Since I started law school, I've learned a lot about myself. I've discovered more about the type of person I am and more importantly, the type of person I want to be. I know it's no secret but I will still point out that who you are will depend greatly on the people around you. So when I say "relationships," I am not only talking about intimate relationships. I am talking about all the interactions we have on a day-to-day basis. We can't always choose the people around us, but we can decide how and how much we interact with that person. Making smarter decisions when it comes to the people around you will help you become a much happier, and hopefully a better version of yourself.
1. It is okay to stop caring about people who don't care about you. Consider it cleansing.
For whatever reason, this has probably been one of the hardest concepts for me. I was raised to treat people with respect and I strive to do that for the most part. There is, however, a fine line between treating someone with respect and living to please that person. Respect is earned. So if a person cannot show you the respect that you deserve, it really doesn't make sense for you to continue to go out of your way for that person. This doesn't mean that you should deliberately be rude to them ... it just means that you have to recognize when the time comes to put yourself first. You don't have to feel bad about ignoring their calls/texts or not actively seeking to be a part of their life. You cannot feel bad for treating people the way that they treat you.
This is also a big one. Sometimes I tend to let a lot of things slide in relationships because I know that somewhere, deep down, the other person really loves me and cares about me. I had to realize that although this is important, I cannot use this fact to justify anything that happens in that relationship. If someone is constantly hurting me, eventually it will not matter how much that person loves me. If they cannot figure out how to manifest that love in a way that is not detrimental to my being, then that is not the love for me. It is kind of like separating a person's intent from the result. They might mean well, but if they cannot do well ... what difference does it make in the end?
3. Forgiveness doesn't make you weak. Sometimes it opens the door to a newer, better relationship.
I do not want this to become a post about how to cut people out of your life. I do believe that cutting people out of your life is a valuable skill and often times takes a lot of strength but sometimes, allowing people to re-enter your life can be just as valuable. Sometimes people do things to us that may seem unforgivable. Personally, I don't really believe there is anything that anyone can do to us that is truly unforgivable (besides like, murder or something). Forgiveness is a personal decision and although not everyone who hurts us deserves forgiveness, sometimes it is for the best. I have personally reconnected with people who I never thought I would speak to again and I am honestly so glad that I have. People change and a lot of times your past negative experiences with a person can lead to a much healthier relationship in the long run. There is a different kind of strength that comes along with rebuilding a relationship that you thought was beyond repair. It teaches you to appreciate that person more and in a strange way, it brings hope back into your life. One of my most transparent friendships right now exists with someone who I hated just three years ago. But because of what we've been through, I almost feel like I can tell him anything ... that is priceless. Of course, only you can decide when you're ready to give someone another chance. I guess my point is that sometimes other people in your life will discourage you from venturing into these new/old/revamped relationships (with good reason). But if you proceed with caution and keep an open mind, you'll be surprised at the blessings that may be awaiting you on the other side.