Dear friend-who's-trying-so-hard-to-please-every-single-person every single day.
You can't do it, and that's ok. In fact, heck, it's not even possible.
There are some folks who are going to choose not to reciprocate your kindness and friendliness, NO matter what you do. You can speak and wave, give genuine smiles, provide words of encouragement in person (and on social media), and go out of your way to be extra kind in every encounter, but there are some people who are just NOT going to return this to you.
To add to your frustration, you may even witness them being overly kind and friendly to (specific) others, but still not to YOU.
And even with that in mind, the thing you must realize is, it's NOT really about YOU (even though it may seem that way). Whatever holds someone back from returning your kindness is totally about them. Some people will only be friendly and kind when there's some kind of benefit for themselves.
Maybe there's nothing that "you" can do that will feed whatever need this person has. Maybe there's a hidden grudge buried deep inside them. Maybe there's jealousy that they aren't really aware of and would never acknowledge. You can bet that there are inner hurts, fears, and insecurities that they're dealing with that no one will ever really know. Keep in mind that hurting people hurt other people.
Whatever it is, don't personalize their behavior. Just keep showing compassion for yourself and for others and being as kind as possible every single day. We've all got our own crosses to bear, and we're all just doing the best that we can.
I read this story recently, and loved the analogy! Such a good reminder for us all!
How heavy is your glass?
A psychologist walked around a room while teaching stress management to an audience. As she raised a glass of water, everyone expected they'd be asked the "half empty or half full" question. Instead, with a smile on her face, she inquired: "How heavy is this glass of water?" Answers called out ranged from 8 oz. to 20 oz.
She replied, "The absolute weight doesn't matter. It depends on how long I hold it. If I hold it for a minute, it's not a problem. If I hold it for an hour, I'll have an ache in my arm. If I hold it for a day, my arm will feel numb and paralyzed. In each case, the weight of the glass doesn't change, but the longer I hold it, the heavier it becomes."
She continued, "The stresses and worries in life are like that glass of water. Think about them for a while and nothing happens. Think about them a bit longer and they begin to hurt. And if you think about them all day long, you will feel paralyzed – incapable of doing anything."
Remember, all we really have to do is just put down the glass.
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