“I just detest being mean.” I say this to my friend as we walk down the streets of my little beach township. Above us, the sky is cloudy and blows a cool gust. I seem off towards the ocean, the waves licking the storage fiercely, then receding back to the grey-blue.
We’re talking about a situation that happened recently–a situation where I had to be’ mean’ and generate bounds for myself, boundaries that built me feel both safe and healthy. And here I was seeming bad about this, as if I was the one who had done something wrong. As if I was the one mailing harassing messages, dismissing someone’s polite requests to please stop. As if I was the one who had turned bitter and insulted the person who was merely asking for the harassment to end.
“You’re not being entailed, ” my friend says, “You’re being clear. You’re being truthful. You’re doing what is required to do for yourself. And there’s nothing wrong with that.”
I let his terms stir in my mind for a moment. I struggle with this so much. I hate to push people away–from my heart, from my work–I abhor having to put up this wall between person because it runs against every fiber in my being.
I love sharing my being. But I have to be safe in doing so. And sometimes that means being firm, being strong, being’ mean’ when unsafe, toxic, or uncomfortable things are happening to me.
And I shouldn’t have to apologize for that.
I don’t know if you struggle with this–this sense of guilt in taking care of yourself, this inner desire to be’ nice’ instead of speaking your mind, this idea that you have to let people walk all over you so that you don’t make any drama, this belief that standing up for yourself is’ mean.’
But we’re not supposed to feel this way.
Having an ruling is not incorrect. Speaking your mind( especially appropriately and respectfully) is not wrong. Telling someone to stop is not incorrect. Saying’ no, ’ is not wrong. Being firm is not wrong. Having borders is not incorrect . strong>
And we need to remind ourselves of that.
I expended the better half of the morning sentiment regretful that I blocked this harassing individual. I ran live their lives my Instagram page talking about this situation and having empathy for others instead of being angry and bitter over social media when someone doesn’t give the answer we want right when we want it. I let this situation spin in my head too long, when the truth of the matter is–I shouldn’t feel bad for articulating something that was necessary to me.
I seemed unsafe, and so I established a border. And bottom line, that boundary should be accepted without question and without me feeling guilty for having it there.
Instead of pushing back with rage, this individual could have simply respected what I was trying to say and changed his tone. He could have stopped messaging. He could have apologized and understood where I was coming from, had empathy for my sentiment unsafe.
He could have respected my hopes, my borders, but he didn’t. And me having to block him as a result does not construct me’ intend, ’ it intends I’m making a healthy choice for myself, my well-being, and my job.
Taking yourself out of a toxic situation, or into a healthy one is not wrong. Establishing where you stand in regards to a certain issue or choice is not wrong. Being honest about your emotions, even if it might construct someone feel’ bad’ in the process is not wrong . strong>
I think, sometimes, we obsess so much about injuring other people’s feelings. We don’t want to see anyone insulted or soreness, this is why we push away our own thoughts in order to make a situation’ okay.’ Maybe we don’t wishes to make a scene, start a number of problems, be a’ b* tch.’ Maybe we’re frightened because we don’t know if there will be repercussions for saying what we need to say.
But the truth that I’ve learned in this situation, and I’m still working on, is that having a voice, a perspective, a sense of what you need does not build you selfish, self-centered, evil, mean( insert insulting word here ). It simply means you’re human, and you have standards for how you want to be treated. And the world can either had recognized that, or get out.
Simple as that.
I don’t know how or if this situation applies to you, but I write these words because they’re on my heart and I think they’re important.
We need to stop apologizing for having frontiers, for being firm in our decisions, for having standards to how we want to be treated, desired, or viewed. Being strong does not stimulate you a’ b* tch, ’ speaking your true does not mean you’re selfish, and get away from someone who is disrespecting you is not signify. It’s important . strong>
You is given to your own safety and peace of mind–and if that means blocking someone for harassment, getting away from a toxic relationship, saying’ no, ’ or conveying something that might unintentionally hurt another’s impressions in the process — then so be it.
Don’t apologize for what’s healthy or necessary for you.