Sunday, 24 March 2013

I Feel Betrayed

It's a horrible feeling when you trust people and they let you down, you hover somewhere between anger and despair, and wondering what on earth you did to deserve this kind of treatment.

You play a variety of sound tracks in your mind where you tell them exactly what you think of them, but may find it hard to voice your feelings especially if you're angry and don't feel able to express that anger in a positive way that doesn't make things a million times worse.  Especially if your protagonist uses temper as a shut-you-up device.

Or you may be dealing with someone who traditionally pays lip-service to everything you say and then carries on doing exactly as they've always done and you're not supposed to notice.  This leaves you hovering, again, between anger and complete disbelief that either they think you're so stupid you haven't noticed or they so completely disrespect you that they don't care whether you've noticed.

I hate these situations myself because I too find it difficult to react to behaviour that I don't understand that leaves me questioning myself, but I've learnt to trust myself and to know whether I have in some way contributed towards this or it's mainly all about them and their world view.

I also have considerable problems with hurting another person even if I don't like their behaviour, mainly because I don't expect anyone to conform to my world-view or always meet only my needs.  This is especially true when you consider the difference between what you think is happening and  the way someone else views the same thing, which can be even more different than chalk and cheese.

We've all been there and we've all had successes and failures.  Successful communication is, of course, no problem, but what about the times when a) you fail and b) you're left facing a person who really doesn't care for you or respect you sufficiently to stop hurting you?  Painful times.

Obviously you should walk away, but when that person is family or a colleague then even if you can minimise your time with them you may still find being in the same room as them almost unbearable and feel as if they're laughing at you all the time.  Not a pleasant feeling.

Self confidence is a difficult thing to achieve, but if you can get to the point that you like and respect yourself then the first thing you will notice is that the respect of others isn't so critical to you.  Yes of course you would prefer to be respected and liked, but if you can't achieve that happy situation then it won't wobble your view of yourself. 

If you find that someone doesn't treat you well the first question you should ask yourself is "how do I view them?"  Do you respect them?  Do you like them?  Is their behaviour always kind and acceptable towards others as well as towards you?  Are they good communicators willing to discuss and listen, or are they always right and everyone else in the world is an idiot who's missed the point?  You get my drift.

Because before you worry about someones attitude towards you, you need to work out your attitude towards them.  If you can base this not just on the treatment they dish out to you but the way they treat others as well you may identify that this is about who they are and not just who you are.

'Me' means that you are certain you didn't start or ask for this situation, 'not me' is when you review the other persons' behaviour and conclude that it's something to do with them and how they're feeling and not about you.

This is something that many parents don't teach, probably because they weren't taught it themselves.  That you are allowed to assess behaviour towards you before you come to the conclusion that  you are wrong.  In fact it's critical that you do this.

We are all wrong at times, sometimes completely so and other times it's easy to see where two different ways of thinking, world views, or emotional situations have unwittingly collided and created a mess.  The decent and honourable person will always be able to reflect on their role in a situation and discuss it with the other people involved.  

However, if it isn't all about you then you should expect a joint apology scenario.  If you always land up admitting your part in it only to be met with "well I hope you've learnt your lesson this time" or some such slap in the face, there is definitely something awry.

So the moral of the story is, you've tried to communicate, you've acknowledge and apologised when you are wrong and still you cannot repair this relationship.  So you will take the next step then and look at this person's treatment of everyone around them, not just you.  If you can conclude that they don't treat anyone very well and their treatment of you is in line with or similar to the way they treat others, then you are safe to decide that this person does not get to judge you and find you wanting.

If you must remain in the same setting as them then simply be quiet around them, engage in conversation as little as possible, and remember that only people you respect are allowed to rattle you. 

If they are a boss or a colleague don't get drawn into their games, speak your piece quietly and firmly and stop speaking when you've said what you need to say.  If necessary job hunt and leave.  This isn't a defeat, there is no commonsense in staying somewhere you are unhappy and in a situation you are unable to repair.

If they are family then you may have to see them, but "does anyone want a drink, I'm making them?" is a very good way to leave a room.  It is especially effective if you allow someone to be unkind, don't reply to them, let a little silence develop and then duck out to the toilet or to make that drink.  It leaves their behaviour as the last thing that happens in the room and you haven't even had to say a word.

Think about these things, be aware that you are not always wrong, that you must take a considered viewpoint of the behaviour of others before you apportion blame to yourself, and that you are allowed to feel that you don't respect or like someones behaviour.  It is OK.  

We can't get on with everyone all the time, and there are some people you can't get on with ever, but a realist knows that they will not base their personal opinion of themselves on the viewpoint of someone they do not like or respect.  And you are allowed to feel that.

Wishing you happy days, peaceful nights, and buckets of self-realism.


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