Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Don't Tread On Me…And I Won't Tread On You

            Like a lot of women, I often have a problem with people taking advantage of my kindness, generosity and caring, even with my ability to get things done fast. That seems the case with so many of my female friends, and hey, I’m not just saying it’s the OTHER gender that takes advantage...because women take advantage of other women, too. Even their friends and family. It happens to everyone at some time.

            So I thought about why this is the case. Why do so many people think it’s perfectly OK to behave like this, and are these people even aware they are doing it? My conclusion is, they don’t know. They are not aware. Perhaps it’s how they were raised, to believe they were entitled to others doing everything for them. Perhaps they are just lazy and arrogant and believe they shouldn’t HAVE to work hard when there are others around to do it for them.

            But perhaps...just perhaps...taking advantage of another person masks a very deep-seated fear of inadequacy and insecurity in one’s own abilities to do things, to be successful, to go for it. Hey, if someone else can go for it FOR you, why bother? But if you want to become a strong, self-sufficient person with a solid identity and the ability to pursue your own life vision and make your dreams and goals come true...you cannot do it through another person. Because in the end, it will be THERE vision that manifested, their hard work that is rewarded, their goals that are achieved, and once again you will be able to tell yourself you could have done it all if

a)    you had more time
b)   you had more money
c)    you had more energy
d)   you were older, younger, prettier, hotter, sexier...
e)    yadda yadda yadda

            I’ve taken advantage of others, yep. I admit it. We all do. It’s a human thang, you know? But I’ve had to really ask myself lately WHY. Was it because I wasn’t aware I was doing it? Hell no, the twist in my gut told me I was doing something wrong. Was it because I couldn’t do for myself what I thought the other person could do for me? Hell yes, because I let me own fears and self-doubts constantly sabotage any efforts to do it myself (so hard to admit!). Was it because I was lazy? Oh, maybe sometimes, sure. Was it because I was scared shitless to try it on my own because...

          Hell to the yes. And when I got real and admitted that truth, I realized that other people could never make my life better, or make my dreams come true, or solve my problems for me. I also realized that people take advantage of me because I allow them to. And by putting up new boundaries and standing up for myself and realizing I am worth being respected and cared about, I hope it doesn't happen much anymore. I hope I never take advantage of anyone else either. I will do my best to try to avoid being at the giving end as well as the receiving end.

          Do unto others comes to mind.