We all learned the golden rule back in Kindergarten when we were still skipping through the playground in Velcro Skechers: treat others the way you want to be treated. Still, even in our early 20s, it seems as if some people left class too early and missed the lesson.
Have you ever had someone in your life, a friend, an ex, or even a co-worker who’s seemed to make a side hustle out of trying your patience? Almost as if they stayed up, using every waking hour to see just how far they could push you? Well, that has been a common theme in my personal life lately and it’s time that I share.
Recently, I’ve had “friends,” guys mostly, who just aren’t honoring my time: calling me all kinds of hours of the night, breaking promises, talking more than listening, and it’s been frustrating to say the least. I’ve thought to myself, “You’re not supposed to treat me like this. Do you know who I am??? I’m Aley!” I’ve had my time to reflect and following my moment, I realized that I can’t place all the blame on them. I mean, if we’re getting technical, behavior is learned, so to that extent, the finger would point back to me, the teacher, right?
This revelation caused me to do some introspective and examine where I might have “gone wrong” in other relationships in my life; both personal and professional. So instead of harping on the damage that’s already been done, I decided to look into the unlearning process and even seek out ways to set boundaries (upfront) for new relationships who that the patterns I’ve experienced (hopefully) don’t occur again.
With that said, let’s get you treated right again with these three tips:
1.) Ignore them: Sounds simple, but when you have an emotion tie to someone it can be pretty difficult to not pick up the phone or say no to that, “You up?” text. Don’t feel bad about it, trust, we’ve all been there, honey. I’ll put you on to some game that my dad shared with me, he told me: the quickest way to get a guy’s attention is to ignore him. Now, I don’t know how the mind of a man works, but chileee, there’s something to this. When you get fed up and actually make up your mind that you want your personal relationships to go in another direction, the best place to start is putting that phone on silent or hit IGNORE.
2.) Set your boundaries from the jump: When you start a new job, you’re going to have on your best face; and if you’re an intern or in a junior level position, coming in early and staying late matters if you want to make a good first/lasting impression. Still, it’s important that you don’t get ran over or hazed, just because you’re the new kid. Still, as you mature and learn the ropes of your role, you have to be able to let people know your boundaries.
“…if you don’t articulate your capacity, the work will keep coming until you break. “
For instance: sorry co-worker, but I don’t go out for drinks on weekdays because I (and you) have work the next morning. Hey boss lady, I can start this project you gave me at 4:48pm, but I’ll be sure to come in early tomorrow and knock out the rest.
Do the work, but don’t kill yourself in the process. Even I had to learn that if you don’t articulate your capacity, the work will keep coming until you break.
3.) NO means NO: A wise woman once told me, “Let your ‘yes’ be your ‘yes,’ and your ‘no’ be your ‘no.’ Let’s be real: if you’ve ever wondered why that guy you’re talking to only calls you after the sun goes down and why your dates never leave the threshold of his apartment, it’s because you taught them that their behavior is okay. Even if you’ve said yes to his “Netflix & Chill” invites before, doesn’t mean you’re doomed to them forever. Put your foot down. You have to right to change you mind and demand what you feel you deserve. If he’s not up for it, then sis, you’re dealing with a boy, not a man.
Before you go: Have you felt undervalued or taken for granted in your personal or professional relationship? Practice these tips all month long and see how things change for you. Let me know your thoughts by leaving a comment below, I want to know!
Peace, peace, peace,