I have been told no less than a million times (seriously) how I am the queen of being appropriate. I enjoy doing right by people, making things right between folk (yeah – folk) aka reconciliation and generally trying to do the right thing. I have a spirit of service and “helps” as the church folk like to say and you know, when I’m operating at full speed with all of this, it makes me feel like I am right on target and doing what I’m supposed to do.
But, sometimes, Sweet Baby Jesus, I fall short. Lord knows I have been falling short as of lately. I have been telling people about themselves. Failing miserably at being all extra sweet and honorable. And I feel bad about it. Well, confession time – I feel bad about it at first!!! And then I realize it’s perfectly acceptable. Mostly because they had it coming. Then I don’t feel bad about it. Because I’m flawed. I am human (with the exception of my mutant powers). I don’t feel bad about it because there are times when you need to set boundaries. I wished I had done this in my twenties. Things might be different. However, I maintain I am right where I need to be, in the exact place that leads me to those key destination points in life.
I’m also writing this because, increasingly, I’m seeing that my people who are always sweet, kind, giving and just generally happy-go-lucky are being tried in many forms – including myself. The not-so-nice side has been rearing its head and they (I) feel bad about it. I’m really just now arriving where I recognize this is ok. It’s fine to push back. We can’t live by this all the time, but we should be able to be open and honest with people.
I haven’t apologized for telling people off recently. However, in most of these situations, again, said party had it coming. They needed to hear what I had to say. They had been crossing boundaries and gettin’ a lil too jiggy with their entitlements. I’m not feeling sorry for them. Mostly I’m feeling for myself because I allowed them to:
- Get me to this point
- Take me there
- Run all over me to the point where I had to set them straight
- Didn’t set the appropriate boundaries or standards for treatment in the first place
For all my Hunnies, the ones who are sweet without comparison, doesn’t it get like that sometimes? We’re human. We cut up and act crazy too. Sometimes we just fall short. Not an excuse. A fact. Many of us are also push overs. There, I said it. It’s out in the open and well, everyone knows it now. We’re soft at heart and we’re always trying to do right by people. When do we realize they’re not always trying to do right by us? Usually after they have take too many liberties at our expense and then we just go off.
First, don’t change. You’re created to be who you are. It took me a long time to come to this realization. I refuse to be anyone less than who I was created to be. I am supposed to be Rae, the open-hearted, sweet, giving and nurturing creature that I am. At the same time, this means also being able to stand up for myself. Everyone who shows up doesn’t mean right by you. The sooner we can discern this, the better our lives will be. We will learn who to help and how far we’re supposed to travel in helping them. It means that sometimes you’re only meant to give some crazy (enter choice descriptive inappropriate word) a smile and keep it pushing. Others, they might be able to get a sandwich out of you and a hello and that’s it. Seriously…if you figure out these boundaries and how thoroughly people should be involved in your life and how far you should delve into theirs, life will be much higher quality.
I have worked so hard over the years to be able to handle situations appropriately – with tact and couth. During this time, I’ve become too permissive of other people’s bad behavior towards me. I stopped defending myself against villains and the mayhem and fuckery all in the name of being “appropriate” and sweet. I normally just forgive, peace out, then forgive again if needed and well – everyone is happy – but me. There comes a point when you need to push back, stand up, defend yourself and speak a few choice words to someone.
No more mayhem – definitely time to set boundaries. Set standards for treatment.
Sometimes people really are asking for it and there’s nothing else you can do but to give it to them.
By no means am I condoning being hateful or mean or acting like a bully. I don’t believe in that kind of behavior. I abhor it. I will fight that sort of evil foolishness 24/7. However, when someone ends up being hateful, mean and acting like a bully there are some ways you can handle the person:
- Ignore them and act like you didn’t hear anything or see anything (“Silence is often misunderstood but never misquoted”)
- You can choose to nicely tell the person how you feel – this may at times involve a heated discussion.
- You can let it build up (you know where they continue to do dumb shat and you don’t say anything or have chosen to have a few ‘talks’ with them) and then cuss them out.
- Leave said party the hell alone if they keep “taking you there.”
I recommend trying to resolve it with steps 1 and 2 and if not, just skip to step 3. Some people just take you to step 3 from the break. Those people automatically get moved to step 4 for me.
Step 4 is a last resort because frankly we can’t “break-up” with everyone so to speak. There comes a point in time when you just have to set people straight. It’s all about learning to communicate. You can’t run, you can’t break off the relationship – especially when it’s family, close friends or a business partner. We have to get better at choosing relationships and who we involve ourselves with and then learning to discern which ones we’re supposed to quit and which ones we will fight for and with.
I think I had to come to the realization that I’m not always going to be all sugar and cotton candy and rainbows and unicorns AND that it’s OK. No one is. However, I am still a lady and will conduct myself as such at all times. Oxymoron? Yup – but I’m still a lady.
The only thing that matters is how God sees me and whether or not I believe what He says I am. The next is do my idea and His idea match? Do others see it? I pray they do and can.
And well, in the end, when I’m not all sweet, I remind myself I am “more than a conqueror” – even on those bad days when my attitude is less than stellar. You are too.