I have a family member who loves to call me and gossip about people I don’t even know. Whenever I don’t answer the phone, because I am at work or busy with life, she leaves me these long nasty messages that sound like someone in an insane asylum. Most of the time, when I do speak with her, I let her go on her one-sided conversation. There have been times that I just want to say, “Hold please! Let me buckle up as we are about to get on the bipolar expressway.” I sit there with the phone glued to my ear listening to ramblings that create a sense of anxiety for me….until recently when I stopped all communication.
Let’s be f*cking honest here! If someone is not raising your vibes to a loving and healthy standard, they really don’t need to be entertained. You can, amicably, speak with them. You can be gracious in loving them from a distance, but by no means do you need to own their toxic energy because no matter how hard you try to break their cycle of negativity it isn’t going to happen. I am reminded that you have no say in what another person is thinking or feeling. They have to figure that out on their own.
We are so ingrained to HAVE to be part of everyone’s life when it comes to family. But, you don’t. You can sit with that person and truly entertain them to the best of your ability and they still will not see the goodness or the help you are providing. And, this isn’t about being acknowledged. This is merely about being respected for your worth. There will always be naysayers, victims, master manipulators and martyrs. Archetypes are there for a reason. We get to choose how we act and react to their stories.
In my case, with this particular family member, I had to just write a letter after her last voice mail (about me going to hell for not calling her back) that basically pinpointed that I would not tolerate the disrespect any longer. If she couldn’t be in my life with love and support then it was better that she wasn’t. End of conversation.
Sometimes we come across folks who need to be heard. I am great with that. Now, when the same conversation keeps coming up over and over and they want you to drop everything to listen, you have be honest with them and yourself. Insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result. I am not a saint and my patience gets in the way of being generous with my time when it isn’t reciprocated.
I have been in the middle of conversations when I have said something lighthearted and it has been offensive to another. I get told off. I have to step back and say, “Oh, okay! So this is where we are going with this. Yay. I am ready for the ride. Let’s get on the f*cking wagon of self-hatred, criticism and self-pity.” I have to be careful to keep my facial expressions in tact cause I might say nothing but my face has its own language.
You don’t have to partake in every argument, judgment, and decision another human has…even when they are your grown children, parents, siblings, family or friends. You don’t have to sit and agree. “No!” is a complete sentence. And, there are many other ways of deviating from the drama. The moment you get sucked into negativity and toxic forums you are dedicated to make a decision to stay or leave. You get to decide.
Many years ago I had a spiritual mother/friend who was in the hospital having hip surgery. I happened to call at a moment that a nurse was checking on her and they were getting her out of bed. The hospital phone rang and I believe the nurse thought she would pass it to my friend. Her response before even seeing who was on the line was, “Just because it rings, doesn’t mean you have to pick it up.” Until that very moment it never occurred to me in my 30’s that if the phone rang I could just ignore it; that if the doorbell rang I did not have to answer; or if someone expected me to do something that I could say “no!” I was programmed to be overly responsible and that moment taught me that you have a choice in everything. She didn’t even know it was me and made the nurse hang up. It was a lesson about what is important and what isn’t. You don’t have to answer every single piece of nonsense out there. You are not responsible for listening to bullshit that has nothing to do with you. And, even if it was about you, and you aren’t in accordance with the criticism, you can always thank that person and walk away, hang up or let them know that you are to be respected. Arrogance and intolerance are characteristics that when fed grow into monsters.
Start to put yourself first. Respect your time, space and energy. When you do this those folks have no way to get to you. You can act and react however you want. The bullies and narcissist will disappear when they know that they can’t manipulate you. You aren’t going to fix the world unless you put yourself on the highest level of self-respect. You are worth so much and if you can’t see it they can’t either.
We absorb our surroundings. We are constantly being bombarded with crap from others. It’s your choice to stop the madness. You get to decide what and how you participate in this world. Shift your perception and recognize that the lessons come from people who rub us the most intense way through feelings. Learn from them about what and who you are…but don’t own their shit. Forgive what you cannot change since you have a hard time letting go.
It’s not selfish to love yourself and demand respect. You are not anyone’s punching bag. You are required to stand and provide self-love. That’s compassionate. That’s kindness.
Sending love out to all!