We’ve all heard the saying, “Hurt people hurt people. Healed people heal people.” and I doubt any of us could argue the truth of the statement. Unfortunately, some people chose to hide behind the saying and use it as an excuse to treat people badly. The statement is not and was never meant to be an excuse, it is meant as an explanation. There is a difference.
Very few things in the world annoy me more than for someone to think that because they are hurting, they should be excused from the responsibility for/consequences of their actions. I can’t stand it when people say things like “Please excuse my mean/hurtful/rude behavior or actions because I’m going through something right now or I don’t feel well.” No! I will not! I recently saw someone on facebook say “if I don’t respond to your messages, don’t take it personally, XYZ is happening in my life and I just don’t want to talk.” If you walk up to me and speak, and I look you dead in the face but do not answer you “because I don’t feel like speaking” would you or would you not feel a way about that?? Is that or is it not rude regardless of my reasons?? Who/what raised y’all?! No! Instead of putting the responsibility of not reacting negatively to your rude behavior onto others, how about growing the fuck up, learn to control your words/behavior during difficult times just like every other adult has to? How about that?! If you feel like you can’t do that, how bout you take responsibility for not allowing yourself to be in situations where you might cause harm to someone else. Go spend some time alone for a minute and come back when you are ready to adult again.
Pain does not excuse you, me or anyone else from the rules of basic human decency and proper behavior. We have to take responsibility for our actions. I have been criticized by more than one person for not appearing to be understanding or sympathetic to people who may be going through a tough time. People close to me know that there’s nothing further from the truth. If I care about you and I know you are struggling, I will do ANYTHING I can to lighten your load. What I will NOT do though is allow you to treat me or anyone else like a punching bag in the process.
To me, this all ties back to my belief about what a true friend is and what my responsibility is to those I call my friends/loved ones. As your friend, it’s part of my job not only to provide emotional support and treat you the way your position as a friend in my life demands that I treat you at all times, but also to hold you to a higher standard, and to always help you be the best version of you that you can be. It’s my job to love you at your worst and keep your face pointed onward and upward. But that is not a one-way street, sweetheart! As my friend, it’s your job to love me and treat me the way my position as your friend dictates that I deserve to be treated at all times as well. Friends don’t disrespect each other. Friends don’t cause each other emotional harm. Friends know that friends are there to help them, not to hurt them and so they treat the actions of their friends accordingly.
Don’t get me wrong. If I know you’ve hit a rough patch in life and you’re lashing out because of a situation and I know that your hostility is not really with me, I can humble myself and because you are my friend, I can take the injury to my pride and to my feelings once, maybe twice. Depending on how close we are, I may even take that kind of behavior on the chin a few times, but at some point, if that behavior continues, I have to recognize that you really aren’t a friend to me. If you chose to continue to use that excuse to abuse me then I’mma have to put you at arms reach and go on about my business.
There are 2 types of people when it comes to managing themselves during difficult times: turtle people and porcupine people. I’m a turtle. LOL When I am stressed, angry or sick I tend to “turtle up”. I draw into myself, close myself off and limit my interactions with other people because I know my temper is shorter and my tongue is sharper during those times. I don’t want anyone that I love to catch some aggression that they do not deserve or at a higher level than they might deserve. Being a turtle type can be bad also though. When people love you and you withdraw from them without explanation, they can take it personally and believe that they have done something wrong. It can also cause them to worry about your well-being unnecessarily. So I’ve found that it’s important to communicate when I need some turtle time. That way I don’t cause any alarm and no one has to feel like it’s something that they did.
When I was younger, I was very much a porcupine type of person. OMG, I was so evil!! When I was stressed out or not feeling well, I would lash out and stab at anyone around me like I had rabies or something then when I saw the damage I caused I would just blame it on my situation. The people who loved me kept excusing my behavior over and over again and so it only got worse because I knew there wouldn’t be any consequences. I was so out of hand. I hurt people who only wanted to help me and regret to this day some of the things I said and did. Perhaps that is why it bothers me so much now to see behavior like that. I know how difficult it is to control my own tongue and temper so that I don’t cause anyone undue injury.
What type of person are you when you are stressed? Have you ever had to deal with a porcupine before? Let me know what you think about this subject in the comments below!