Please welcome my good friend, Jodi, who is guest posting today. Jodi is the mother of Michael, the blogger behind Jodifur.com, and a fellow DC-area resident (which means I get to bump in to her every once in a while…or catch a day-time, just-for-fun movie together).
It used to really matter to me that people “like” me. Much more than it should. To the point that if people didn’t like me, I would make it my personal quest to make them like me. I would kill them with kindness. I would become the ultimate suck up. I would say things like, “I just don’t understand why they don’t like me. I am immensely likeable.”
This, of course, backfired. When you get in the face of someone who doesn’t like you, they like you less, not more.
Somewhere along the way, probably in the last 5 years or so, I stopped caring. Go ahead, don’t like me. I care more about how people TREAT me, and less about how they actually feel about me. It is like I tell Michael, “it is okay to not like someone, you are entitled to your feelings. But there is no reason to be mean. You need to at least be kind. And treat people with respect.”
I find, more and more, we have lost that. A basic level of respect and decency when we interact with each other. And I am not perfect either. I yell and strangers more than I should. I lose my patience at store clerks more than I should. I speak harshly, more than I should.
It doesn’t matter if we like each other, it matters how we treat each other.
I spend a lot of time talking to Michael lately about fairness. Yes, we discuss the old “life isn’t fair” adage, and he has encountered what he believes is unfairness recently, and we talk about what he could have done to have things work out differently. But what matters to me is not the WHY this happened, but how he reacts to it. Does he stomp his feet and rally at the world? (Because in all honesty, my worst quality is my utter inability to let things go.) Michael, on the other hand, manages to pick his head up and keep going. I admire that about him. I’m trying to learn that skill from him.
I want him to know that even when you think you are treated unfairly, or someone doesn’t like you, that doesn’t mean you have to retaliate. It also doesn’t mean you have to suck up, like I used to do. Just keep your head up, and keep going. I believe, at least I’m starting to believe, at least I’m TRYING to believe, it all evens out in the end.
There is I really good quote in a book I read over the weekend “Lunch in the Park.” “Fair is not everyone getting the same thing. Fair is everyone getting what the need.” My husband taught me that. He likes to say, “people get what they need, not what is fair.”
What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on being “fair.”
Jodi blogs at Jodifur about life, motherhood, working, and shoes. Mostly shoes.
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