Tuesday, March 15, 2016
Giving Up is Not Always a Bad Thing
Here we go with another "deep thoughts" post. ;) I had a conversation with someone who was troubled by the hurtful behavior of another. They were trying to work with them to "change" their behavior. Now, past behavior, coupled with the same current behavior, frequently is a good indicator of future behavior, though not always. To be clear, we are talking about adults here, not children. ;)
This hurtful person has a pattern of behavior of blaming everyone else for their unhappiness and failures in life and lying about other people in order to "justify and validate" their bad behavior. This has been an ongoing issue for most of this person's life. I and others feel it stems from jealousy and feelings of inadequacy along with a feeling of entitlement. They want what they want, they don't want to share, they want to be the center of attention at all times, and they will try to eliminate anyone from their lives, in any way they can, that sees them for who they really are. They are also very good at using guilt to manipulate those around them.
Anyway, the person I was having the conversation with was feeling guilty (yes, they were being manipulated by the troubled person) because they felt it was somehow their fault that the troubled one was acting out and being so mean and hurtful to others, myself included. So this is what I told them...
I have come to a point where I have decided that if someone wants me in their life, that is great. If they don't, that is their decision. I want to do what is best for myself and my family and to live a happy life. There is nothing I can do to change the behavior of someone else. I can only be the best "me" possible. They may say they are "changing" but their behavior indicates otherwise and I will not be drawn into that game anymore. I hope one day the person in question will come to realize that they need to make a huge change in their own lives to be happy, because they truly are not and it affects those around them. I want them to be happy, I want that for everyone, regardless of how they have treated me in the past or treat me now. Truly happy people treat others with kindness. I want this for them...I really do.
I have given up on trying to change the situation due to this person's behavior because honestly, there is no way you can change something if that someone does not want it to change. Therefore, the situation remains the same until you decide to remove yourself from it the best you can. Sometimes you have to just give up because that is the best thing you can do for you. It does not mean that you have failed, it means that you have finally come to realize that you are not responsible for trying to change another person's behavior or the situation that they have created and that you value yourself enough to not allow yourself to be manipulated anymore.
I told the person who came to me that I hoped that they too would come to realize this and would just do what is right for them. They are responsible for their own lives, not everyone else's and they need to do what makes them happy and what is right for them. Life is too short to keep worrying about and trying to change a situation or the person who refuses to change their own behavior.