Posts Tagged ‘advice self-esteem’

Whatever happens, don’t blame someone else, including yourself.

Blame is when you point your long or stubby little fingers at someone else and exclaim “They did THIS to me and it’s all their fault!” If you are REALLY good at blaming others, you’ll keep this attitude for the rest of your life and will turn into the worse person you can be.

That’s on you and you’ll get no sympathy from me.

God knows I’ve spent plenty of time blaming others for what they did to me. Including, but not limited to, cheating on me, betraying me, talking badly about me behind my back and firing me. OK, I still think the guy who fired me was and probably still is an asshole. Sorry, but I just can’t quite let that one go.

It was so stupid but what happened was not my fault! Honest, it wasn’t. I was hired by “He-who-shall-be-only-called-asshole” to answer phones in a tiny and dingy office while he worked at another job. He had started a business where he made these tile thingys that you would lay down on the floor and then insert the tiles to create something spectacular. I took the  job because I was desperate for money and was currently married to a guy that thought it was fine for his wife to work two jobs so he could stay home and write. Yeah, well I fell for that because I was very young and he was really good-looking. I’ll post another time about that.

So the office was in this industrial part of town and I was very isolated. The phone rang about two times a week, so after I spent the first hour of my new job cleaning the office, there was nothing left to do.

One day, some Neanderthal comes in to pick up his order. I go back into the warehouse to get it and he follows me. He starts making lewd comments about me and I suddenly realize I am in a very bad situation. As I reach up to grab a box, he slaps me on my ass. I freak out, yell at him and run back to the office. Fortunately, he left and I locked the door.

That afternoon when “The asshole” came in, I told him what happened. He looks at me and then tells me I deserved it!

I did what any young woman would do. I started crying and just then he tells me I’m fired. I tell him he can’t fire me because I quit. I grab my purse and make him pay me on the spot. I walk out the door in a huff and go to walk to my car but I had forgotten I didn’t have a car because the husband had it, so I walked around the corner and sat down and cried some more.

When the husband came to pick me up, I made the mistake of telling him what happened. He did a U-turn across four lanes of traffic because he wanted to go “talk” to “The asshole” but I somehow convinced him not to.

For a long time, I blamed this man for his insensitivity to me and what happened. I blamed him for me not making enough money and I blamed him for upsetting me and my husband and I blamed him when I couldn’t pay my rent the next week.

It was all his fault. All of it.

Granted, what he did was wrong, but blaming someone else isn’t the same thing.

When you blame someone, you are saying they are better, smarter, faster, prettier, etc. than you.

If you say so then it’s true.

What you say and/or think becomes real and true because…you said so, that’s why.

As long as you have that attitude, the other person will always be able to manipulate you but only because you let them.

Trust me, I’ve blamed lots of people for lots of things and it sure didn’t make me feel better about myself. In fact, it makes me feel pretty freaking bad and I don’t know about you, but I don’t like that feeling and I don’t like beating myself up for my many, many mistakes anymore than you do.

So let’s knock it off, shall we? Agreed? Agreed!

No human being has ever been wrong – ask anyone and they’ll tell you why their horrible actions were justified – so don’t ever think you’ll get anyone to admit it. You’ve never been wrong either in your mind.

We make decisions and if things don’t turn out like we had hoped, acknowledge the fact that you made a mistake and learn from it. We tend to only learn from our mistakes. I don’t know why that is, but it seems to be the case.

Don’t blame yourself or anyone for what has happened. It does no good and closes the door on your learning about yourself and life.

Instead, tell yourself you made a mistake and figure out what you can take away from it to have a better life and be a better person.

I admit there have been times when I wish I hadn’t talked the husband out of “talking to the asshole” but the actual problem wasn’t him. The actual problem was I was married to someone who didn’t work, didn’t want to work and if I had been truly honest with myself back then, I would have seen that and made better decisions.

But I didn’t. I justified it to the point that I took on another job that I didn’t understand but lied on my application. I sweet talked the guy into hiring me and I wasn’t honest with him that I had no idea what people were talking about when they phoned in. I am not a math girl, so I couldn’t handle the orders. Instead I told them “No problem,” wrote down what they said and then set it aside for when “The Asshole” came in.

I didn’t ask the guy to try to degrade me and scare me when he came in to pick-up his order. He was way out of line and as I look back on it, that could have been much worse. But the funny thing, I never blamed him. I just figured he was another pervert in this thing called life and I was fortunate that I got him out of there.

I never blamed him because I never held him responsible for my survival. But I sure as hell held my employer responsible for my life and I should have held myself responsible and not taken on a job that I didn’t understand. I should have held my husband responsible for making income but instead I justified it.

I did that and I can fix it. That’s what you say and that’s what you do.

So you’re not perfect.

Welcome to my world.

We have a saying in sales that I think comes from Zig Ziglar:

     “You don’t get the close you don’t ask for.”

These words are true, not only for sales, but for probably all areas in life. If you don’t know what you want, you are going to have a tough time getting it. If you don’t demand what you want, you’ll never get it.

