Seems I flip-flopped yesterday’s post with today’s. Today was supposed to be the “what if” post, but since I’ve already done that…
Let’s talk about something I feel strongly about.
I feel like I always end up doing this anyway, and proving my point requires me to revisit old issues which some see as me dwelling or harping on things that are over and done with. So, I think the way I’m going to handle this is to just give you some links to posts where I’ve already discussed things that I feel strongly about. That means this post *should* be really short.
Keep your fingers crossed. I’m not good at brevity.
If we go back and look at my posts for about the last year or so, three things keep coming up over and over: Honesty, Respect, Prejudice. And sometimes, they’re all jumbled together.
The Boy asked me once what were my “deal breakers” as far as relationships are concerned. I only had one: Don’t ever lie to me. In hindsight, the lying is tied into the Respect thing. If you respect someone, you won’t lie to them. You’ll tell them the truth no matter what. I still feel there is an appropriate way to tell someone the truth without being an absolute jerk about it, but honesty is an integral part of building trust and relationships.
This has come up a lot recently, so there are quite a few posts you can look at to see my reactions to truth and honesty.
Especially all the stuff with Mr. West Coast. He felt that he was simply being honest, and even told me at one point that he felt no need to censor himself because I had represented myself as an Alpha Female who could handle the truth. The thing is, he wasn’t exactly being honest; he was just being rude. Worse than that, I felt like he was possibly being abusive by twisting things, in essence gaslighting me, to try to make me see things his way, while not acknowledging my points.
We’ve talked about it even before him, though. After things totally fell apart with the Boy, I felt like a major issue was that we weren’t honest with each other. Thus I began trying to find relationships in which honesty was the main focus. I tried with the Artist, but turns out he lied about what he wanted. I tried again with Superman, but he, too, lied.
As a side note, my posts about Superman caused Mr. West Coast to tell me I have unrealistic expectations of men, but my only expectation is honesty and respect. The Boy has been working hard since Christmas to give me both, even though we’re not dating…
Like I said above, sometimes the Respect and Honesty aspects are totally intertwined. Like all the stuff with Mr. West Coast, my issue never was that he was telling me what he thought was the truth, but rather, only that his premise was wrong, and since it was based on my life, I tried to show him where he was wrong, and he didn’t respect me enough to acknowledge my points. He also didn’t acknowledge when I asked him to stop contacting me, even going so far as to comment using an alias on my blog (it took me a while, but I’ve figured out how to see the email addresses of people who post… couldn’t do that before). Both situations constitute a lack of respect in my opinion.
And, again, it’s not like he’s the only person I’ve had that issue with.
One of the big fights the Boy and I used to repeat was over a similar issue: he wouldn’t acknowledge my point of view, which is disrespectful in my opinion. It suggests that you don’t consider me worthy of having an opinion.
Or, as when it happened with Mr. West Coast, that you consider my opinion some folly based on the whims of feminine caprice.
It matters to me to have a person at least acknowledge that they hear what I’m saying. Even if you disagree, show me point for point what you don’t agree with. Show me why you think I’m wrong. It may be that I didn’t explain my point well (another issue I’ve had with the Boy since we view things very differently), or it may be that I didn’t understand your point and so I am arguing the wrong point. I can admit when I’m wrong… but only if I believe I’m wrong!
The Boy and I have discussed it several times, and, to be honest, he’s done a really amazing job of just acknowledging when I’m right or that he at least heard what I had to say, even if he disagrees with me. It’s meant that even though we were on the verge of a fight a time or five that we haven’t actually had a fight in a relatively long time.
I feel respected, more so than I have in a really long time.
Obviously prejudice is connected to a lack of respect. It’s specifically a lack of respect due to a fallacious assumption based on a person’s ethnicity or gender or sexual orientation or some other arbitrary factor that doesn’t really define who a person is. I’ve discussed it a handful of times: when Caitlyn Jenner came out into society, before the thing with Mr. West Coast imploded, when talking about gentrification, and a handful of others, I’m sure.
I’ve been trying to get the idea across that we should stop labeling each other. I’ve tried using graphic images that show the point:
I saw this originally on Facebook and was so excited that this idea is spreading! I hope you find it as moving as I do!
So much for brevity… But hopefully I got the point across. Be honest, respect one another, and stop labeling each other! We can’t overcome prejudice until we stop trying to define each other before we actually meet each other!