For those of you that know me, you’ll think of me as an extrovert. For those of you that really know me you’ll know I’m an extrovert with extreme introvert tendencies. And, for those of you that don’t know me…well now you do.
Recently, I was villainized (I know, not a word, but just roll with it) pretty seriously in the work environment. So terribly, in fact, I felt as if single-handedly my hard work, dedication, and character integrity were being called into question. As you can imagine, this felt professionally and personally quite devastating.
After the initial shock wore off, I found myself taking the particularly passive route. I didn’t confront the situation, I didn’t take any kind of action verbally — I kept quiet and kept at it. But, the thing is, the accusations that were handed to me were so serious, so manipulative, and so hurtful that I continued to stew.
Stewing is another super ineffective way to deal with an unpleasant situation. It involved silently seething day after day about something that was wrong and unjust but I never actually did anything about it. Sometimes it felt like the safer option, not to rock the boat, or revisit something that’s technically “already happened.”
But, why wouldn’t I? If I felt so strongly that an injustice had been done to my character, why in all the universe, wouldn’t I stand up for myself?
I’ve always prided myself on someone who calls people out on their shit. But, what I realized (slowly at and the ripe age of 31) is that I don’t nearly call enough people out when that “shit” involves me.
It’s easy to opt for the “easier” option, the one that doesn’t make waves, to keep your head down and just keep going. There are always a number of ways to cope with a challenge or something that feels unjust. Whether it’s aggression; passive aggression; aggressive passiveness; just straight passivity; or any combination thereof.
But here’s the thing–people will treat you exactly the way you allow them to. Caveat: some people are just bigger assholes than others but there’s no doubt that you absolutely have a say in any narrative that includes you as a main character.
It is important that we are mindful of what we are allowing others to say about us.
It is important that we are mindful of whether or not the situation is asking us for increased self-awareness or for us to stand up for our self.
It is important that we are mindful that betrayal should not be tolerated.
So be your most authentic self, lead with kindness, and most importantly lead with kindness for yourself. After all, she’s all you got.