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Sunday, March 12, 2017

Less Blame, More Respect

Hey All!  Once again, the weather is messing with us, running hot and cold.

We live in a world with people who just aren't perfect.  They make mistakes, they don't think things through, they insult (sometimes with every intention of doing so), and sometimes they just give us reasons to dislike them.

Although it doesn't always seem like it, they are still human.  Flesh and blood, heart and soul, faces and names.  We don't have to pretend to like them when we don't, and it's wrong to pretend that they're our friends when they aren't.  We also don't have to turn a blind eye to our boundaries when they are violated.  But hating them is not the answer either.

There are times we have to be honest with them about why what they do is not acceptable to us.  And those times are limited.  There is no need to turn a statement into a rant or a lecture.  Not only would it be an in-your-face attack against them that might not be warranted, but spending more time than necessary disparaging them (a) doesn't change them; and (b) makes us worse.

As one of my influences, Dr. Isaiah Hankel, has said, it doesn't do us any good to pursue a confession from others.  Chances are better than likely that (a) the other folks already know what they did wrong, and don't feel the need to fall on their sword over it; or (b) they think they've done absolutely nothing wrong, and don't owe you anything.  All we're ever going to get out of these folks is (i) a half-assed confession; (ii) an excuse; or (iii) a counter-attack because it's just as easy for them to judge us as it is for us to judge them.  We don't need a confession if we already know what they did, and we don't have to argue for them to find themselves in the wrong if we already think they are.

Instead, it is better for us to simply understand that they either have reasons for what they do, or they're simply misinformed, and simply leave them as they are.  No, that does not mean we give them license to abuse us.  And no, that does not mean that we should give them unlimited free passes without taking actions necessary to protect ourselves.  What it does mean is that it's not our job to forever point fingers at them, demonizing them as undesirables and hating them as untouchables.  It simply doesn't help us to continue doing that.  There is far more strength of character to take only actions that are necessary, without demanding that they become more like us, and without any malice or hatred involved.

If we can remain unflappable around them, without letting them get under or skin, and without allowing them to tempt us into hating, judging, or demonizing them, we win.  Plain and simple.