Thank goodness I’m growing out of accepting unacceptable behavior. It used to be awful allowing people to walk all over me and to allow myself to do things that went against my value system. Shutting down this behavior has helped me grow immensely.
I used to let people treat me like crap. There was a time in my life when I let people walk all over me. I let lovers treat me like crap and I let family members do whatever the heck they wanted. Unfortunately, I have plenty of experience with accepting unacceptable behavior. The issue was that this hurt badly. All of this behavior that I accepted from others left me wounded. I had the choice to keep letting it happen or to choose myself first, and guess what I did?
I realized I was worth good treatment. One of the biggest barriers to allowing myself to be treated well was that I didn’t think I deserved it. I thought I deserved the crap I was given—after all, it was all I knew. Though I grew to realize how much I deserved love and kindness. My love for myself grew as my tolerance for other people’s crap lessened. I realized I was worth being treated well, so I began to reject bad behavior.
First, I refused to accept unacceptable behavior from myself. This journey had to start with me. I had to acknowledge the ways that I was harming myself—and one way was letting others treat me like crap. Another way was the awful negative self-talk that ran through my head on a minute-to-minute basis. I had to start to deal with all of this by refusing to accept this poor behavior from myself.
Then, I refused to accept unacceptable behavior from others. Once I started to refuse the unacceptable behavior from within, I was then able to start to direct my attention outward to others. When a guy was 15 minutes late to two dates in a row, I’d refuse to see him again. I wouldn’t allow people to treat me as if I was an afterthought. I knew how important I was and how deserving I was of the right attention. I started to act like it.
I now have great boundaries. Boundary setting is a huge part of knowing what to accept and what to reject. It’s so important to be able to set a boundary that communicates my values to another person. For example, I told someone after a third date that I wasn’t interested in getting physical in any way just yet because I like to take things really slow. This was me laying down my boundaries to prevent unacceptablebehavior from happening without my permission.
I now know how to say “no.” As an extension of boundary-setting, I’ve gotten much better at saying “no” to people. When I say I want a relationship, but the other person says that they just want something casual, this is when I use my “no” word. Even if they try to negotiate with me, saying that it’s not a big deal, I stick to my guns and demand that it’s time to part ways. Saying “no” is a way to respect me and to refuse to let in things and people that go against my values.
My self-esteem is now higher. This is sort of a chicken before the egg thing because I had to have some bits of self-esteem to start accepting the right behavior. But also, as a result of learning what to accept and what to reject, my self-esteem grew. It’s now very high—I like myself and that’s clear in my actions.
Poor behavior makes me sick to my stomach now.It’s almost as if I wouldn’t be able to accept poor behavior for long even if I wanted to because I’ve now built up an intolerance. I get sick to my stomach when I’m doing behavior that’s unacceptable to me or when someone else is doing it. It no longer lasts very long, if it lasts at all.
Rejecting unacceptable behavior has lead to healthier lovers.Aside from a peace of mind, one of y other favorite consequences of accepting only acceptable behavior is that I now have much healthier lovers. Naturally, the people that I attract are much kinder, respectful, and loving. It’s amazing.
I’m still not perfect. As much as I’d love to say that I’m perfect at rejecting unacceptable behavior, that’s just not the truth. The reality is that I’m completely imperfect. Sometimes I still accept crap from people who treat me poorly or act irrationally. My old habits kick in and I find myself making excuses for myself and them. Nonetheless, I’m a heck of a lot further along than I ever could have imagined in how I let others treat me.
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