Recently, I had to let go of some long time friends who ended up not being very good friends in the end. I thought these people would be friends for life…we knew each other for a long time and had a long history of friendship together.
But when it came down to it, I finally saw through the IDEA of friendship that I thought we had and realized that they do not accept me for who I am. The conditions they put on me to be their friend benefitted them, not me. This kind of blindness is common and starts when we are children. This is not to blame anyone else. But if you’re like me, you were told to be nice when you were little….even to people who didn’t treat you nicely back.
That might be the safe route to teach kids some manners, or else they’ll turn out to be monsters! But as an adult, you’ll keep getting hurt in the same way by people if you don’t break this pattern: You’ll let people who don’t “get” you walk all over you. Maybe it’ll be nasty coworkers or clients that try to undercut you in your work. Or someone that you want to be in a relationship with that doesn’t give you the time of day.
If you let the wrong people determine your happiness, that is not fair to you!
To stop the vicious cycle and protect yourself, remember this phrase:
LET PEOPLE LEARN THEIR OWN LESSONS
As harsh as that may sound, it’s not harsh at all. If someone is not treating you well – ignoring you, bullying you, or undervaluing you, they have blind spots and a lower level of awareness than you. In these types of moments, you are at a higher consciousness than theirs as they cannot see past their own frustration or pain and they end up taking it out on you instead. Their own blind spots prevent them to see your greatness, because they don’t see their own.
So instead of taking it personally, hold yourself to a higher standard. Know your value and validate yourself. Give them time and space to learn their own lessons, albeit the hard way, but in their own time. It’s not your job to fix other, even people you really care about or want attention from, unless they want to be fixed. This allows you to lead by example…by not getting sucked into their ignorance and standing up for yourself is the best way to show them how to stand up for themself too.
I went through a short grieving period after I lost those old friends, and that is ok too. It felt like someone had died, no joke. It’s ok to feel the result of your loss as that reminds you that you’re human. The point is to recover faster and get back up on your two feet again, and to keep believing that there are better people out there in the world for you.
I promise you there are, even if you don’t know who they are yet. If you are aware enough to feel pain, that means you are loved and capable of it so relish in this beautiful fact. Be grateful for the people who challenge you to look deeper inside yourself, for it’s you who walks away being the stronger person. That is a blessing worth being grateful for.