During that really nice visit with that Step-Up friend last night, he told me a few things that he observed that are certainly worth my attention. In his opinion:
- I think in absolutes a lot, but in practicality, very little is absolute. The person who has been treating me in a way I don't like lately is behaving that way lately. Not permanently. So whatever message is being sent is not a message about how things are, stop.... but a message about how things are right now.
- That one way to limit feeling hurt by someone's behaviour is to just never ever give more than you are willing to give if you already knew that you would not ever get anything in return. So be as generous and as kind and as thoughtful as I want to be, with the knowledge that I won't get anything back. If I do, isn't that nice. And if not, that's fine too.
- That my idealism is indeed causing a problem for me. If I was a generous and kind friend without the expectation that my friends be kind and generous in return, there would be no problem. It is the expectation that people should be kind and generous to each other, and that since I have been kind and generous to you and you accepted my kindness, you should be kind and generous in return. I would never be so dishonourable as to accept someone's kindness if I don't plan to be generous in return, but the expectation that others be honorable is unreasonable. Damn you idealism!
- That my sense of self-worth is tied up in my perception of how others perceive me. So I am angry or hurt when I think others think I am less than awesome. (Also a bit shocked, but that's another story!) I was hoping he might have some ideas of how you go from having your self-esteem dependent on someone else's rating to relying on your own rating, but he really didn't. Oh well. It was just nice that I could feel he understood what I was talking about.