Have you ever had one of those moments where you experience a ‘break through’ or that feeling that you can actually feel how far you have come? I recently had one and I am not sure if I can correlate it with age, but whatever the reason, I am very happy that I had it. Throughout my twenties I would categorize myself as a people pleaser. I put others demands well before my own, let others treat me how they wanted and felt terrible after the fact. I knew it wasn’t right but at the time I didn’t know any other way. I thought that was how it was supposed to be. New York can be a tough place and it can be quite easy for this type of behavior to fester if you are not incredibly careful and stand your ground. Not coming from the big city, rather from Ohio by way of Vermont, I didn’t really understand how to act when I came across a big personality. I was taught to be respectful of people, but realized some people were not taught that same principle. They were poisonous. They say that ‘when you know better, you do better’, well, for many years I would consider myself oblivious. I encountered/worked with people that made me feel sublevel, I was disrespected and not treated fairly - the thing here is that I let it happen and I didn’t know any other way. My twenties were not the best time in my life in general, actually it felt like I was being pulled down in the thickest mud, unable to move or act when I should have done so. Over the years, I have read many books, gone to therapy to have a better understanding of myself and people around me.
As time went on, I realized these types of poisonous people and stayed as far away as possible, as if it was a PTSD reaction. Until recently, when I had a similar encounter, I felt a terrible feeling in my gut and refused to let it continue. Prior, I didn’t have the self-respect or courage to say ‘ no’. I worried, ‘oh, they won’t like me’, or ‘what if they spread false rumors about me’ or ‘blah, blah, blah’. I’ll be honest, I had trepidation about saying that simple word, but I am so happy I did. I realized how far I have come when thinking back to my old 20-something self probably would have not stood up to this person and let myself be bossed around and not treated correctly. Sorry not this time! We all deserve to be respected. If not, run away as fast as you can, because you deserve way better. xx
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