Consider my reaction when people ignore me or cease their friendly overtures: I immediately assume that I did something wrong and try frantically to correct it even while having no idea what it is exactly I am supposed to correct. I go out of my way to be kind and pleasant, hoping to make some friends, and still end up weirdly trying to make up for something that I think I might have done or not done. Talk about bizarre.
Note to self; mantra 1:
I cease now to concern myself with the unkindness of others. They have the issues, not I. I cease now to concern myself with the prejudice and ignorance of others. They have the issues, not I.
How do I know? Because: science, observation, evidence.
If I broaden my view, I notice that other people have not concluded that I’m stupid from the same experience that supposedly has lead to this and that person viewing me that way. Other people have managed to like, respect and be friendly with me despite having had the same experience that I un-reflectively suspect has caused in others the opposite attitudes towards me.
Recognize and respect the “CHOICE” in others’ unfavorable attitudes towards me. Note 2 self: Dear me, It’s not always something that you messed up. Don’t just assume it is all objectively true. Recognize that the two sets of people above have made different choices.
The people-pleaser inside has the habit of ignoring all evidence that I’m acceptable just as I am and latching on to any evidence that suggests I am not. Witnessing conflicting data, and having to choose where to focus, it chooses the focus and frame that leaves me miserable. Why? Isn’t it better to consider it all and realize the root of the conflicting data?
When I ignore the element of choice, I take on the responsibility of fixing things. But choices can’t be fixed. At least not other people’s choices. Certainly not by me. They are instead to be respected. And they are respected by allowing those who make them to live with them.
People are free to choose bad values. This is what the hopeless people-pleaser inside misses. It is the prerogative of people as creatures of free will, as karmic beings, as co-creators with God, as drivers of their own destiny, to choose what to love, and so determine their own values. Even while you, dear self, try to deal honestly and with good will with all, you must be respectful of people’s freedom to choose bad values. Such is life.
Therefore, hold no grudge, and make no demand–passively-aggressively–that they choose ‘rightly’. This is disrespecting the sacred prerogative that belongs to all people.
Why do I do that anyway? Because I assume that their attitudes and ill-feelings simply happen to them. That these dispositions stem from some objective environmental cause–me. Therefore I try to change these objective factors as I see them: my speech, attitudes, presentation. “If only I were a certain way…” I forget their choice. Of values. Of what is to be deemed worthy.
Which is why I need scientific observation: Recognize and respect, then be free. The truth makes free.
Because once one recognizes people’s value-choices, one can decide if these freely chosen criteria for worth, for value, align with one’s own. One can then decide whether these people’s association is proper or right for one. For me.
Not punitively or vindictively, in order to control others and get them to “choose” the values that I deem right. No. Now that I realize they have made a sacred act of choosing, I understand the folly of such an approach.
I can now choose freely, just like they did. I can decide whether the close association of these people, given the conflicting criteria for worth in life (conflicting with theirs) that I have chosen for myself, is something I desire, after all.
I don't need certain friendships. I don't want certain friendships.
I am not at the mercy of the whims of people’s unkind choices. I am not at the mercy of their shallow world-views.
Because world-views that allow one to dismiss so easily people rather than propositions, whatever they masquerade as, are shallow.
You know when people dismiss people and not propositions because:
- They don’t give fair hearing. My views simply don’t matter. Because I don’t matter.
- They don’t reject my views with consideration and reasoning. These are simply not worth the effort. Because I am not worth the effort it takes to consider and reason.
People who respect me as a person are willing to listen. People who are dismissive of me as a person had decided long before I opened my lips that my views are by definition foolish, worthless, a waste of time. Not this view or that view that I hold but my views. Because they are mine.
Science: Consider honestly: Have I given enough evidence by my past acts to warrant such strong blanket conclusions by whoever is currently causing me so much distress? Besides the most extreme cases, good sense says that everyone has something of value to say sometime. But those who have dismissed others have values that tell them that certain kinds of people, of which I may be one, have no such merit.
Dear me, respect their choice for these very bad values. Then make my own choice: Be free.