Tuesday, April 23, 2013

What You Deserve

The way that we treat one another is the result of a combination of factors. In just one relationship there are two people who interpret things differently and will base their actions on how they view the relationship, the significance of the relationship, their histories, and how they feel about themselves. With all of those variables it's no wonder we often misinterpret the actions of others and misunderstand ourselves.

When someone we care for hurts us it leaves an impression. We want to determine if the hurt was intentional or not. We want to know if it will happen again. We also want to know what we did to cause the hurtful word or action. While it's healthy to engage in self-reflection, far too many of us internalize how we're treated in detrimental ways.

A friend of mine recently sent me a gift and I thought it was sweet and considerate of her. Not once did I assume that she took the time to mail me a gift because of a quality I possessed. She sent me a gift because she's considerate. Logical thought process, right? Ironically, when those we care for treat us in a way that is less than desirable, we interpret that situation differently. We don't consider the combination of factors that influence a relationship and we fail to connect the hurt with the other person. Instead, we flirt with notions of self-destructive feedback. How s/he treated me is a reflection on me. If I was mistreated it's because I deserve it. While self-reflection is beneficial, internalizing negativity is dangerous because we make connections with those who justify our perceptions. We seek out relationships that confirm what we think deserve.

Consider your circle. With whom do you spend the majority of your time? How do you feel when they're around? If you have a healthy and responsible sense of self then the people with whom you spend the majority of your time provide you with both affirmations and space to grow. They celebrate your victories yet encourage progress. If your circle is not affirming or encouraging or does not provide you with space to grow then it's time to think about the areas of your life that you seek validation. What you think you deserve is reflected in your relationship choices because you surround yourself with those who validate your impressions. What does your circle reveal concerning what you think you deserve and how you feel about yourself?

No comments:

Post a Comment