I said it yesterday, but I’m gonna say it again, my posts are very soap-box-y, in-your-face this week. I guess I’m not in the mood to beat around the bush. And today I’ve been thinking that the whole victim mentality is just ridiculous, and it’s time to rethink it in an honest way. So here you go…
Don’t like how people treat you? Upset when they lie about you, talk over you, ignore you, push you around, or just generally mistreat you? Guess what? It’s your fault, and it’s time you do something about it.
While that sounds foreboding and possibly angry and violent, that’s not what I’m about. There’s always a peaceful, spiritually connected way to do things. So what do I mean when I say to do something about it? This…
(1) You first need to realize that you teach people how to treat you.
Okay, think back to school. You generally have a lot of teachers with diverse personalities. So while one teacher may let you talk or call out during class, if you pulled that in another teacher’s class, you’d be in some serious trouble. You talk and joke in one class because the teacher doesn’t get upset, but you wouldn’t do it in some other’s class because of the unpleasant consequences. Relationships work much the same way. What you allow to happen in your relationships makes people think that it’s okay to act that way. So if people put you down or talk over you or ignore you and you don’t say anything, they are going to think that that behavior is totally acceptable with you. What you allow will continue, and that’s how you teach people to treat you.
(2) Don’t let people mistreat you.
Once you take responsibility for your side of it (okay, because it’s not all your fault), then you have to stop letting people think it’s okay to treat you in a way you don’t like. You don’t have to fight or yell or scream or get angry. Somebody insults you? Tell them, “That’s not cool,” and walk away. Don’t fight or insult back, it’s not worth it. Remember, what you allow will continue, so if you don’t want it to continue, don’t allow it.
(3) Don’t be around people who mistreat you.
Okay, if we’re going back to that school analogy, we all know there’s always that one kid, who no matter how many times he gets corrected, he will continue to do what he shouldn’t. That’s life. So what can you do? Don’t be around them. It’s literally that simple. You have control in your relationships, don’t play the victim. Someone treating you wrong even after you’ve tried to be all zen and handle it like an adult? Then make the choice to not be around them. And now, you may say you have to be around them for whatever reason (work, group of friends, whatever it is). Then you keep it as short as possible, you do what you have to do, and then you hit the road. Don’t spend more time with them then you have to.
I’ve spent years saying that so-and-so constantly does this to me or this person always steam rolls me or blah blah is a horrible friend, and enough is enough. A relationship, whether it’s romantic, friendship, or familial, is a two-way street. You are not a victim, and you don’t have to stand for being mistreated. If you want your relationships to be better, then you need to take responsibility for your actions and stop allowing things to happen that aren’t acceptable.
Surround yourself with good people who love and care and support you and forget the rest. Hang out with the kind of people you want to be like. And remember, you’re too awesome to let people treat you badly.
I had a friend who used to say if you made it to Thursday, then you deserved a glass of wine. I agree. We’ve made it this far, so don’t forget to enjoy a glass of wine today (or a mug of beer or a bowl of ice cream…whatever floats your boat)!