When you are hurt, it’s easy to hurt others because you are too focused on yourself to notice what you are doing to the people around you.
Heal yourself. It’s not only good for you, it’s good for the people around you.
For me, I always like to put other people ahead of myself, and this is a consistent problem for me because it means I don’t take good care of myself. When I don’t take good care of myself I become unhealthy physically, mentally, and emotionally, and this causes me to be unperceptive and unresponsive, which is not pleasant for those around me. So if you are like me and you like to prioritize other people, realize now together with me that in order to treat others well, you must be healthy. So you must take care of yourself first in order to achieve your goal of helping others.
Healing yourself and taking care of yourself should be the #1 priority, always.
I want to be understood, so I try to build genuine authentic relationships based on the full truth of my life. Doing so has gotten me deeply hurt because I opened myself up. I’ve learned to be selective with who I share my full truth with, and I advise you do the same.
After many years, I’ve learned some people consistently respond nicely, some people respond based on the mood they are in, and some people always respond rudely. Some people can be trusted with the information, and some people will use that information to hurt you with it.
To protect yourself, don’t share your inner most stories with people who don’t deserve to hear it. When I tell it to the wrong person and they invalidate me and criticize and attack me and take the other side, it hurts me deeply and causes me much mental and emotional anguish which I can avoid by not telling them the story. Keep track of how they have responded in the past and if they consistently hurt you, do not reach out to them again.
Choosing the right person to open up to is especially important in a time of need. Don’t set yourself up for failure and pain by trusting the wrong person at the wrong time. Learn to protect yourself and keep your story to yourself. Accept the world as it is and act accordingly.
I used to want to believe that the world was a safe place. I used to want to believe that people were good. I used to want to believe that I could make the world a good and safe place by acting as if it was. I realize now that is living in denial and causing me self-harm. The facts and data show the world is not safe and there are people who are not good, so to ignore this is to live in denial. Living in denial, opening up myself to people who are hurtful to me just harms myself, and self harm is not good.
In conclusion: be selective in who you open up to. Find the good people over time and hold onto them.
Do you want healthy relationships? Having perspective will allow you to understand and get along and communicate effectively with the people around you.
Understanding perspective means you understand two people can look at the same thing and see different things. If there is a wall and one of you is shorter than the wall and the other is taller than the wall, then one of you can see past the wall and the other only sees the wall. The wall is the same, the facts are the same, but what each of you sees is different. That is perspective.
Getting along with other people’s perspective means when your shorter friend says they only see the wall, you validate their perspective by saying you hear and understand they only see the wall. If you want to not get along, then you can say “I see more than the wall, something is wrong with you if you only see the wall” or “I don’t understand why you say you only see the wall.” If you want to get along with other people, you need to acknowledge their perspectives when it is different than yours.
Communicating Effectively means describing and including their perspective in your message. For example, if you are tall enough to step over the wall but your shorter friend is not, then telling your shorter friend to step over the wall is communicating ineffectively because your short friend will not be able to achieve your request. Instead, you should say “since there is a wall that you can’t step over, go to the left and through the doorway” and provide instructions from the other person’s perspective.
The next time you give an instruction and someone else fails to achieve it, consider whether you understand that person’s perspective well enough to be giving the right instructions.
Here is a youtube video to illustrate the power of perspective: a mother was upset at her daughter because her daughter had cut her own hair into a mess, and her mother thought the daughter was causing trouble and needed to be disciplined. However, Mr. Rogers helped the mother realize that the daughter had tried to cut her own hair to look like her mother’s. The same facts: the daughter cut the hair and made a mess. Different perspective: causing trouble or demonstrating love.