The great thing about stories is that there are usually things you learn from them. So folks, let me summarize a story from my life that reached a conclusion over this past weekend.
This is the story of Kelvey standing up for herself even though choosing to be a doormat would have caused less conflict:
- I was asked to commit to something by a couple of people I considered friends, and so I accepted.
- The expectations for the commitment quickly grew until I could not possibly live up to them and maintain my responsibilities in the rest of my life. This was explained to both people, and I offered solutions.
- Instead of working with me to create a solution, I was screamed at, and was told that I was a horrible, awful person. I quickly shut the verbal abuse down and set up conversation with those involved.
- Even after explaining how horrified I was at such behavior and it being considered okay, there was no apology or remorse from the people involved.
- I explained that I would still carry out the commitment if asked, but that I had lost respect for both parties, and that my excitement and support for my role was gone. I was still asked to continue.
- When the time of the event rolled around, I came under fire. I was expected to lie, pretend like the horrible behavior had never occurred, and do exactly what the involved parties wanted me to do. I decided that I would not be a doormat, even though standing my ground in my choices would cause conflict.
- I explained this to the involved parties, and they decided to remove me from my role right before the event and paint me as the bad guy, problem causer, and one at fault.
Now that you understand the context, here’s the moral of the story (or, in other words, what I learned and deem valuable enough to pass on):
You NEVER have to simply sit and listen while somebody screams at you. Hang up the phone, walk away, get out of the situation. Verbal abuse should not be tolerated, and it is okay if leaving the situation makes someone angry; they shouldn’t have created the situation in the first place.
You won’t always make people see how wrong they are. Your role is to simply be honest, be blunt, and take the high ground. You are responsible for your actions, and yours alone; they will have to answer for their choices.
Lesson learned for me: sometimes, it’s okay to break off commitments. You should strive to do what you say you will, but if circumstances change greatly, your role is allowed to change as well.
While you should strive to live at peace with others, you can’t always avoid conflict. A conflict free life shows that you’ve never actually stood for anything.
Not everybody will know the truth, and sometimes, you will be seen as the one at fault. Strive to stay above board, be honest, be transparent, and hold your head high knowing that at least YOU know the truth.
What a weekend. Folks, you are so valuable. It is OKAY to hold your ground when people try to treat you as anything but valued. It’s not going to be easy, but be honest and kind, and you will know that you have done your best.
Oh, and if you find yourself at fault in handling a situation, own it. Repent, seek forgiveness, and be teachable.