Personal Bill of Rights: My Feelings Deserve Respect
So after thinking about a bunch of things this weekend including how I want and need to be loved, I also thought about my feelings and how people should and should not speak to me even if it is in the name of honesty.
So I thought to myself, I need to write down in my blog, a personal Bill of Rights to remind myself and reference it to others when folks start getting out of order when it comes to respecting me and my feelings.
It’s like raising a flag or hitting that buzzer from the board game Taboo when someone says a word on the card.
I have the right to digest what people say to me about me and interpret it how I interpret it because it’s about me. My initial reaction to what is said for better or worse is very real. Now if I’m upset by it, I have the right to be upset about it. If you know it’s going to upset me, be ready for me to be upset. If I say I don’t like what you said or I no longer want to talk about what you said, I have that right.
Why? Because even though I can be stubborn, I do need time to process what’s been said to me and I can either see where you are coming from or decide what you said was complete bullshit.
And once again, I’m allowed to do that. I’m allowed to feel what I feel. And I offer that to any of my friends and family. YOU ARE ALLOWED TO FEEL HOW YOU FEEL. DON’T LET OTHER PEOPLE CHEAT YOU OUT OF THAT. YOU ARE FEELING WHAT YOU FEEL FOR A REASON AND IT MAY NOT EVEN BE ABOUT THEM, BUT YOU FEEL THE WAY YOU DO AND IT’S OK.
One of the things I detest is when people blame me for my feelings or say I’m too sensitive.
As a person who often chooses to suck it up, when I do express my feelings of discomfort, I am being brave, I am standing up for myself, I am standing in my truth. Respect that. Honor that.
Most of my good friends, during the rare times they offend me and the even rarer times when I speak up on it, they back up, they even apologize and they drop it. They don’t blame me, they don’t accuse me of being too sensitive or being all up in my feelings. They stop. Why? Because I established the boundary, I was clear and they respected it. I don’t have to yell. I don’t have to be nasty. But I am firm, there is a change in my voice that suggests this is serious. Stop.
I have one person in my life who defends their harsh words and turns it around on me claiming, that they can’t offer me any kind of criticism, because I always take it the wrong way when it comes from them.
I explained that they often come off judgemental and downright mean and while deep down I know they don’t mean anything nasty, they can be nasty and it’s off putting.
That person simply said, they have an opinion.
I believe that having an opinion does not give one carte blanche to be reckless. Period.
The thing that bothers me the most about this person is this discussion didn’t even stem from my recent relationship issues, which could be open to a lot of criticism and emotional finger wagging.
This was about my physical appearance.
It took me aback. But it wasn’t the first time this particular person said something about my hair, clothes or weight.
So this whole mini argument started from her hinting at her dislike for a certain article of clothing I wore a few years ago and I already shut her down and told her I saw where she was going and not to be nasty. And then it all began.
I decided when it came to this person, instead of sucking it up, I was going to have to retrain her on how I wanted to be treated. So I started speaking up more when she hurt my feelings. But she was always resistant to my speaking up and would minimize my feelings or dismiss them as me being sensitive.
I don’t know if some people have a problem with me asserting myself. I know who I am. I know what I look like and after gaining a few pounds and wearing my hair natural, I feel like I’m living my life with another level of honesty and challenging myself to be and live honestly. When someone compliments me now, I really relish it because I believe them because they are seeing me and it may not be popular or beautiful to you, but it’s me.
When certain friends don’t compliment me it makes me wonder. Does how I look make them feel uncomfortable? And why?
I’ve been on this kick. I’ve been praying about God helping me see first people’s light or lack thereof.
Everyone is a human being with faults and they are special and wonderful. But there are certain people who have a light in them, even when life is difficult or not going the way they’d hoped. I want to recognize those people and encourage them more regularly. I want to share kind words with them and I hope they do the same for me.
I particularly want to see this in my circle, which really isn’t hard and I want to see it in the man who is going to become my husband. I’ve decided I can’t compromise on that. And I think describing it as a light is more accurate than what I’ve been calling it before, “that thing” “that it factor” the “za za zoo.”
It’s simple. From my man, family and friends I want to feel loved, protected, nurtured and safe. I want to feel like the people in my life will allow me rest when I am weary and they got it. They got it until I get more strength and return to the game, so I can in turn help them when they are tired.
I need the people in my life to give me kind words and compliment me. It isn’t vain. I want people in my life to compliment me physically. Who doesn’t? I have no problem telling the people in my life they look beautiful or handsome. Because people need that. I don’t care what anyone says.
My feelings have value. So do yours.