A close friend of mine asked me why I tolerated the behavior of the person in question.
As usual, a few excuses passed through my mind: the other person was going through a rough time; I felt I should be there for them; they probably wouldn’t respond to how I was feeling anyway, so I should strive to be the “better person.”
I let these excuses wear on for over a decade, until one day I realized I needed to make a change.
There was no point in silently wishing this person would be better, or hoping they would eventually acknowledge I deserved the same respect and support I gave them.
After more than 10 years without change, I wondered what on earth I was expecting. Did I think this person would suddenly have an epiphany, maybe another 10 years later? Gently, slowly, I started to realize that I had to do something I had never done.
I decided to confront them about it, without aggression or anger. The next time they treated me in a way that I thought was unacceptable, I would say something. I would let them know that they were being unfair or unkind. I wouldn’t try to sugar coat it—I would just be honest about how I felt.
The moment came and I said what I needed to say. I was willing to accept that they may never agree with me or apologize, but I had to be true to myself. I had to say something, with no expectations—just a commitment to stand up for myself when it was necessary.
“Integrity is telling myself the truth. And honesty is telling the truth to other people.” ~Spencer Johnson