“You cannot build a reputation on what you are going to do.”- Henry Ford
This is more along the lines of the “Standards” post.
I once had a friend who told me that her aunt was bragging that her husband told her that he saw some roses in a store window and thought about buying them for her. She really did think that it was the thought that counted.
Well the thought DOESN’T count, and intentions are worth nothing. Action is the only thing that matters. Don’t tell people what you are going to do, just do it.
Conversely, don’t allow people to tell you that they will change, do better next time, never again do [insert unacceptable here].
We have to watch their actions and not their words. We have to understand that love is an action and trust is earned and hold people in our lives to those standards.
If we do not, we will allow them to blind us with bs and dazzle us with their words.
Often we accept words because people tell us what we want to hear. We need to STOP wanting to hear the magic words and thinking that means something.
And sometimes the person doesn’t even say ANYTHING. They just go along for the ride, taking a lot of good stuff from us, giving nothing in return and never saying anything nice at all.
And we rationalize “Well, (he/she) does care about me…” And how would you know that? Or WHY do you think that’s the case? If you’re going to attempt to read someone’s thoughts, why would they come out on your side? Why aren’t you thinking, “Maybe they’re not saying anything because they think I’m the biggest sucker on Earth and don’t really give two damns about me.” Why aren’t you projecting THAT onto Mr. or Ms. Strong Silent Type? Because we want to believe that it’s different.
The person neither says nor does anything loving most of the time and yet we’re ready to make the leap that somewhere inside is this undying love for us.
We need to STOP putting a premium on words (or silence) and, instead, put a premium on behavior.
We need to stop making excuses for ourselves and others in that they had a bad day, a bad life, was drunk, was lonely, was blah blah blah.
There are reasons but no excuses.We have got to STOP allowing people their lame excuses for bad behavior. We must hold them accountable and responsible for how they behave toward us and not accept the blame for someone else being a jerk, being mean, cheating, lying or abusing us. We are not our own fault.
If someone lies to us, they own it. There is nothing we can ever possibly do to turn a truth teller into a liar. There is nothing we can ever possibly do to turn a faithful person into a cheater. If a person cheats and then next time decide they don’t want to do that, that decision has to come from them, not from us.
There is nothing we can ever possibly do to turn a nurturing person into an abuser. People do sometimes stop being cruel and mean. But first they blame everyone else (from their mother to you) for their bad behavior.
If they are blaming us for their bad behavior, it is NOT OKAY.
If we are so awful, they should leave us, not sit around and torture us. A healthy person will leave rather than degenerate into horrible behavior. A healthy person will look for a good relationship someplace else if WE are such a handful. A healthy person WILL NOT suddenly turn evil because we made them that way.
You cannot create a monster who does not want to be created.
At the same time, we ARE responsible for watching people’s behaviors and making our decisions accordingly. If a person acts badly toward us and we accept it and accept it and accept and believe the “I’m sorrys” and the “I’ll never do it again”, or rationalize that the silence means they really really love us, then we are responsible for our own misery, NOT THEM.
YOU ARE CHOOSING THIS MISERY.
It’s not that we’re still in love with the person who was there “early on.” It’s that the person “early on” was just an illusion to suck you into the spider web. Then Chomp Chomp Chomp. Off with your head. And first comes confusion. Cognitive dissonance. If A is true, then B cannot be true. But instead of saying, “WHOA. I’m am so out of here!” We stick around and excuse and deny and rationalize and justify and are convinced that the person “early on” will come back. And maybe he or she does for a while (but usually when we’re ready to walk) and then they disappear again. The person we want, who we think we love, shows up so seldom it’s like we are in a relationship with an understudy who is really bad at the main act. But we love the “real” person. So we hang around until we’re ready to fire the understudy and then, magically, the main actor comes back. And the play goes well for a while and then the main actor runs off and you’re stuck, once again, with the horrendous understudy. Damn you understudy! But it’s not an understudy. It’s actually the main actor who breaks role whenever you’re ready to get up and walk out. The nice man/woman is the one who is the understudy and only gets thrust on stage when the audience is ready to boo and throw popcorn.
We get what we put up with and if we put up with people whose words do not match their actions and whose actions hurt us, then we are volunteering for that.
Neither a menace nor a martyr be. Learn to look at what others are doing and if it is not in keeping with their words and what you will accept, discount their words, NOT THEIR ACTIONS.
LOVE IS AS LOVE DOES.
It’s that simple.
Demand loving behavior in your life and settle for nothing less.