It is really disappointing to realize that people are lying to you. Especially people that you care for deeply. But when it comes to lies, the times that I have found to be the most disappointing are when I have had to come to accept the fact that I was lying to myself.
When we lie to ourselves we are betraying and being disloyal to ourselves.
I have been guilty of this on more than one occasion.
I have allowed myself to believe people’s words despite their actions clearly being the polar opposite.
When I reflect back on it, I believe these times occurred when I had allowed myself to become overinvested in relationships or situations or when I was seeking external validation.
I didn’t want to start over, I didn’t want all of my efforts to be a loss. So even though huge red flags were smacking me in the face, I would continue to try to stick things out and wait and see if things would improve. This led to me holding on to relationships far longer than what was healthy.
Many times when the truth revealed itself that the people I was interacting with did not have my best interest at heart I would feel angry, cheated, violated, heart broken and enraged.
I would think:
How could they use me like that?
Why would they take advantage of me?
I was so kind to them!
Why didn’t they treat me better?
Those are some of the thoughts that ran through my mind after someone betrayed me.
But here is the thing I didn’t really want to do – I didn’t want to own up to my part and think:
What was going on in me that I could allow them to use me like that?
Why did I allow them to take advantage of me?
I was so unkind to myself!
Why didn’t I treat myself better?
Now don’t get me wrong I recognize that they played their part and I am not excusing their behavior.
However, anytime we ignore the signs, when we deny our gut instincts, the counsel of our friends and family who love us, red flags, and the handwriting on the wall, there is no reason to act surprised when Boo Boo the Fool betrays us.
People who say one thing and do another really are not truly deceiving anyone.
They are showing you as hard as they can that they really do not care about you.
Sometimes we choose to believe the lie they tell us over the truth they show us because it is convenient.
There are moments when it seems more difficult to deal with the hard truth than it does a beautiful lie.
I know I would rather slip into a nice pair of one size fits all elastic stretch pants than to try to do the work of losing weight so that I can fit into a pair of jeans the next size down.
Simply because it is faster and easier to slide the stretch pants on than it is to exercise and eat right. But in the end my health is sacrificed in a way possibly resulting in long term health risks as opposed to living a healthier life by making better choices.
In our minds we think that removing ourselves from toxic relationships means that we must go from having just crumbs to having nothing at all.
Sadly, we tolerate people who mistreat us all in the name of being able to say someone is our friend.
Alternatively, we accept neglect or abuse in the name of having the ability to say we have a spouse or significant other.
We may be lonely and want someone to hang around with, talk to or hold us.
Many of us have the misconstrued idea that eating a crumb from the floor like a dog is the best that we can do.
But I want to make one thing clear – It is better to sit in a corner alone than it is to eat a crumb off the floor!
Because the truth is when it comes to love, care, trust and respect you never have to go without.
Become aware of the fact that those are all things that you can give to yourself.
So why on earth would you eat their crumb when you could bake yourself a whole loaf?!
And the thing is when you treat yourself well, you will not be able to tolerate being around those who try to offer you a lower standard of treatment than what you give yourself.
Furthermore, you will start to attract people into your life who are true friends and significant others who actually value you.
Believe me, I have been there, done that and I even own the T-Shirt!
I have allowed people to mistreat me and I would give them way more chances than they deserved.
Sadly sometimes because I didn’t think I deserved better, and other times because I had given and sacrificed so much of myself that I just wanted it to be worth it.
But like Nina Simone said “you’ve got to learn to leave the table when love is no longer being served”.
I know for myself, I have been guilty of thinking ‘I know what they did was bad, but maybe if I give them another chance they won’t mistreat me again.’
But I have learned that isn’t the way the people who mistreat you think.
They think something more along the lines of ‘well things are back on my terms and I get to continue doing whatever I want and they will just put up with anything.’ Maybe they aren’t sinister and calculating with their thinking but their actions will definitely go along the line of mistreating you yet again.
Listen I am all for second chances, but there comes a time when a person needs to get that second chance to be a better friend, business partner, employee/employer or romantic partner with someone else.
People treat you how you allow them to treat you.
And so sometimes that means you can’t allow them to treat you at all.
There are some people out there who just simply misbehave in the lives of the people they interact with.
It is not your job to try to understand these people or to teach these people how to love you!
As a matter of fact the best thing you can do for them is show them the consequence of mistreating you is losing you!
Perhaps it will help them to learn that type of behavior is unacceptable. Nevertheless, whether they learn anything or not it isn’t your problem, because that is for them to work out.
Instead, it is your job to love yourself enough to not actively allow these people to have an open season pass into your life!
Believe me when I say do not allow people to come into your life and run amuck, because they will just run all over you.
How can you lay down and let someone walk all over you and then wonder why they treat you like a doormat?
You are basically laying there on the floor with a welcome sign asking to be walked all over! So of course they wipe their soiled shoes all over you and keep on going.
When you stay around for round 2, 3 and yes sadly for some us round 100+ why are you surprised that the treatment only gets worse?
The person loses respect for you with each round you allow them to mistreat you.
And sadly when we are in this frame of mind we sit there hoping that maybe one day they might see our worth.
Clearly we don’t see it ourselves because if we did we would get our behinds up off the floor!
And the truth of the matter is that for many of these people they do see your worth, they are just hoping you never do.
They are trying to bring you down to the place they see themselves at.
If you are willing to give someone everything for nothing, don’t be surprised when people take it for that price!
Begging someone to treat you better is a pitiful state to be in.
Trust me. they heard you the first time, however, they have made up their mind that the only treatment they will be handing out in your direction is mistreatment.
You have got to stop breaking your necks for people who don’t really care about you.
Understand that there are people in this world that don’t care about you, they only care about what you can do for them.
And those people are not your friends!
It is not your job to wait around for them to recognize your value!
Any time you do that you are expecting someone else to validate you.
At some point you are going to have to learn that you have to validate yourself. Seeking external validation will only lead to disappointment.
You have to do the work of recognizing your own worth and value, no one else can do that for you!
Realize that mental, emotional, verbal, sexual, and/or physical abuse is never okay!
Gather the strength to walk away from anyone who doesn’t treat you with love and respect.
I know that when we have deep and gaping emotional wounds it is often hard to summon the strength to leave toxic relationships, but I pray you realize that you more than anyone else in your life deserves your own love. And when we love ourselves 100% not only will we not abuse ourselves we won’t tolerate anyone who does.
We often find ourselves in toxic relationship after toxic relationship because we haven’t done the necessary work of healing our past wounds and loving ourselves.
So we find ourselves with people who treat us in a way that is familiar to us, and sadly for many of us being loved is not familiar.
You cannot change people, we have a hard enough time changing ourselves.
But we can leave people who leave us feeling empty inside.
Forgive yourself for allowing someone to mistreat you, forgive them for hurting you and let it go.
Don’t worry about seeking revenge on them.
Because losing someone who actually loved and cared about them is probably one of the greatest lessons life can deal them.
Let it go, let them go and start investing in yourself.
Recognize your value and stop settling for less than you deserve.
Become your own best friend and don’t allow anyone to treat you like a backyard dog.
Please love yourself enough to realize you deserve to eat a full course meal, even if it means becoming your own chef!
© Renata Pittman, Renata Smith 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.