Monday, October 2, 2023

The Golden Rule? Really?

Treat people as they want to be treated, not necessarily as I want to be treated.

We are not all the same. We’re not. There. I said it. There are so many things I like that my friends and family don’t like, and I’m sure, that you won’t like either. 

I’d rather have a good kale shake instead of steak and eggs, for instance.  I drink more turmeric and ginger while some prefer good, old-fashioned sweet tea.  I like a dash of pepper on my tomato, while some may prefer it with a sprinkle of salt.  I give lots of praise and verbal appreciation to people because I like verbal assurances that I’m doing the job right, but maybe you don’t need so much affirmation.  You may like your behind blackened and blued while goofing off with friends, while I may prefer something a little less, um, impactful.

Since we are the sum of our lives’ experiences, we arrive with different sets of baggage—and they have to be carried and unpacked differently. 

So while it works well in theory—and we still should be respectful of everyone in general, we need to consider the less common and smaller nuances people have that create differences of personality, e.g., desires, thoughts, expectations. 

If you’ve been living by the other Golden Rule, it’s not that big of a stretch to simply try to understand another human being.  Since the human being I have most knowledge of is me, I’ll start there. Being an empath, it’s easier for me to see myself in a person, or rather, how I relate to what they are going through, and giving them what I would want. People tell me I’m a great listener, and I don’t give unsolicited advice.  When I have a problem, I may vent for a minute (or several), but then I’ll write my problems down in one of my many notebooks, and move on.  But lots of people I encounter are not like that.  They want to talk (and talk and talk and talk) over the same problem until it’s become much larger than it would be if I were facing the same one.  And that’s their truth.  It’s the way they tackle issues. Telling that person to write it down probably won’t help them much.  Empathy is a great place to begin in understanding someone else, but it needs to grow from there into connection on their level.

I tell people not to try to understand me (if they don’t already), because it’s just easier to accept me and go from that point. I know I’m a bit of an odd duck, and I’m not everyone’s cup of tea.  Try learning what is important to me, and why.  The best way to do this is to simply ask. 

So how do you get people to treat you the way you want instead of the way they want?  Keeping in mind this is my personal opinion, I believe the adage, “We teach people how to treat us by what we will allow.”  We grow up being trained, being taught how to treat others by watching how those around us treat other people.  Don’t berate yourself, and don’t allow others to do it.  I’m not saying you have to go to the mat with every person that says something off to you—you'll be at war all the time!  But the BLOCK links are probably close at hand for people online.  You have the option to not engage negativity you encounter as well.  But you have to respect yourself.  And how you treat others is a way to either gain respect, or lose it.  With me, it’s so much easier to lose my respect with how you approach me or how I see you approach others. 

I pay attention on social media to the people who troll others’ writings, who are always attacking others’ photos, videos, and blogs, who post spam links in groups, who pepper every photo on a person’s page with cut-and-paste flatteries.  And I also see, as I’m sure you do as well, those who are positive and always kind with words and “loves”.

I believe in Karma, albeit by another name, (the law of sowing and reaping) and I do believe people will receive what they put out eventually.  Don’t think for a moment I wouldn’t try to rush a person’s day of reckoning if they step out of line with me, especially in person.  But I give at least a moment to try to understand where they’re coming from.  Sure, some people are coming from a place of pure stupid, and those are cut off instantly.  It’s just another way I treat people the way they ask to be treated. I prefer the positive, but I sincerely believe in matching energy, even if it means I have to take off my earrings and shoes to do it.

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