When working in customer service I was taught if a customer is upset about the service they received I should apologize. It didn’t matter if they were right or not, I should apologize so that the customer would be more inclined to come back.
I have been highly commended on my customer service skills. But somewhere along the way I forgot to take off my customer service hat when it came to my personal life.
All to often I found myself apologizing for things that were not my fault. I was so good at internalizing everything that I reached a point where it was as if I was apologizing for my very existence.
I have also been guilty of telling people their inappropriate behavior is “okay”, but that’s a lie – It is not okay for people to misbehave in my life.
When things go wrong, I have a tendency to beat myself up wondering how I could make things better. I am my biggest critic. While it is good that I analyze my actions and try to become a better person there is a fallacy in my self-analysis.
You see, during my analysis I was so self-absorbed that I had failed to draw a line of demarcation between my personal responsibility and the responsibility of others.
I blamed myself for things that were out of my control. When people mistreated me, I would think that it was because there was something wrong with me.
Everything was about I, I, I, me, me, me, my, my, my.
“I wonder what I did to make them mistreat me it really hurts my feelings”
“I wonder why they don’t notice me don’t they recognize my positive attributes.”
“I wish they were more grateful of me and all my hard work.”
I had to learn the world doesn’t revolve around Renata. It really isn’t all about me. Sometimes others are so into themselves or simply distracted by the busyness of life that I am not even a blimp on their radar.
I had to learn that there really are times when the behaviors of other people has nothing to do with me.
My line of thinking that I was the cause of people’s behavior was egotistical. The world doesn’t revolve around me.
I am starting to think more along these lines:
“They are hurtful towards me, I recognize I did not do anything to them, I need to take steps to remove myself from this negative interaction.”
“They have chosen to engage in other activities that do not include me, I will not take it personal, I will do things that make me happy by myself or with people who care to be apart of my world”
“They have not acknowledged what I have done. I don’t have to give to people who leave me feeling empty. I can give to people who believe in reciprocity.”
The difference is I now make them responsible for their part and I make me responsible for mine.
There are times when I elicit negative behaviors in others by provoking them and I am quick to own up to that. When I am wrong I need to apologize. However, there really are some people who act mean to everyone they encounter. They mistreat people, they disrespect people and they are negative. You can’t apologize for who you are and expect them to become a better person. This isn’t customer service you don’t need people like that to come back.
I take full responsibility for who I am, but I have made a conscious decision to stop taking ownership of the behavior of others.
If someone chooses to be rude, manipulative, hurtful and deceitful that is a reflection of the person that they are and how I act is a reflection of me.
I will take responsibility for staying in relationships well beyond their expiration date; I will take responsibility for allowing someone to treat me like a backyard dog; I will not take responsibility for who they are.
People treat me how I allow them to. I used to think this meant I had to change my behavior so that they would in turn treat me better. I now recognize that when someone mistreats me I have a choice, I can continue to interact with them or I can pack up my big girl toys and leave.
I am getting better at packing up my big girl toys. I still have found myself guilty of staying in relationships far longer than I should, but the more I love myself and recognize the greatness I am the harder it is for me to tolerate people who treat me inappropriately.
I used to think that people didn’t recognize my value. That isn’t it at all. They saw my worth from a mile a way. However, as long as I didn’t and as long as I was willing to go above and beyond for bargain basement prices they were happy to cash in. You can’t get mad at someone for treating you like glass when you really are diamond if you sit there and essentially tell them it is okay for them to treat you as such.
If someone mistreats you they are responsible for their behavior, but if you stay and sit under their abuse you need to take ownership of the fact that you stayed. Don’t tolerate relationships with people who leave you feeling disrespected. To stay with someone who disrepected you is to disrepect yourself.
NEVER disrespect yourself! It is an open invitation for others to do the same.
I am big on personal responsibility. I honestly believe we hinder our growth when we fail to take personal responsibility for our actions. However, you do not need to feel guilty for how others choose to act.
I have chosen to make a concerted effort to stop engaging in apologizing about things to such a high degree that I start to apologize for the person who I am, especially all while letting others off Scot free for their ill behavior.
It is okay to tell people when they have wronged you. As a matter of fact it helps them to become aware of the person they are. There are some people who really do think it is okay to mistreat people and they feel justified in their actions.
If they choose not to adjust their behavior do both of you a favor and remove yourself from the situation. Help yourself by removing yourself from the negativity and help them by allowing them to reap the results of being negative.
The harvest of sowing mistreatment is that you become left not having anyone around to treat at all. When all you care about is yourself you will find yourself, by yourself.
Yes, I have flaws
Yes, I do things wrong but I cannot control other people, therefore I will no longer sit and ponder what is it about me that makes people feel the need to mistreat me.
Rather, I have decided to love myself enough to stop beating myself up. I am all for admitting my mistakes, seeking forgiveness and trying to make things right. However, I am also for forgiving myself, loving myself and treating myself right.
Don’t apologize to appease others. Don’t apologize for the behavior others exhibit. Don’t apologize for your existence and start to recognize the greatness that you are.
© Renata Pittman and RenataNicole, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Renata Pittman and RenataNicole with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.