When we consider that people have been making families and friends since recorded history, it’s hard to believe we haven’t figured it out by now. Yet here we are centuries later still trying to figure relationships out. I suppose different times call for different practices, but some ideas are timeless. Here I've compiled just a few bits of timeless advice everyone should keep in mind when dealing with others.
How People Treat You Says More About Them Than It Does About You
If only you knew how little you actually had to do with how people treat you. This isn’t to say that your actions and behaviors are incapable of provoking certain responses out of people. But when you find yourself bewildered by someone’s intimately kind words or random acts of cruelty remember that it’s not necessarily because of who you are but instead, because of who they are. So much is out of your control.
Make It a Priority to Practice Emotional Intelligence
When we’re toddlers the world is much more understanding place. Our tantrums are interpreted not as us being a mean-spirited child, but instead as a response to being sleepy, hungry, uncomfortable, etc. Of course, toddlers are still developing the capacity to express themselves properly with language, but it’s important that we more frequently extend that understanding mentality to the those well beyond their toddler years. We all regress in behavior from time to time. So make it a point to practice interpreting what someone says with what they mean. Your man accusing you of being a cheater because you're out with your girlfriends often is certainly unwarranted, but perhaps your partner was cheated on in his past. Address the underlying issues with care rather than in a dismissive manner. And make it a point to be more clear in expressing yourself. If your partners actions are triggering to you, take the time to really think about why and then use your words to address with your partner how their actions made you feel. Not everyone will have the time nor care to practice emotional maturity.
Make It a Priority to Be Around Others More Developed in Their Emotional Intelligence
When you’re the more emotionally intelligent in your relationships with others it can almost feel like you’re entertaining children. You’re constantly giving passes to your friends, family, and significant others for their less than mature behavior and they readily receive your forgiveness. But the moment you’re having a bad day and are behaving in a manner that makes them uncomfortable you’ll be met with cold shoulders and furrowed brows.
Your harsh words become etched in marble pillars that will forever support their reasoning for no longer associating with you like how they used to. In the minds of the emotionally underdeveloped, the only people that are human and capable of making genuinely bad mistakes are them. Everyone else is intentional in all their actions and deeds. You don’t need people like that in your life. Surround yourself with people who are as compassionate as you, otherwise you’ll lose your compassion.
Not Everyone is Out to Get You
In the movie the Dark Night Nigh Rises Harvey Dent, an ally turned adversary to Batman, says one of the most noteworthy quotes in cinematic history: “You either die a hero, or live long enough to become the villain.” The quote can be interpreted many ways and it reminded me of a few people I had known in the past and my own self at certain occasions in my life. Each and everyone one of us acquires baggage if you live long enough on this earth.
Life has a way of making sure that no one goes through it unscathed. And oftentimes our wounds serve as reminders to pain we wish to never feel again. We become more careful and less trusting in order to keep ourselves safe. Sometimes we even create this false dichotomy of the world where you’re either the person in pain or the person inflicting the pain, and because you never want to be in pain again you beat others to the punch by being the more careless and abrasive one. As human beings we oftentimes feel emotions that are completely valid, but still unjustly obnoxious, probably just short term anyway, or born from hurt. You are not wrong for feeling how you feel, but we must all be careful to ensure that our emotions don’t drive us to become the very things that have hurt us. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t trust your emotional triggers. If someone’s behavior is near identical to the behavior of someone who hurt you, you aren’t wrong for feeling some type of way.
But instead of using those feelings as justification for treating someone differently, use them as justification for bringing up to that person your emotional baggage and some solutions to how you both can quell those issues. And read point number 3 before you do this step. Emotionally immature people tend to use your triggers in a manipulative manner that only wounds up reinforcing your fears rather than dispelling them.
There’s certainly a lot more that could be said on the topic of timeless relationship advice but, these are just a few key points which if practiced regularly can change how you interact with others and the people who choose to interact with you.
About the Author
Lilith is a new blogger with an emphasis in writing and reflecting upon social agendas that effect black women. When not at her computer writing she is more than likely still at her computer, programming. On the rare occasion that Lilith isn't at her laptop you can attempt to find her exploring the L.A. food scene or attending workshops in creative writing.