[Opinion] The Bargaining Table of Relationships 1

Sometimes, I feel discriminated against, but it does not make me angry. It merely astonishes me. How can any deny themselves the pleasure of my company? It?s beyond me.

Zora Neale Hurston


I hear, many times, people complaining about all the not-so-kind people in their lives who take advantage of them, who use them, who never appreciate them, who never reciprocate the kindness they keep receiving, etcetera?. I?m sure you catch the drift of what I?m talking about.? And to be honest, I have also found myself nursing the same feelings sometimes but ?I?ve also always had a certain nagging in my heart calling for an examination of the ?how? of this so-called victim circumstances in which I?ve sometimes found myself.

One thing that I noticed was that many times the same people who (in my own estimation) often treated me carelessly had other people in their lives that they treated with the kind of consideration that I was longing for in my relationship with them. This led me to ask myself what I was doing differently from these other people and I came into this discovery among many others:

I realized that in many instances I never really required better treatment from them and this is what I mean. Sometimes people come into your life, they have their impressions of who you are, what you are worth and how they should treat you (yes, I know people should treat others how they want to be treated but I think we know that?s not how it is over here in reality). Based on this perspective, they make an offer to you of what they will give you and what they want in return. I realized that in many instances when my relationships were at this bargaining stage, I simply accepted what was offered even when it was incompatible with my own estimation of what I needed, what I wanted and what I was worth. But thank God, I received brain and realized that the words ?no? and ?not enough? were not dirty words.

In many instances as I began to use these words in their many different variations, I must confess I began to get much more respect and consideration and had less reasons to be mad or resentful at anyone even those people who felt I had over-priced myself? and therefore undeserving of the kind of esteem I required from them. I simply respected their opinions and unleashed another peace-giving, clutter-eliminating word that has saved many a life: ?goodbye?. And if the truth must be told, sometimes it was really hard because this meant I had to part ways with people I looked up to or people I really liked (sometimes, for inexplicable reasons) but this also helped me learn two things: firstly, how to build and exercise the muscles of letting go of things and people that feel good but aren?t good (for me) and secondly how to call a bluff because I discovered that sometimes (some of those) people really dig you but they are carrying insecurities that make them think that they need to put up some silly show of not caring in order not to get hurt.

When you show them that even though you like or love them, you are ready to let them go if they can?t treat you the right way, they are forced to embrace the truth and consider you a valuable part of their lives, confront their insecurities and eat the humble pie of relating with you on the terms you require for yourself.

That is, if you have any real worth to them and if they have sense and if not, I guess you can say, ?Good riddance!?

To be continued……



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