INTEGRITY MONTH: DAY 4: “Living with integrity means: Not settling for less than what you know you deserve in your relationships. Asking for what you want and need from others. Speaking your truth, even though it might create conflict or tension. Behaving in ways that are in harmony with your personal values. Making choices based on what you believe, and not what others believe.”― Barbara De Angelis
We can be such people-pleasers that we are unable to stand up for ourselves. Our culture has fostered the idea that someone, somewhere is going to do it. We become lifelong victims of others and can be quite lazy in learning to voice in appropriate ways our way of being treated.
Being willing to walk away from conflict and moving through it are two different things. Sitting in the midst of conflict and stating our position without getting ugly and mean is often challenging for us, but the only way to get through the challenge is to stand up for what we want and believe we deserve from others. Then, the tricky part is learning to walk away without ugliness if they are not willing to give it to us.
Very few of us learned how to negotiate a relationship. We don’t know that we CAN have these conversations with a new friend or lover before problems arise. That we CAN set boundaries and take care of our needs before we become too involved to back out gracefully. There are so many decisions to be made in relationship that we truly need to learn how to make decisions mindfully in conjunction with that person we are engaging with.
We are going to be given lots of opportunities to teach the world how to treat us. Others will do what they see as being acceptable treatment toward us. When we allow abuse and boundaries to be violated, they do not believe us when we talk about how angry and upset we are about that. We have to show others how to treat us, not tell them.
Every time I have to stand up for myself, I become a stronger advocate for what is acceptable or unacceptable behavior in my life. This has taken many years for me to recognize and understand. I get empowered and the other stuff stops coming to me. I enlist the energy of others to become not only stronger but more who I want to be, attracting those who respect and recognize my boundaries. Having others do that for me does not work, it only keeps me stuck in a victim space. It is my job to perform, and I am grateful for all of those who teach me by their behavior that I am not always bringing the best into my life. Teachers are everywhere! They gift me every day with this challenge!