Have you ever been in a position in life where you really wanted something, and as you went to pick it up and take it, someone else arrived and announced they wanted it too? What did you do? I know I have been ‘guilty’ of being ‘considerate’ and letting the other person have it instead of me because I wanted to be nice.
But then I didn’t have the thing and I know, somewhere deep inside me, I believed that person deserved it more than me.
It was only when I got angry with someone farting in front of me and it was smelly, after I had repeatedly asked them not to do that that I had my breakthrough epiphany on it: Why are some people okay with me being uncomfortable just so they can be comfortable? Why can’t that person exercise some manners and go for a walk to unleash the gaseous vomit ball from their ass? Yes, farting is natural, but you don’t have to rub it in people’s faces. Where is the consideration of others? In that instance it was nowhere and it pissed me off that this person was alright with me being uncomfortable during their complacency.
Farts aside, this is not the only time I’ve become acutely aware that some people expect others to sacrifice what they want for themselves, so they can have what they want for themselves, without a care in the world that the person is not feeling fulfilled and enriched and return in the situation.
This happens a lot in relationships of all kinds. One person will take it upon themselves to give more, while the other will feel they are entitled to take more, and the situation can end up extremely unbalanced with the giver constantly overcompensating by wanting to give even more to earn that they can begin to receive in return. It’s a never ending cycle that just sees one half of the dynamic becoming increasingly unhappy, and regardless of if they have asked for what they need, the taker manages to rationalise why they need it more, as if there is some reason they deserve more or are more important.
I’m here to tell you: you don’t have to earn the right to also receive. You don’t have to be okay with someone else being inconsiderate. You don’t have to be okay with someone else putting their needs ahead of yours and not meeting your needs.
You are as worthy as the person next to you of your dreams and desires, and ultimately, if you’re letting someone else convince you that they deserve something more than you, and you allow them to get more than you, it’s nobody else’s fault but your own.
Where you can begin to “strengthen your skills” is working on your self worth. Ask yourself: Why do I think this person can have this more than I believe I can have it? Is it valid? No, I can’t think of one darn good reason why you should give up what you want for yourself just so someone else can be happy and not give a shit about what you want.
I have been there, in situations, where I have decided to ask for what I needed to feel fulfilled in a situation. I have been there, in the position where the person rationalises bad behaviour and selfishness. I have been in positions where I have asked and people have told me what I wanted to hear, only to do what they want anyway and not uphold their end of the deal. This kind of behaviour is not ok, and you don’t have to be okay with it.
I have got to the point, after repeatedly asking people for what I need calmly, rationally and nicely for months before I have got to the point where I am so resentful and angry that I explode in an eruption of Aries fire.
These days, I have learned, I honour myself by having the courage to open my mouth and ask for what I need. I only need to ask once. My energy, attention, and time are valuable and I now choose to conserve my energy for creative endeavours, and I refuse to fight for what I deserve. I know my value, I know what I bring to the table, and I know that I have every right to live a happy life where my needs are also being met by whoever I am engaging with in whatever dynamic it is. If I ask nicely, and I am not taken seriously by the person the first time, I see that they have their own issues to work through in response to giving and receiving with balance, and I will take the time to bring to their awareness that I have an issue with my needs not being met.
If from there, the other person still doesn’t begin to collaborate, having had the awareness brought to them, I walk the fuck away. The people I deserve to have in my life will hear me and take me seriously when I ask for what I need the first time, and if it’s something they feel they can’t participate in without betrayal themselves at a fundamental level, a conversation would then need to be opened up to see if some compromise can be made where both parties are happy.
I have noticed, when meeting new people in whatever environment format, in the beginning people will always push to see what they can get away with. I have made a firm promise to myself to speak my truth calmly but clearly from the very beginning. Still, there are some people who will continue to push my boundaries long after I’ve said no and stuck with it… and those people learn the hard way that a human can only be patient and tolerant for so long before even the most tolerant person has had enough and puts their foot down in a way that some may say is disproportionate.
I have had this experience recently. For months I asked someone not to smoke inside their room, where I am the property manager. For months I spoke nicely, yet this person continued to the point where I even warned them I would not be asking nicely if I had to speak again. And still, they continued. When it got to the point where I exploded in an Aries fire after three months of asking nicely, they asked me why I had to be like that.
At that point, if you find yourself in that situation, you may find yourself being made to feel shameful for being angry, but I say unleash it. Show them you have been reasonable all along. Don’t be ashamed for your anger. This person repeatedly violated what you have been within your power to request. Ask them why it had to get to the point where you were this angry before they took you seriously?
I’m obviously not condoning violence or swearing at people or violating them in return, but I feel a good dose of unleashing the shadow side in each of us is necessary when someone tries to walk all over us or take advantage of the goodness and goodwill we’ve been extending all along. And then, stand your ground. In no way possible can you remotely show you feel bad or ashamed for unleashing your shadow to stand up for yourself. This is the most crucial time for you to stand firm and stick to what you’ve said with conviction and resolution. If you cave now just because you’re worried about what they’ll think of you for yelling or expressing your anger, you’re going to be toast and you will be giving your power away to them completely. They know that if they push hard enough, you will cave and implode on your value system and that they’ve got you where they want you.
I have walked through my house feeling like a complete villain after putting down clear boundaries from day one, but I stand tall and walk with my head held high even though I know people may be talking about me. What I think of myself and me honouring myself is more important than any relationship I’ve ever had with anyone else, be it a partner, a friend, a sibling, or a parent.
Of course, once your shadow side comes out to play while it stands up for you, so too will the other person’s. This is where people show you their true colours. Some people fight fair, and others get more and more underhanded the closer they get to losing. Their ego will do anything to win. At this point, you should have a clear picture of exactly what kind of person you’re dealing with and you can make a clear decision on whether or not you want people like that in your life. Do not be afraid of confrontations. Some confrontations are necessary for people to establish some common respect. You don’t have to play the role of peace keeper, and you don’t have to play the role of sacrificial lamb.
You deserve to get what you want from life too. You deserve to get it peacefully and harmoniously, but if someone is walking all over you repeatedly, it’s ok to bring the old shadow out to honour your boundaries.
Once the dust settles, they will know to take you seriously the first time you ask. Unless they’re completely stuck in a cycle within themselves, in which case, it may be time to release them from your orbit to stop any emotional or energetic drain on your precious energy and being.
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