Some but not all of my blogs will be about food or fitness or beauty, but everything I do or say will relate somehow to your well-being. And defining your limits in life and what you will or won’t put up with helps define who you are as a person. In short, defining your limits and standing up for what you believe is an essential part of your well-being. Ultimately, it’s about standing up for yourself and being willing to tell the world what you stand for. It’s a good thing.
So, when you are treated like crap in some crap job and you quit it because you won’t stand for anyone to treat you that way, then that is a sign of empowerment. That is you standing up for what you believe. This is a sign of mastery. I repeat, this is a good thing.
I must say, I am a Scorpio and they say a Scorpio never forgets. Well, that’s right. While I don’t dwell on it, I will tell you I never forget the slights I have received in my life. I remember them all.
I had an internship once and there was a manager who was just plain mean to everybody. I hated him for his meanness and the way he took it out on everybody. In six months, he never said one nice thing to me, ever. I didn’t quit the internship as there were some wonderful people there, too, so all in all, it was a good learning experience for me, but it helped define for me the fact that I did not like working for mean-spirited people.
A few years later, I was working at ABC-TV at the New York office, and a director chose to start screaming at me and publically humiliating me in front of at least 50 people on set just because I had the audacity to ask a simple question. And no, I didn’t quit the job because it was just an incident and otherwise, I loved my job, but it was a defining moment for me. I decided I would never ever work for a “screamer” again or hire a screamer director as long as I lived. And I’ve held to that and I feel good about the fact that I will never allow myself to be abused like that ever again.
As a follow-up to that story, I later joined a Facebook group and when this individual’s name came up, I couldn’t believe how many people came out of the woodwork to express all the horrible incidents of screaming and abuse they had suffered at the hands of this same individual. While I didn’t want to post anything particularly negative (because my philosophy is not to publically post anything too negative anywhere online), I felt validated to read all the shocking comments. I wasn’t alone. Other people hated the abuse as well and it felt good to hear them speak up.
Nobody likes to work with a jerk, but we all experience it at one time or another. You just need to define your position in your mind as a mental challenge. How much will you take before you speak up or just walk? Even if you choose to put up with it – say, for financial reasons, for your family, etc. – the act of thinking it through still helps you define your limits, and defining your limits makes you stronger.
I once had a client who lost it and started screaming at me and I stormed out of his office saying out loud to the whole office “I can’t be treated this way” and shaking and upset, I went back to my office. Lo and behold, the client shortly followed me into my office and apologized…and from then on, he never screamed at me ever again. It was a defining moment, and I felt good about standing up for myself. I firmly believe he respected me more for doing so, as well. We get along just great now, I will add!
I just had another defining moment this weekend. Unfortunately, it’s a little too personal to share, but suffice it to say, this person’s off-putting and humiliating remarks upset me so much that after a few hours of stewing in a state of unhappiness, I suddenly, out of the blue, started yelling out loud to my empty apartment “you crossed the line, buddy, that’s it”. The guy had indeed crossed the line (verbally), but the most important thing to share here, is that I had defined the line. Wouldn’t you know it, I felt relieved after this episode, as if a great weight had been lifted off me. This person’s crappy remarks no longer had any emotional hold on me.
The thing about a line, is there is one side and then there is another. It’s not gray; it’s as black and white as can be. When you define the line – what you will and what you won’t put up with – it makes you strong, it makes you whole, and it makes you prevail.
So I say, be well and be strong and never be afraid to stand up for yourself, ever!