The things that come to you in the wee hours of the morning. In my case, it was just after midnight today when I started thinking about some things that only started to make sense at this point in my life. Clearly I’m writing this because I’m in a sharing frame of mind, so work with me.
First things first – you should never have to feel like you’re chasing someone’s attention or begging for them to engage you. Sometimes that happens. We’re hyper for the ideal or the thought of what someone else can bring or what we want them to give us or what we want to give them and some people will exploit that to the fullest and leave you feeling foolish.
Next, you definitely should know when you’re definitely involved in a one-way conversation/friendship. If you’re always initiating, if you’re the one who has to stretch to keep a conversation going – cut your losses. It’s really not worth the aggravation and the stress of trying to convince somebody to rock with you/be interested in you.
This should’ve been first, but it’s surely the most obvious – you can’t make people change and you can’t make people like you. The latter I’m struggling with to this day – it’s difficult to think, but a necessary fact to keep in mind – you’re not for everybody and everybody is not for you. There’s nothing wrong with that. If everybody liked the next person, unpopular thought or not, this world would be kinda dull. One of my mom’s many favorite sayings is “People are in your life for a reason or a season.” It’s up to you to decide which is which.
At the same time, someone may not like you, but you still should command a level of respect so they can’t make you miserable with petty words and actions.
Also, be aware of people who exploit emotions and feelings. I’ve been “befriended” by people during down times only to have them throw my problems and issues back in my face when things turned sour. You’ll often find these people also are proponents of the backhand tactic known as “tough love.” If you find someone is always referencing your troubles as a way to motivate you or reasoning for your rough patches – nope. You don’t have to deal with that or them.
Lastly but certainly not least – you owe it yourself to be your biggest supporter. Paul Brown, the coach of the boys basketball team when I was in high school once told me, “The most dependable hands are the ones at the end of your wrists.” Didn’t get it as a kid, but it definitely do now – it’s always nice to have people in your corner, but you have to be in your own corner to even think about moving up/on or accomplishing anything you wish to do.
It should be easy to feel good enough about yourself that you don’t just take anything from anybody. It’s not – I know that and live it daily. You find yourself so hungry for acceptance from any and everyone else, you forget to accept yourself and everything else will fall into place from there.
So in short, to combat the stressful exercise of dealing with people – spend time with you – find out what’s great about you, find out what you can improve on and work little by little to feel good about you. Once you feel good about you, the fact that people can be spiteful, manipulative users won’t even bother you and that will make room for the people who genuinely care and want to be around you.