Marjorie is going through hard times and like me, is unemployed after being laid off. Although her skill set is impressive, Marjorie has still been unable to find a job. Most of the time she pastes a smile on her face and does the “Fake it until it becomes real” thing. We’ve all done that too. You know how it’s done…
- “How are you?” they ask.
“Fine!” you respond even though the tire on your car just blew to shreds on the Interstate, your dog died, the house caught on fire and your husband left with another woman.
Yes, you are indeed fine that’s for sure! (rolling my eyes)
Anyway, Marjorie tries hard to remain upbeat. She reads inspirational books, attends motivational seminars, volunteers, networks with other people in her area, and just keeps plugging away at life. At times she feels like giving up, but she can’t really give up. How does one give up on life?
So she was talking to someone who suddenly turned the conversation into, “I want to know every little detail of your life so I can throw it back into your face” session. Well, that’s what Marjorie believed because that’s the way it has always been in the past. Then the other person made the statement that should have forewarned Marjorie that no matter what she said, she would still be doing something wrong.
“I don’t want to ask, I want you to share, that’s what people do,” the person told her.
Marjorie thought to herself, “You forgot the end of the sentence which should have been…when there is a bond of trust.”
If you haven’t built a strong bond of trust because it is a new relationship or if there is a history between you where you feel unsafe emotionally because the other person tends to pick you apart no matter what you say or do, then the first thing that pops in your mind is not to bear your whole soul to the person.
Against the little voice in her head that said, “This conversation is going to end badly and your feelings are going to get hurt,” Marjorie decided to open up and express her pain, hurt and fear. Then she waited for words of encouragement and/or compassion. There were no positive words for Marjorie just an onslaught of how she should have done this or done that better. Obviously Marjorie should have been more perfect. How dare her be human!
A few hours after that conversation, Marjorie wiped her tear stained face, dabbed cold water on her eyes and reached out again. After expressing her fear, unhappiness and hopelessness, instead of hearing a comforting word, she heard more criticism directed at the wrongness of the way she felt and was told, “Then keep suffering.”
Marjorie was definitely not having a good day, so she reached out one more time via text messaging to yet another person. The third time is usually the charm, she thought. So after bearing her soul through puffy, teary eyes, she pushes SEND and waits and waits and waits. The other person says nothing. Maybe the text didn’t go through, so Marjorie texts, “I reached out because I needed you.”
To which she receives a response that said, “I just don’t know what to really say back to you.”
Apparently the other person wasn’t even going to acknowledge that Marjorie said anything to her at all. She had decided to just ignore Marjorie.
Three times Marjorie tried to reach out to people and have her needs met and three times she was greeted with either anger, aggravation, or ignored completely. It may be hard to listen to someone who is falling apart, but it is hard for the person falling apart to trust you with their tender soul.
Over the years people have said to me, “If you need me, call.” Like Marjorie, I have often experienced the same kind of reception to my unpleasant sharing opportunities. It makes me think about the Golden Rule or ethic of reciprocity which is that you should treat others as you would like others to treat you. This basically is the same as a verse found in the Bible.
And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.
19 Truths About People And Life
The older I get, the more I realize that there are a few basic truths about people and life:
- No matter how good you are or how hard you try, you will never be good enough to someone who just wants to tear you apart.
- Most people do not live the Golden Rule because they are selfish.
- People are more than eager to have you be there for their needs, but when you need them, they find an excuse to forgo any self-sacrifice be it time, energy, money or talents.
- People love the double standard as long as you are the one that has to adhere to the rules.
- Arrogance is alive and well in the human race.
- Out of sight, out of mind.
- Just because you do the right thing doesn’t mean that good things are going to happen for you.
- Depression, sadness, pain and loneliness have such a negative effect that you often react to things out of character.
- Some people are givers and some people are takers.
- People who just want you to “Get over it” are invalidating your feelings.
- There’s a right and a wrong way to help someone.
- Being ignorant or naive is not bliss.
- If you’re doing the absolute best that you can, no matter what anyone tells you or expects, you won’t be able to deliver. After all, you are only human.
- Expecting someone to be there for you when you fall to pieces is the difference between an acquaintance and a love relationship.
- Actions speak louder than words.
- Doing the right thing and being there for someone when they need you is not always convenient. Actually, most of the time, it is an interruption to your regular routine and can even put you in a very vulnerable position.
- Sometimes people are so consumed with their own lives and problems that they are incapable of helping you. Other people just don’t care.
- Most people will think the worst about you no matter what you do.
- Initially trust is freely given, but after that trust is betrayed, in order to restore trust you must earn it. Earning it is not a passive activity. It requires action.
Many times I have said that if mankind would start all decisions and actions with the basic emotion of love for each other, the world would be a happier place.
Unfortunately, I do not have great wisdom for Marjorie. She can’t change other people and as much as she wants them to be there for her, they obviously choose not to be emotionally available for her or are incapable. There is one place I can always turn and I not only am accepted just the way I am without judgment of any kind, but I’m always offered love and comfort from someone I can see and feel.
Thank you Bella, my sweet dog.