I consider myself a kind person; I enjoy helping and providing services to people around me. Individuals always call me a gentle noblewoman and the one who always here to save them.
To keep the image of being the soft lady, I consistently felt guilty if I defend my opinions or if I say the harsh truth. I feel that this may hurt their feelings.
The other part of the discussion doesn’t give any care about how I feel if she yells at me, misunderstood my opinion, underestimate my work, or puts me down. Taking advantage of the privilege of being in a better position than me.
I have a particular story with a woman that made me rethink it. She always blames me, criticizes me, and takes me for granted. I never thought that this is toxic until one day I decided it’s enough, so I responded to her criticizes, tell her to stop yelling, and let her know her limits. I was only claiming for respect, the minimal part of communication’s ethics.
I felt delighted and satisfied; it was like an act of revenge for everyone how suffered from her act of verbal violence. But this was not the case! I felt guilty; I found excuses for her reactions, I should not be mad at her because she is maybe going through something rough, or has a lot of pressure in her personal life or at work.
This was maybe because I deal with people, the way I want people to treat me. So I expect forgiveness from the surroundings. This was exhausting. That feeling is so confusing. She supposed to feel bad, not me.
Experts affirm that there are two types of feelings of guilt:
The first one is healthy: it’s that feeling you have when you go something wrong to someone, and you accept you did something wrong and this will help you avoid this in the future, and you can take actions on this by apologizing, bringing gifts and being aware of your future operation.
You will end up moving on, you just gained a lesson.
I was dealing with the second one: the unhealthy guilt about something out of our beyond, I can’t fix it.
So I connected the dots, it’s not my fault if she is dealing with a stressful life that makes her put all that pressure and anger on me. I am not responsible for her mood swing! It’s an unsuitable excuse that she is not respecting my presence. I am not in charge of her sadness. If I could help, I will, but I will not tolerate any kind of disrespect.
The key point is we are sometimes victims of our own selves, we feel that unpleasant feeling that maybe it’s okay that we treat us with a careless attitude just because they have a certain power over us.
If you have high standards, you cannot accept this.
You can be friendly and cheerful, pretend that you did not notice that the person in front of you has a different tone of voice, once, but if it’s every time, and it’s being toxic, don’t feel guilty for responding.
You don’t have to yell, you can just respond to them with kindness, if they don’t catch the meaning, you can say it directly: you crossed the limit, stop it.
Now you know that the feeling of guilt is totally normal when you are dealing with this kind of situation, so always remember to never put yourself in a second position. Sometimes you must be direct and concrete about your standards and take care of yourself. Period.
Previously published on medium
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