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  • Dana Webster

The Trials Of Being A Good Person

In my practice, I work with good people - those who regard others with care and respect, who try to understand and sympathize, who avoid instigating conflict because, quite frankly, it goes against their kind nature. Unfortunately, though, good people can find themselves on the receiving end of emotional manipulation, aggression, and general bad behaviour. I call this the curse of being a good person.

In the face of bad behaviour, what's a good person to do? Should you sink to the level of your opponent, throw insults back, waver in your resolve, and allow your hard-won boundaries to come crashing down?

Not at all:

  • An expectation of fair treatment does not make you selfish.

  • Standing your ground does not make you mean.

  • Holding out for respect does not make you rigid.

  • Refusing to be taken for granted does not make you uptight.

It's hard work being a good person. We weigh options, we truly consider other points of view, we take into account the feelings of others, we strive to live a life of integrity and honesty. It can feel unfair and victimizing when others do not bring the same level of care to the relationship.

You can still be a good person while rejecting the bad, rude, and disrespectful behaviour of others. As one of my favourite former teachers used to say: When someone invites you to stray from your own values, you simply reply, "No, thank you." And wish them well on their way.

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