I see it all the time. At least a few times a day on some social feed about how we should change the way we treat people based on how they treat us. If someone is an ass to you of course it gives you the right to be an ass to them. If you are good to someone and they take advantage of you then you have the right to take advantage me them, and of course, you shouldn’t even expect someone to treat you well.. as no one does.
How is any of this good? How is it that we have become a society of “screw you then” . Now, don’t get me wrong, if someone treats you badly then you should not put up with it. You should not just take it. You should stand up for yourself and demand respect… but that is very different than disrespecting someone else.
I talk to women everyday who have seriously bad situations that they are working through. Some are in abusive relationships, some are being assaulted or degraded at work, and some just feel underappreciated by everyone around them, and obviously they are in need of help. They are in need of finding a better way. What they do not need is to become the abusers, the degrading, or the lose the ability to appreciate.
We are how we react to others. That’s it. We are who our thoughts and our actions. We are not how other’s treat us, or what other’s say about us. We are what we say. So when someone says that they now have the right to be an ass to someone because “they started it” what does that make us? When we say, “what goes around comes around” or “why should I be good to anyone if no one is good to me?” who are we becoming?
I have always been the type of person to help when someone was down. I have always been the person that they could call when they needed help moving, or a little extra money, or a ride to the airport. I have always been the type of person that kept Advil in my desk in case anyone needed it. What I am not is the person who gets mad when my Advil runs out or when everyone else is too busy to help me move. It doesn’t help my headache.. and it won’t create a great environment for my new abode.
If someone else is there for you, GREAT! Appreciate that person and that moment. If someone else is struggling with their own world and can’t take a minute and put energy into yours.. respect that too. There are very few people out there who are trying to harm others… regardless of what the media portrays. There are very few people out there wishing you harm. Do other’s sometimes have so much garbage going on in their lives that they can’t always take the time to think about you… yes.. of course! But that doesn’t require a “Anyone can make time if it matters” because that’s just not true. Yes, people have priories… but people also have their own personal garbage. They have the, “I don’t have the money to go out” and the “my house is too messy to invite others over” and the all favorite… “I’ve put on too much weight for anyone to see me” these are things that go through everyone’s head.
Now of course there are those situations where someone is actually bad to you. The SO that cheats on you, or steals from you, or beats you… No, do not “put up with” this behavior.. but do not get “even” either. If they break the law, by all means call the police and let them deal with it. If they broke your heart, take the lesson and move on, but this is not an excuse to harass them, cheat on them, steal from them, or ruin their lives. That is not going to help your life. This is not going to make you feel better or help you move on to something that is good for you. This is not going to make you a better person.
I know that we, as human beings, can feel that jealousy and vengeance is the normal.. and it is.. but it’s not helpful or healthy. It just keeps us reliving those negative feelings and digging ourselves deeper into a hole we may never escape. So the next time you feel hurt or slighted, don’t react.. just act.. like the person that you want to be.