Minimizing Bad Behavior

He never came home when he said he would.... The facts never seemed to matter much when she was telling a story... The third drink made him intolerable to be around... Everybody knew he’d cop a feel if you got too close…She bullied everyone around her until she got what she wanted...

These situations, and many like it, run amuck all around us.

It’s no big deal

(S)he didn’t mean it

It was just that one time

 I don’t want to rock the boat –

These are the stories we tell ourselves when the truth is too hard to face.

The offender can be on the playground, in the workplace, in the White House, and in our own homes.

In all regards, there are two parties who are responsible in this situation, those who behave badly, and those who accept the bad behavior.  

When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time. Such great wisdom from Maya Angelou. Oh, the heartache I would have avoided if only I’d listened to these wise words in a few key points in my life!

People show us who they are every day.

This part might hurt little…stop reading now, unless you are very, very brave.

As humans, we tend to minimize the things we can’t reconcile and still get what we want. For some, it’s easy to minimize predatory and abusive behavior if it means more money in our pocket; or if our personal beliefs might become more supported by the Supreme Court. For others, the thought of holding someone accountable and ending or changing a relationship is unfathomable.  We will excuse almost any bad behavior if it means we will ultimately get what we want. Never mind what we must do to get there.

No one wants to admit that’s what they’re doing of course, no one wants to be that much of an asshole.

But here’s the deal…

Sometimes we are all that asshole.

When we minimize and excuse the bad behavior of another, we are committing a form of highway robbery. For we are robbing the offending party of accountability and ultimately, growth.  But more importantly, we are robbing ourselves of real relationship. When we don’t stand up, we relinquish a bit of our soul.

Because by minimizing and accepting, we are essentially, agreeing that what is happening is ok.

Why do we minimize?

·       We minimize because facing the truth gets in the way of our personal agendas

·       We minimize because facing the truth is too hard for our hearts to comprehend

·       We minimize because it is the easy way, it is the path of least resistance

·       We minimize because we are afraid to admit that the desires of our heart for real relationship are grossly being unmet and it is killing us

So, we pretend it doesn’t matter all the much. But I challenge you to consider, it might be the only thing that truly matters.

Real change only comes from the hearts of the people.