“I can’t even.” This phrase is often uttered after being the recipient of bad behavior or witnessing someone do something so stupid that it merits this kind of disgusted aphorism. Bad behavior and the elaborate dismissal of it has become a dominate force in current culture.
How often have you thought to yourself, “How hard is it to send a text?” Or how often have you been guilty of vomiting emotions, that were better expressed in a one on one format, into a lengthy text? Or have you let the subtle yet unintelligible emotion of embarrassment turn into a limp justification for ghosting someone? These and other behaviors like them are adolescent at best, indications of major character defects and reflect the lack of the ability to be emotionally responsible.
This being said, setting healthy boundaries is an art form. Anyone can throw shade or wall off their emotions to create the illusion of being powerful or unaffected by the opinions of others. The majority of bad and disrespectful behaviors are rooted in perpetuating the need to feel or appear as special. The exterior does not match the interior in that people play games to prove something that doesn’t need proving if they just knew this one thing—we are all in this together.
I might be different than you but that doesn’t mean I have to be separate from you. Culturally speaking, American is a Guilt based culture while Japanese culture or collectivist cultures are shame based. This simply translates as the difference between being motivated by internal pressures verses external pressures.
As an American, achievement and individualism reigns supreme, which results in engaging in competition over collaboration. Collectivist cultures emphasize not bringing shame to the family and maintaining honor.
The point is the old generation is supposed to teach the new generation how to be decent human beings.
I’m going on record as one of the old people who talk about the younger generation as if they were retarded amoebas who have no respect for tradition and who are ruining the world one snapchat at a time. Seriously though, how did a social media app that was meant for dick-pics and kid-porn become so popular?
And on a more personal level, I was just reminded by one of these emotional retards that I was amazing and that “He wanted a romantic relationship but just not with me”, which was fine to state as a fact the first time. But, then was followed up with an insulting PSA, “We are not dating”, after seeing one of my Instagram posts talking about what I wanted in a man. What an arrogant dick!
So, by sharing this, I am demonstrating one of the first, yet tried and true, disrespectful behaviors—passive aggressiveness.
So, since there is not a definitive list of what is douche-bag/out-of-bounds/disrespectful behavior and in-bounds/respectful behavior, let this stand as the list.
Passive aggressive “Did you notice that I blocked you on Facebook?”
Passive aggressive behavior is the opposite of being able to own your shit. When you are passive aggressive you come from an ego place that tries to make sure everyone one knows how special you are for being offended but no one gets to know why. The world of social media has become the platform for passive aggressive communication with blocks, likes, dislikes, side-comments, friending an ex’s friends, Facebook stalking, and going as far as cyber-bullying.
Radical Honesty: Is it true, necessary, and kind.
The opposite of this behavior is simple in that it involves telling the truth to a person over the phone or one on one. It is about being able to recognize an emotion but not esteem that emotion as better or worse than any other feeling—especially someone else’s feelings or experience. The delineating line between disrespect and respect is having the skill to clearly and courageously communicate your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in a way that creates genuine connection. This is a skill that is acquired over a lifetime in that it needs time to mature. Being the recipient of passive aggressive behavior is one of the greatest ways to learn how to be radically honest because although the ego wants to inflict the same pain and pride wants to win; the heart knows better and seeks the connection that comes from passing thoughts and words through the three gates—is it true, necessary, and kind?
Manipulation: “Babe you are the reason I am happy.”
There are three types of people that show up in our lives: the mirrors, the mentors and the magicians. Manipulators can seem like all three. Manipulation is a form of seduction in that it plays to people’s desires, insecurities and beguiles people into trading their power for a false promise. Manipulators are powerful in that they can make you feel that their issues are your problem to fix therefore representing themselves as mirrors. Most people who manipulate do so because it creates a false sense of power and it can position them as mentors or experts that require adoration for nothing more than their presence. Conversely, there are plenty of people who believe themselves to be victims and these are the true magicians of the crowd in that they exert their deception through the subtle acquisition of sympathy. We, who have allowed ourselves to be manipulated, know these types as players, gamers, playboys, gold-diggers and giant pains in the heart! Of course, there is a remedy.
Integrity: Words and actions align.
We say things we don’t mean. It is called flirtation. But, when the rubber hits the road, things move forward and they don’t stall out. If someone is a person of integrity they will wait to get into bed with you. They will remember that you are not perfect and not shame you for it. They will stand by you and for you. They will make an effort but make it feel effortless. And the reason this person can do all of this is because they know themselves. They have done the hard work of wrestling with their ego. They have faced their shadow time and time again. They are courageous, mindful, and brave. Moreover, you will like who you are around them because they will not only make you want to be another person, they will require it for the sustainability of the relationship.
Flake and Bail: “How hard is it to send a text? Honestly?!”
There a like one-thousand ways to get ahold of a person and only one way to actually connect with them. So, why is it so hard to make a connection? It is because there is like one-thousand or more options at any time, which creates FOMO or a YOLO that results in flaking out. Plus since everyone works from home, no one plans anything until the last minute. That’s not true…or is it? I don’t know. “Let’s just talk later and see how I am feeling.” Flake.
Show up: “I’m here. I love you. I’m here”.
Things happen. But nothing just happens. Decisions predicate outcomes. I decide who and how I want to be. I decide how I want to be treated. I set the standards of which I live my life by. I keep my eye on the prize. I champion my inner child so she knows she will never be abandon. I keep the Will of God as my rod and staff. I know my supply comes from being still and knowing I am God. I stand in the gap of the unknown. I surrender all. I show up for my life. And the fact is, no one else is going to do it for you. Get that. No one will treat you with respect until you grow into a place where you can command respect rather than demand it. No one—not your mama, your papa, your family, your friends, your boss, your lover, your husband, your wife, your dog, your cat, or the god in which you give your life to—is going to give you more respect than you give yourself.
The lesson is simple and constant—love yourself. All disrespectful behavior comes from the journey we all take to grow into our worth. We cannot know the mountain top when our mind is in the valley. We cannot allow light in our lives if we remain comfortable in darkness. We cannot realize our unique life purpose if getting ahead means not leaving the past behind.
You may not get the last word in but you can have the next word. There is no thought or deed more enlightened than letting go and moving forward. Forgive what has offended you. Let go. Forgive the unjust and the unfair for we are all these things. Let go. And come back into this moment. Arrive into the here and now. This is where your power lies. This is the seat of creation.
Know the list. Act right. And then let it all go.