“When people show you who they are, believe them.”
That quote has been floating around for a while – and paraphrased a little – and several people have been said to be its originator, but the one person most often credited with it is Maya Angelou. Regardless who authored it, the phrase holds truth to it. Too bad most of us don’t learn this lesson until after we’ve been hurt by people over and over.
Why do we allow people to continuously hurt us, disappoint us, deceive us, or exploit us? The first time they do it, I can give a pass. Maybe the second time can even be forgiven. But when it happens again, and again, and again, and again, you have to wonder why. The answer is simple. We teach people how to treat us by the things we allow them to do.
Some people think they can change them. Other people will use the excuse that “it’s my sister” or “it’s my dad” or “they’re family” to justify keeping someone in their inner circle. Even if someone is destructive or doesn’t add value to their lives, some people don’t understand the necessity of keeping them at their distance. I’ve learned that you may need to love some people from a distance if they detract from your happiness, peace, and well-being. Whenever I tell this to people, they will reply, “That’s easier said than done.” as their rebuttal. Well, things are only easier said than done when you don’t do it often enough. Like playing a sport or a musical instrument, you can develop your craft by doing it repeatedly. The more you do it, the better at it you will become. Removing people from your life who hurt you is the same way. You need practice at doing it. You will get better at it with more practice.
No human being should be allowed a permanent seat in your space if they take away more than they contribute. Love them from a distance, and learn not to feel guilty about it.