Growing up watching Bollywood films I always wondered how that one miserable friend of the character in the lead role would have always felt who was not only mocked and bullied by the hero, heroine, and all of their friends in a typical movie depicting college life of youngsters, but also sacrifices his life so that hero and heroine could be untied forever and escape the deadly villains in the climax scene of the movie.
In spite of being most loyal and most caring to the extent that he happily dies for his friend, he was always mistreated and made fun of by his friend. I always wondered if this nice guy was a loser or the hero was a bitch, or this how life is, that is the nice people are meant to have a miserable life and over smart manipulating people deserve true happiness.
While growing up, I silently observed people around me including me, my own friends, relatives, neighbors, associates, colleagues, and celebrities, and everyone I could think of.
Here is my observation of why nobody respects you!
Well! The origin of love and respect for yourself is from you only. Your friends or other people watch you and take note of "your worth" that you display in your behavior, attitude, and words. Then they bargain subtly and give you little less than what you expect.
So, if you believe that you should always be present for everyone including those who never have time or respect for you, or you think that it's your responsibility to please everyone around you at the cost of your happiness, peace, career, health, respect and overall value of life then it's you my dear who is consciously or unconsciously responsible for this.
Why is it happening?
Everyone gets tired, bored, hurt including you. If you are always willing to serve someone even when you are extremely tired then you somehow either believe that you don't deserve to take a rest or are not allowed to have it. If in spite of getting hurt with someone you never display your true emotions then you somehow either believe that you don't deserve to feel and express the hurtful emotions or forbidden to have them.
In some extreme cases, we need to hide emotions to look sober but we must never ignore what we feel for someone or something.
Our body always signals us when it is too much. Our gut feelings indicate to us what or who is right or wrong. We are equipped with a system that tells us how much is too much and when we need to stop or say "no" in advance.
Those who live a life controlled by someone, become habitual of living a life that pleases others, and then gradually unconsciously we start letting everyone control us.
This is a very common issue with adults who grew up in dysfunctional families. Adult children coming from dysfunctional families either learn the controlling behavior from their parents or become submissive to their controlling behavior for life, letting everyone control them, whoever comes in their life.
How to fix it?
Here are 18 ways to fix
- Remind yourself every day that you are an extremely kind and lovable person who deserves all the love in this world and you don't need a second person to validate this truth.
- Learn to identify your and other's boundaries.
- Accept yourself the way you are. Appreciate the positive things about you and accept the negative things with grace.
- Talk positively to yourself.
- Have your back. Take your side when you are having an argument with your critic in your head.
- Practice meditation and mindfulness to enhance your emotional competence which is the key to self-acceptance.
- Keep your distance from people who obviously manipulated and use you.
- Listen to your body. Take rest and proper sleep. Always remember that a relaxed body and mind will do everything better than an exhausted one.
- Practice saying "No" when you feel like it.
- Practice saying "yes" to things you always felt like but dreaded to do so.
- If you accidentally say "yes" or "no" to something you were not sure about and then, later on, you regret it, be kind to yourself. Don't be a harsh critic of yourself. Remember that you are allowed to make mistakes like everyone else.
- Stop over-explaining yourself. Practice the shortest possible replies in your head to the questions people around you may ask you when you say "no" to something.
- Talk very briefly with people who invalidate your feelings and experiences. And talk less frequently.
- Before you laugh at someone's joke, pause and think, are you really amused or actually hurt but just trying to hide your true emotions just to please them or to avoid hurting them?
- Gradually start to unfriending those who are abusive, manipulative, or simply make you highly uncomfortable with their presence.
- Have some "me time " every day. Think about the things you worry about and the possible solutions to them. Thank God for all the great things that happened to you that day.
- Express gratitude and love towards those who have been in your life for a long and really liked you. Try to spend more time with these people. Wish them on special occasions. But take care of boundaries in a relationship with them also. As you learn to identify such people will start making new friends.
- Seek therapy for any mental health issues you have.
Keep practicing the above things and observe the changes in your life. Appreciate yourself for every positive change you make in this journey. If ever you feel like you rebounded to your old self, be kind to yourself. Appreciate that at least you are trying and avoid the harsh judgment of yourself.
Keep going and one day you will master the art of self-love and self-respect and then you will be surrounded by people who truly love and respect you.
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