A few days ago, I bumped into an old colleague of mine. We used to work together a few years ago until one day I made a decision to just quit. Out of the blue. The whole work environment was too toxic and exhausting for me. Not to mention the fact that our boss couldn’t care less about our human rights and needs. So, I left. It seemed like the most reasonable decision at the time. And it definitely was…
But she stayed.
Long story short, we started talking about work, you know the usual, boring talk about how’s life going blab la bla, and after a few minutes, she teared up… I asked her if anything had changed ever since I left that place, and her response was that it only changed for the worse… And then I asked her the most uncomfortable question…
Why are you still there? Why don’t you just quit?
Her answer surprised me. She didn’t want to leave that place no matter how bad her boss treated her. She said she’s up to her neck in debt and marriage problems and quitting work right now would be even more devastating to her, especially financially- wise.
And while I really tried to understand her, this whole conversation stuck with me and really made me think.
Why do we let people disrespect us? Why do we give them control over our lives?
Do we really think so little of us that we let others humiliate us and get away with it?
I never really understood this. As human beings, we should all demand respect. In my opinion, respecting others and being respected should be our primary virtues in life. And yet, they’re not.
We live life thinking that the more chances we give to other people, the more life will eventually reward us for being kind and forgiving. And so we put up with bullsh*t. We put up with disrespect. We accept things that make us feel disgusting, uncomfortable and sometimes even afraid. We tell ourselves that these rough patches are going to pass. But pretty soon, all of this becomes our life. And pretty soon, we get used to that as well. A life of misery, self-hate, and quiet desperation.
Well, here’s the thing.
There’s a fine line between being a kind, forgiving person who knows what self-care means and a kind, forgiving person who lives a victim mentality.
So, if you are someone who gives a lot, but gets nothing in return, I urge you to stop wasting your efforts on people who don’t appreciate them. You, my friend, matter. You matter more than you think. You are more than the idea of you that other people have created. You deserve to be respected. You deserve to be appreciated. You deserve to be seen. You deserve to be heard. You deserve more than you know.
I tried telling all of this to my friend the other day, but the response was not what I expected…
That’s why I am here talking to you. Stop. For the love of God, just stop accepting less than you give and become aware of your own worth. You are an amazing human being who is capable of more than you can imagine. Quit letting people disrespect you and show them what happens when they do that. Be brave enough to be exactly who you are. Stand up for yourself and let the world know that you will no longer tolerate disrespect. Focus on yourself for a change. Stop satisfying yourself with the crumbs and do something about your life.
Be aware of your worth, my friend and never let anyone disrespect you.