Friday, February 17, 2017

Life Tip: Don't Be (Or Settle For) A Jerk.

It sounds simple, right?  Sadly, settling is something we all do on occasion and I hope you know before this is completed that you were made for more no matter whose shoes you stand in (settler or settlee).

Last night I had fallen asleep on my couch while watching Wheel of Fortune because I'm 80.  That's neither here nor there though.  I was awakened to the sound of a man yelling at his girlfriend/fiancĂ©/wife in my building.  I mean, completely berating her and cursing.  Don't get me wrong, I own up to having a foul mouth on occasion but there's never justification for that sort of arguing.  It continued for a few hours off and on.  At one point it even sound like he was shoving furniture around.  He would calm down for a bit and then get riled back up and get back to putting her down.  I finally left my TV on mute out of concern because I knew that 911 might need to intervene at some point but I didn't want to call too soon in case this was just how they argue.  You know, the couples that yell and scream at each other because God forbid you carry on a normal conversation about a disagreement or frustration.  I even followed them throughout the apartment to hear what was going on in case she needed help.  My concern became a reality when she told him, "Stop, you're hurting me.  Stop threatening me."  911 was quietly called because if I could hear them, I didn't want him hearing me and showing up at my door uninvited. 

Apparently there was a lot of activity going on because it was well over an hour before someone arrived to check on things.  At that point, I think the woman had gone to sleep because the yelling had ceased.  My heart was racing, stomach in knots, and voice shaking.  Mom wanted me to come home to stay out of precaution and a guy friend called to check on me in case I needed him to come over as we had been texting some during the evening.  Based on what I could hear, the man lied to the police because they congratulated him for something.  I'm fairly certain they just said they were investigating a noise complaint out of precaution.  As far as I know, things were back to normal this morning but my heart hurts on so many levels this afternoon.

Chances are, the guy has a natural temper or learned those behaviors growing up.  I don't know the statistics but I do know that it is no excuse.  Whether you're a man or woman you have no right to speak to another person like he was.  You certainly don't have the right to be verbally, emotional, or physically abusive to them.  Period.  EVER.  Even if your parents weren't in the picture or you didn't have a role model to exhibit healthy communication habits or even venting, you can make the choice to not be a jerk.  Your parents, or people who poured into your life over the years, want more for you.  If you didn't have someone pouring kindness, wisdom, counsel, or Jesus into your life, I'm so deeply sorry.  If those people had been in your life, they would have wanted so much more for you and would have taught you better.  You see, when you belittle another person and make them feel like they owe you or you're doing them a favor by being with them, you're not causing them to love you.  What you're doing is causing them to fear you.  Fear does NOT equal love.  If you're afraid they're going to leave you if you stop, let them.  Why stick with someone who doesn't want to stay.  Relationships are partnerships, not hostage situations.  Don't be a jerk to get your way.  It's time to grow up and realize that you're not going to always get your way.  If you love the person, live that out.  If you don't know how, there are so many resources available to help you navigate changing that behavior and sorting through your anger because the person(s) you're taking it out on aren't the root of it.  They deserve better and so do you.  If you need contact information for how to start, click here to start.

Now, if you're a person that is staying in a relationship out of fear and have experienced any of that kind of abuse, I am so sorry.  You do NOT have to stay with that person or in that environment.  They weren't created to define you or bring you worth.  If you often find yourself saying things like, "He didn't mean that, he loves me."  Or "I shouldn't have upset her - it's my fault."  I hope you know there are ways out.  There are so many places that offer help on the regular from counseling to shelters.  Domestic Violence Reseources Link.  Please know that you are worth so much more than abuse.  You don't deserve that treatment no matter what.  He/she needs help and so do you.  If you grew up in that environment, my heart breaks for you because it isn't the way life should be lived.  Know that there are people available to help.  Don't settle for a jerk. 

In closing, I am not blind to the fact that it won't be easy on either side of this equation.  Often times people get lost in a cycle and feel like it's their only option.  If you go back or continue treating someone that way, you can try again.  Please know that you aren't a lost cause.  I do want to add that there are churches that have open arms to welcome you, love on you, bring accountability, and ultimately to point you to Jesus. If you don't know who Jesus is or would like to know more, please reach out through this blog and I would love to talk with you. You were made for more than being or settling for a jerk and you are loved.

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