Tag Archives: honesty

Respecting yourself – don’t betray your own ideals for others

Respect is one of the very important ingredients you need to create the “cake” called happiness. However,do not make the mistake to think that it is other people who need to add THEIR respect to YOUR cake. You are the baker, you are responsible for what that cake looks like.

When I was younger (as in a kid and teenager) I often just adjusted my own needs to what other people wanted. I thought this way I would become more popular, more loved, more respected, and that people then would want to spend more time with me. I only achieved that I was “tolerated” (I now also know I was looking for the attention of the wrong people, but that is a story for another time, maybe). I also achieved that I was very unhappy with myself because I often put my own well-being, my own needs, my own values into a cupboard. I hid my passions, my true opinions, and in return did not really get along with myself very well. I was disrespecting myself – just because I wanted other people to like me. It took me a while to learn that this is not how it works.

How can you expect other people to respect you if you don’t respect yourself first?

I learned that you need to respect yourself first. After all, if other people feel that you don’t have any respect for yourself, why should they respect you in return? If you feel unhappy in your skin, if you don’t get along with yourself, if you don’t like yourself – why should others? What reason would they have to like the true you if you are hiding your true self behind high, solid fortress walls?

Don’t get me wrong: There will always be people who won’t like you. There will always be people who in general do not show much respect towards anybody. There will always be people with whom you won’t get along. But those are the people you should not waste your energy on. Don’t try to people please them by bending backwards and forwards to make them believe you agree with them. Don’t pretend you like something that you truly couldn’t care about less, or even have a real aversion against it.

Never betray your own ideals to make someone like you

I admit, in the past I was guilty of this. I thought something along the lines of “If I said something really witty, that person will surely like me.” or “If I tell them that I agree with that, then I will avoid an argument and they’ll accept me as part of their group.” I also spent more time in situations that I would simply walk away from these days. I would play down my own beliefs if my words caused some negativity in others. I would try to justify my ideas b playing them down. This was disrespectful towards myself, towards the things I like, and towards the people I loved (even though those people were “only” writers, actors or singers). Don’t do that. If people cannot accept what you believe and love, then they are not suitable for your life. You need to have enough respect for yourself to walk away from situations and people that make you feel uncomfortable and under pressure to turn into an actor or actress. In the long run, those people will only make you feel used and unloved. Having to hide behind a mask is never a good thing for your long-term happiness. And while people might not know that you are not being yourself, they will subconsciously feel that there is something not quite right – which will be a reason for them to respect you even less than they might already do.

Integrity and honesty are very important when you want to find the right kind of friends for yourself.

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Filed under General, Morning hours

The things we do not say

A quote

I am currently reading a wonderful book called “There is no Fear (Children of the Knight Vol. 3)” by Michael Bowler. I just came across a line that inspired me to write this post. It goes like this:

“Sometimes saying the things we’ve not been saying […] was the hardest thing in the world to do.”

The quote is a thought from Lance, the main character, who thinks about his feelings for his best friend. Feelings that he hardly ever puts into words, partially because he has problems with accepting them, and is afraid of what would happen if he spoke those words.

The things we do not say – and why we do not say them

The things people do not say to each other play an important part in the series “Children of the Knight”. Another quote is

“It’s the things we don’t say to each other that make all the difference.”

I know the meaning behind those quotes only too well. I also know the inner conflict that comes with feelings that are left unspoken, feelings that you enjoy but that you do not want to show because you are afraid of being pushed away, of being misunderstood, of being rejected, of being ignored or even ridiculed for your honesty. It takes a lot of courage to tell someone the truth about your feelings, be they positive or negative, esp. if you don’t know what the other person feels for you. Sometimes we simply cannot find that courage, maybe because we have been hurt too much before when we were honest. The reason why we stay silent can be manifold.

Wanting to say something positive

In the case of feeling very positive towards a person (it doesn’t have to be the romantic type of love), you sometimes just would love to tell that person. For some reason you just feel so very positive about someone, you are filled with happiness and your soul is full of light.

When you know that the other person already is your friend, or a close family member, then it’s usually not much of a problem. But when you have just met someone a while ago, and you are not sure whether the other person would be interested in staying in touch with you, or even becoming a new friend, then it all is a bit different. The options are that you either communicate your feelings and face either rejection, acceptance, or being ignored (the worst case in my opinion), or that you say nothing at all and lose the contact to that person anyway. Of course, in the latter case you could hope that the other person would take the first step – but this might very likely not happen, maybe because he or she has the same problem like you, or because they simply do not like you. In any case, you would not find out. The chance would be lost.

But what happens if you are courageous enough to take the first step, and to make your feelings known (even if not the full extent)? You can either get a positive response, a negative response, or you might get no response at all. Being honest is the only option you have if you want to have a chance at something positive. However, for some of us the risk of the other two options is just too much to bear.

Should we just give up on saying the things that are important to us?

It might be easier just to be the passive party in all of our relationships. The problem would then be that you might miss out on some of the best friends you could find in life – just because both of you were too afraid to say what you both wanted to say. Even if it’s just something like “Wow, I would like to talk about that a bit more, could we stay in touch somehow?” A simple question like that will give you the chance to find out whether the other party is interested in staying in touch, too. They might be, they might be not. They might also be lying about wanting to stay in touch. You simply can’t predict what will happen. Even if there have been many negative experiences in the past, you should not give up.

I know….

I know how hard it is to be honest about your feelings. I know what it is like to be really interested in someone (for a variety of reasons). I know how vulnerable you feel when you open up to someone, and how scary it can be. I recently have made two rather disappointing experiences – and that only after I found the courage to actually be honest in a long time. For a while I believed I would never tell anyone I liked them before I wasn’t sure they felt the same. I didn’t want to ask anyone to be my friend because I was (and still am) terrified of rejection and being made fun of.

Yet, in the last six weeks, I told two people who were very important in my life, what they mean to me (one of them I told everything, the other one I only tried to establish some sort of contact after we met). I asked one of them whether I could become her apprentice because during the time I volunteered for her company, I learned so much, and gained so much insight into my own life. I would have loved to learn more, and gain proper knowledge in that job. I thanked her for everything she did, and told her that she was an incredible human being. I know that she has had a hard time recently, but even before that time, she did not respond. By now she likes some of my Facebook posts, and asked me to write a reference for her. But she never replied to my question. I was gutted about that.

So when I met someone who really fascinated me, I tried to keep my interest under control. I did not want to talk much to him, I did not want to know much about him. The first time I met him, I kept my distance. The second time we met, we talked more and I couldn’t keep it from myself that I would love to know more, that he was the kind of person I would love to have as a friend. For a while, I told myself there was no point in asking him to keep in touch. He’d be too busy, too popular, would not be interested anyway. But then I also reminded myself that I would never know unless I tried. I dared to communicate. When he left this place, I gave him my email address. Unfortunately, he never got in touch.

So my success rate isn’t that high. I tell myself to assume nothing. They might have reasons that have nothing to do with me at all. But it is easy for me to fall into the thought that they do not reply because they think I’m a boring person they would not like to have around / stay in touch with. It’s easy for me to beat myself up verbally, to believe that I’m simply not worth it. This is something I need to work on. I guess it’s something many people need to work on. At least I can tell myself I did my part. I was honest. And receiving no answer is also an answer.

Your experiences

What are your experiences with unspoken feelings and thoughts? Do you prefer to be honest at all times, or do you keep a lot to yourself even if it’s something quite positive?

 

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Filed under When there is nobody to talk to