Why do we allow people to be a part of our lives that don’t value us?
We allow them into our homes, our hearts, and our circles, even after they have proved again and again that they don’t really care about us.
We even impart trust to them. We allow ourselves to depend on them, and then we are hurt when they let us down. We even feel disappointed that we believed in someone who didn’t deserve our faith.
Let me give some examples:
Example 1. The person who treats you like crap but makes you feel a little bit loved so you keep seeing him/her:
Remember the opening scene from Bridesmaids, where Kristen Wiig is sleeping with the mega-jerk and she’s pretending to enjoy herself, even though it’s an awkward, horrible mess?
She is settling for an AWFUL guy who doesn’t value her at all because she’s desperately sad/ lonely, looking for scraps of affection, even if she has to be treated like crap to get them.
Kristen: “You’re so sexy”
Awful guy: “I know…. I really want you to leave.”
(See it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g2iWVWVSb6Q)
Example 2. The friend who treats you like crap but you hang out anyway:
Let’s use Regina George from the movie Mean Girls for this example. Why do The Plastics let Regina George (the meanest friend in the world) treat them like trash and make them feel awful, while at the same time still desperately seeking her approval and attention?
(See it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0PpEoKHlO0)
Example 3. The friend/partner who you are constantly giving to and who never gives anything in return:
This person only calls when they are trying to get something from you. They make you feel like they care about you JUST long enough to get what they want, and the moment you need them, they’re gone.
There are so many examples, but I think you get the overarching theme here:
We often settle for toxic people and relationships, and stay in those toxic relationships even though it hurts our soul and we have a thousand reasons to get out.
Think of the High School girl who keeps dating jerks but has a best friend that’s wildly in love with her and treats her like a Queen. Movie reference: Just Friends (one of my favorite movies).
Why does she keep settling for awful boyfriends when she has someone wonderful right in front of her?
Why are we so often only attracted to the people that treat us like shit?
The thing that would be good for us is right there, but we choose the toxic, painful route, and then wonder why we end up broken hearted.
We don’t actually feel
that we deserve
We don’t actually believe that there is someone out there who would treat us the way we should be treated.
We don’t actually believe that we are strong enough to stand alone.
Lies I’ve believed in order to keep toxic, soul-sucking people in my life:
1. They need me
2. It’s not “loving” to cut people off
3. Setting boundaries feels too much like conflict.
4. Every friendship/relationship has issues like this
5. They would do the same for me
6. They did something nice for me once so that must mean that they value me
7. This is how it is for everyone, and better relationships don’t really exist
8. It is moral, and a part of my faith to love people, even if they treat me like shit.
Things we know are true:
1. Friends should be support systems in our lives and make us feel stronger and more proud of who we are, not sometimes, but all the time.
2. Good relationships have a 95%-5% ratio of laughing to fighting. And NO, constant fighting or verbal/emotional/physical abuse isn’t “passion,” it’s unhealthy and bad for your soul.
3. Giving should be mutual. It’s not “loving” someone to constantly drain yourself taking care of someone just for a tiny bit of validation or because you like to feel needed, or even because you feel like you’re doing the “right thing.”
What we also know is true but have a really hard time accepting:
1. We deserve to be happy.
2. We deserve a fulfilling life with fulfilling relationships.
3. It’s okay and GOOD to want the best for yourself and not to settle for anything less.
This idea is kind of revolutionary if you think about it:
We live in a world that constantly tells us all the ways that we are not enough.
Not good enough,
Not pretty enough,
Not smart enough,
Not rich enough,
Not talented enough,
Not big or small enough,
Even some of our religions push this idea that we are not deserving because we are small, sinful never-good-enough messes who are lucky God doesn’t just crush us under his giant thumb.
But what if they’re wrong?
You deserve to be happy.
You are enough.
You have a divine spark in you that deserves the very best.
What if you and I took that truth to heart, and really believed it?
We may have to end some relationships and set some boundaries with some Reginas and bad booty calls, but we will end up making space for people that feed us instead of drain us.
It’s scary and it might be lonely and risky, but every time I’ve done it, it’s been worth it.
You and I deserve to be happy, and we can be happy.
We just have to believe it.
What do you think?
Love and blessings,