Not long ago, one of my clients, Rani, wowed me with this:
“Some people don’t really deserve the benefit of the doubt.”
Experience taught Rani that somber truth. For months, she overlooked and excused multiple incidents of being used, deceived and manipulated by her friend, Val. “It finally reached such ludicrous proportions, I just couldn’t ignore it anymore,” she said in our counseling session.
Rani loaned her money, let her move in, gave her rides to and from work. The list grinds on. As for the loan, Val promised to pay it back, but so far “I have yet to receive a single nickle of it,” Rani said, disgusted.
Let’s face it, there’s a population of nice people out there and there’s a population of . . . uh, let’s just say, not-so-nice. They take advantage of the nice ones and the nice ones let them. That merely perpetuates a maddening set of circumstances . . . for the nice tribe, that is.
These two types attract each other like magnets. Self-centered versus other-centered. One is self-denying and willing to give up what they want and even need so that the other can experience a “happy” life.
When I ask these big-hearted people why they sacrifice themselves, they tell me things like, “I’ll feel guilty and mean if I do otherwise.” Ironically, they’re afraid of being self-centered and . . . not nice.
Rani no longer thinks that way. Her experience with Val opened her eyes to a fundamental truth: When the events of our lives don’t bring us peace, it’s vital that we opt to make life changes.
As for the “nice” word, she came to see that it isn’t nice to dishonor ourselves by tolerating being used and disrespected.
And it isn’t nice to keep feeding the parasites. How do they ever learn that parasiting isn’t nice? 🙂
Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.