourself that you are worth “it” – whatever “it” may be – but you have to have the guts to stand up for yourself when you feel that someone else isn’t making you feel like you’re worth “it”. If someone blows you off – let them know it’s unacceptable. If you never let them know, they will continue to act that way as there is no consequence behind their actions. Congratulations – you just became their hypothetical doormat even if they aren’t intentionally trying to hurt you! In their mind, when you don’t speak up, you “understand” and it’s “no big deal”. But it is a big deal – and you are big deal. I watched a friend of mine display this honesty time and time again. I would sit back and think to myself, “HOW does she do that?!” There was no apologizing for her honesty – there was just the honesty itself. She wasn’t trying to hurt the person and put them down, she was only standing up for herself. Girlfriend knew her worth – I, however, was still trying to find the guts to know my own.
This happened to me recently and I wanted SO BADLY to apologize! Me! Apologize to the other person who, I felt, left me high and dry. Why? Just to make it go away. To clear the negative energy. I didn’t do a damn thing wrong, but if me apologizing to make it go away made – then I wanted to do that. My chest burned with that desire, but it was time to stand my ground (and it wasn’t easy). I told the person that it sucked, that I felt abandoned in a way, and that it “wasn’t cool” (give me a break here, I’m just starting out with this whole ‘honesty’ thing when it comes interactions with others). That left me with no response. More silence. More desire from me to say “I’m sorry if what I said made you feel bad” just to make it go away – but I’m not going to do that this time, because this time I’m working on giving myself the love that I deserve.
Apologizing for your truth doesn’t give you love at all, it discounts that love. It says, “Nice try, but the other person is still more important and your feelings aren’t valid”. Do you know what that tells the other person? It says “It’s okay, I’m just over-reacting”. As tough as it is in these situations, you have to stand your ground. Not only is that validating to yourself that you are worth more, but it’s showing others that you feel that way about yourself, too. As badly as you want things to just “be okay”, sometimes it’s worth them not being okay if it is showing respect for yourself. The only thing you can hope for is that person recognizes it as well – and if they don’t – do you really NEED them in your life if they aren’t going to respect you? Probably not… They will never be the person to catapult you to new heights, help you achieve your dreams, or show you the beauty that life truly holds for you. Instead, they will be your anchor. Dead weight. Holding you back continuously because they, themselves, don’t feel “worth it”. Proceed wisely with these people.
To close this out, let me just remind you that you ARE worth it. You are worth your time. You are worth your money. You are worth the grace you permit yourself to receive. You are worth the respect. You are worth the apology. You are worth the best of the best. Don’t allow anything or anyone else tell you, or treat you, otherwise ❤