So many clients talk about worrying about what others think about them or what they did wrong to cause someone to treat them a certain way etc. But so often other people's behavior towards us has nothing to do with us but is about them. An example I use often is about passing a coworker in a hallway and them not acknowledging you. This can hurt and make us wonder what we did that damaged the relationship. But it is more likely that it had nothing to do with us but is a reflection of them being in their own head either about a work issue or their home life. I know I've done this, where I'm so focused I don't even realize there is another person present. It has nothing to do with the other person.
There is such a sense of freedom when we internalize this: "The way people treat you, is a statement about who they are as a human being. It is not a statement about you." And sometimes it is only a statement about who they are in that moment.
So often we take things personally that aren't at all...
I talked with someone today. She is considering breaking up with her boyfriend. She described her life as being bad for the past year and a half and she has been with this guy for that length of time. Towards the end of the conversation she stated that she has tried to break up with him before. I asked what happened and she said that he started calling her a slut, on Facebook, by text etc. We discussed the block feature that is available on Facebook and on many phone plans or sometimes it might be necessary to change ones number. She understood.
What struck me though was the the implication that what got them back together was him calling her a slut. This is a very red flag in my opinion, name calling. It could be the start of an abusive relationship, or it could just be substance use in that moment, so bad judgement. Regardless, no one deserves that.
Sometimes it seems like it is just easier to stay with someone or to go back, but if it isn't the right relationship, it won't likely ever...
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