It has taken four decades, but at last I have
finally accepted the fact that not all people are going to adhere to the
idea of treating others in the way they would want to be treated. The “Golden Rule” isn’t something everyone
subscribes to, which is unfortunate in my opinion, but alas is still a sad fact of life. Let me say upfront,
I am just a guilty as anyone of behaving like an asshat from time to time, but I
am also capable of recognizing when I have been an asshat. Not everyone can do that, nor do they even
care to. I find myself at times very
disheartened with the way people have become so narcissistic and self-centered
There is a fine line between being self-confident
and narcissistic. It’s always a positive
thing for people to love themselves for who they are, for their achievements,
for being in a great place in life, or just for being alive. But self-confidence becomes narcissism when
people have to constantly have attention, or to constantly remind everyone of
how “awesome” they are. (And yes, I have been an asshat
and behaved in narcissistic ways many times; I’m not an exception.) But there are people who never realize how
much time they spend trying to convince others, including themselves, of how
great they are. To me, having to
constantly remind everyone else of how great one is actually reflects the opposite of self-confidence; it reflects
I think one of the most positive ways to bring
about confidence in oneself is to lift the spirits of others when
possible. It can be as simple as giving
someone an honest compliment, a
smile, or a hug. Also, it is always a
win-win situation when we take the time to listen to a friend in need, without
having to in return vent our own needs.
That can be so difficult to do sometimes! But you’d be surprised how just listening,
without interfering can work wonders within someone who’s having a hard
time. Not only does it make the friend
feel a lot better, it makes oneself feel good knowing we’ve contributed to
lifting another’s spirit. Truly
listening to others is an art, and as with any kind of art, being good at it
takes consistent practice.
Treating others the way we would want to be
treated is an art form as well. It’s too
easy when we’re feeling particularly emotional to allow ourselves to behave
badly. And I speak from personal
experience. When I write blogs like
this, do not misconstrue that I am speaking from a soap box of
superiority! I know my flaws better than
anyone else, believe me; and I own them.
I’m simply presenting food for thought and discussion. One thing about me, is that I can’t help but “keep
it real” with regards to my feelings and emotions. Whatever I’m feeling in the moment, God and
everyone else is going to know it! There
are three things I suck at: 1. Lying, 2.
Putting on a good poker face, and 3. Faking the way I’m really feeling. Some people can remain cool as a cucumber on
the outside, yet be raging mad on the inside.
I could never do that. Plus, I
wonder if that is always a good way to be.
I mean, is suppressing emotions healthy in the long run?
I think it’s about taking negative emotions and
using them in a positive way, as opposed to doubling the negativity by responding
with an equally negative action. Again,
that’s often difficult to do. When
someone hurts us, it’s often an immediate desire to lash out at that person to
inflict an equally hurtful feeling inside of him/her. But all that does is stack negative on top of
negative. It takes a lot of self-control
to respond to negative emotions in a positive way. Again, it’s something which takes
Now I’d like to move on the “Golden Rule” as it
applies to intimate relationships.
Everyone who knows me knows that I’m single and have not ever taken the
plunge into the whole marriage/kid thing.
At the age of 42, I am a rarity, at least in these parts, because there
just aren’t many of us. I could list any
number of reasons why I’m still single at 42, but that’s not the point. Throughout my life, the only couples I’ve
ever known who’ve married, had children, and stayed together until death do us
part, are elderly couples, those within my grandparents generation. Call me jaded, but from my viewpoint, nothing
lasts forever. I haven’t been involved
in a serious relationship in a good while, but have had the privilege of living
vicariously through others. (lol) I
cannot count the times I’ve heard this statement come from the mouths of both
male and female friends in the dating scene, “he/she was just too nice.” That kind of statement crawls all through me
when I hear it. Unless someone is
behaving like a church mouse, what exactly constitutes “too nice?” Is being
polite and courteous too nice? Is
treating one with respect and dignity too nice?
Is doing nice, sweet things to show someone you care too nice? Well, then go date an asshat!!! See how far you get with that! Geez, wake up! An intimate relationship is supposed to feel
good, not bad; therefore I don’t understand that “he/she’s too nice” crap.
You see, I used to participate in stating the very
line that repulses me so severely now. “He’s
too nice!” When I was a really young
woman in my early 20s, I think being an asshat was one of the strict
requirements of any guy desiring to date me.
I remember a guy back in those days who was super nice, very
responsible, polite, well-dressed, good-looking, and clean-cut. I mean, he was the guy your mama hoped you’d
bring home. This guy was smitten with
me. And me, being a silly, immature, asshat
liker, I was having none of that. Not
only would I not have anything to do with him, I sometimes treated him like
crap, just because I could. The 42 year
old me can look back and see how I probably passed up what might have been a
healthy relationship for me in favor of dating the “bad boy” asshats. There you go, that’s one of the reasons I’m
single at 42! I simply refused to make
healthy choices. This is why I warn all
the young women, and guys for that matter, that I know not to dismiss the “nice”
ones. You will never be the one to
change a “bad” boy or girl. Change is
something only the person living the life can make.
But alas, I have digressed. I believe in all relationships, whatever the
level, if we take the time to regard the feelings of others before we speak
and/or act, we could avoid unhealthy communications altogether. Again, it’s easier said than done, and I am
just as guilty as anyone of not thinking first before speaking/acting. I believe that by living one’s life according
to the principle of the “Golden Rule” we eliminate narcissism by default. I feel that practicing this principle in our
daily lives is the key to maintaining healthy relationships and self-esteem,
peace of mind, and a happy heart.