3 months ago · lizzie · 0 comments
It’s interesting to note that one of the by-products of being a nice person and wanting relationships to work – is accepting less than you are worth just to either keep the peace, or to try to avoid the possibility of someone leaving you.
Women are the most likely candidates for this behaviour. Many women get drawn into the media hype surrounding age and babies and end up believing they have to meet someone before it’s too late. Others interpret failed relationships as a reflection of being unworthy or unloveable. In both instances, when such women meet a potential partner, they put up with much more than they normally would, out of fear the relationship might end.
All relationships need compromise, however this type of compromise refers to behaviours such as accepting friends and family you may not get along with, accepting hobbies and passions you may not find interesting and giving up things you love during times when a partner needs support. These compromises are very different to compromising on being treated with respect (eg accepting your partner regularly ignoring you, or not considering your feelings and needs) or compromising on trust (eg accepting your partner having an emotional affair, or accepting your partners hot & cold feelings towards you based on daily moods).
At the heart of every relationship there must be a strong foundation. Therefore, at the beginning of any new relationship you must be clear about your values and speak up when behaviours make you feel uncomfortable.
I can recall being 16 years of age dating my first real boyfriend who turned out to be a very bad mistake on my behalf – we live and learn. Every time he would come to pick me up from home in his car, he would just beep the horn outside and expect me to run outside. One day, I thought to myself that I was not comfortable with this disrespectful behaviour. So, I waited and waited. Instead of walking up to the door, he drove off. When he arrived home he called me and was furious when I told him I wasn’t going to be treated like that any more. Well, he soon learnt and began to knock on the door to greet me and never again honked the horn outside. Whilst this relationship didn’t work out, I gained huge respect for myself and I learnt how to stand up for myself without fear of consequence.
In all relationships, we must inform others of how we want to be treated. For instance, telling a friend you are not comfortable with her cancelling plans at the last minute regularly, or telling a child you don’t appreciate being spoken to in an aggressive/sharp tone. These boundaries should not be compromised. When you allow yourself to cross that line you never feel good about it, regardless of how well you try to convince yourself there is an excuse or reason behind certain behaviours.
The key ingredient necessary here is self respect. When you respect and value yourself, you feel confident enough to trust that you will always have people who love you in your life. Thus, if others will only be with you if you devalue yourself, you can walk away with confidence.
We all want to be loved and cared for, but at what cost? By all means give of yourself to care for others, but never compromise on respect and trust. You deserve more.
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