I am not talking about demanding something in an offensive or rude way, but you should always be direct and clear in what you want and what you don’t want.

Are you demanding self-respect from yourself and others? If not, it ain’t ever gonna happen. Yes, I am using those words and style intentionally to make a point. When you demand something, you are insisting on it and it’s not negotiable. How you allow others to treat you is a direct reflection on how you look and feel about yourself.

I remember in High School how what other people felt and thought about me caused me to define myself. Personally, I think this is a very common trait and I would rather eat insects, raw, then go through High School again. It was not a good time for me and looking back, I don’t think it was a good time for anyone except for the perfect looking cheerleaders that pranced around the school in their cute uniforms.

Yes, I am a bit bitter because I was twice their size with the wrong color and style of hair and no matter how many hours I spent the night before, putting it up in curlers and using tons of gel on it, by the end of the day it was no longer straight and looked like I had stuck my finger in a light socket. But they looked perfect and had the perfect boyfriends and drove the best cars and were the fussiest Diva’s I had ever seen prior to that time.

Plus they didn’t have acne and braces and God I’m going to stop thinking about this right now…

No wonder I took up smoking and hung-out with all the other misfits. It’s a wonder I didn’t do drugs or start drinking but I was always terrified of my parents finding out. So instead I hung-out with the kids that did and hoped their “coolness” would rub off on me by osmosis.

But the funny thing was, as much as I might have been just a wee bit jealous of the cheerleaders and all my ex-friends that seemed to have moved onto better and more interesting people who were SO much better looking than me, what really bothered me was they got away with it. It never entered their little pin heads that anyone would say “No” to them and if anyone did, I never saw it.

Some of them were quite nice and pleasant to me as we had all grown up together in the same neighborhood but in High School, new and invisible lines were drawn and you didn’t know about them unless you accidentally crossed one. I have a tendency to ignore lines and don’t appreciate anyone telling me what my own space is.

But I watched these lines changed and I made new friends in other places and I watched as my old friends morphed into people who would no longer talk to me and I saw their attitudes shift as they became more and more popular and I found my own sense of myself get fuzzy. Soon I was someone who was trying to get other people to like me.

This had never happened to me before. This was new and I didn’t like it and yet I couldn’t stop it.

I felt I had been dropped onto another planet and I didn’t know the customs or how things worked or who it was OK to talk to and who wasn’t. Now I was with people I had only known a short time and some of them were nice and some were not.  Most of them did drugs and drank but I didn’t and the ones that did were  bothered by my abstinence and would push me to do it.

At first I tried to pretend that it didn’t bother me and the more I did that, the less I liked myself. There was no particular defining moment as this was a gradual deterioration over many months. I was more interested in getting people to like me than I was on liking myself. Things were changing so fast that I never knew what I thought from day-to-day, and yet I was the one person people would come talk to.

I am a great listener at least. So I listened and talked and tried to make friends and I allowed them to treat me any way that they wanted. I figured if I did that, then they would like me and that would make me a good person and I didn’t need to worry about all the friends I had lost as High School sucked our souls away from us.

It all came to a head one night when I went out with someone. From the moment I left my house with him, he began to talk down to me. I didn’t say anything because he was popular and I was lonely. The whole night was a nightmare as I kept my mouth shut and said nothing. His verbal attacks were very subtle. The disrespect he showed me wasn’t obvious at all, so it was a gradual feeling of despair and hatred towards myself that began early in the evening.

But it suddenly erupted and took me by surprise.

It was such a silly thing. He said he didn’t like the way I flicked my cigarette and tried to show me the correct way to do it. I don’t know, for some reason that was the straw. I grabbed my cigarette back from him, said something about what he could do with it and got out of the car and started walking home.

The fact that my house was 20 miles away didn’t enter my mind at the time. I was more angry with myself than him. He watched me walk down that road and I guess he realized he had been rude and he came and got me and drove me home.

I didn’t say a word all the way back to my house. I didn’t say a word when I opened the car door or when I slammed it shut. But as soon as that door was closed I told him to never talk to me again and right then I knew this has all happened because I had allowed it and accepted it. I let people treat me the way they wanted. I justified THEIR bad behavior, but I was just as guilty as them because I never drew my own line and made it clear of the consequences if they crossed it.

And what the hell? People had drawn their own lines to me, so I figured tit for tat.

How people treat you is on you. It’s not on anyone else. Sure, someone can blind side you. This can happen to anyone.

But how to deal with it shows them, and yourself, how you feel about you.

Someone says something rude to you? Don’t accept that it’s alright for someone to do that. Either walk away or deal with it, but push them back across that line.

Your date is looking at other women? Get up and walk out and don’t look back. (This also applies to men, so if the woman you’re out with is acting like trailer trash and you don’t like it, be a gentleman but don’t ask her out again.)

You’re in a business meeting and someone says something inappropriate to you? Let them know they were out of  line. I don’t care how you do it, but do it.

How you first deal with disrespect sets up the rest of the relationship.

If you don’t demand it, you’ll never get it.