Finding our brave to not only close old doors, but to keep them closed, is sometimes a daunting task. Today, let’s look at this action with a fresh perspective. I hear that people are afraid to close certain doors, but, what if you leave them open? Does it bring you comfort or is it an excuse to hold on to something that really isn’t there? Is it permitting you to move forward, or are you trapped in the door frame; somewhere between the known old and the possibilities of the new? What is holding you back or why are you afraid? I challenge you to pause and consider this question, “Is this open door bringing value and joy to my life or is it causing chaos, stress, and sadness?”
First Things First
It’s okay to remove yourself from people who treat you like your time isn’t important, like your feelings, ideas, and thoughts are worthless, or like your soul is replaceable. If people are continually taking you for granted, manipulating you, or abusing you emotionally, physically, financially or sexually, you can close that door. And before you ask…yes, even it’s it family.
With people whose natural M.O. is being unnecessarily mean, close the door. They have a choice to say something nice or to keep their mouths closed. There is enough unhappiness out there, why do some people have the need to make others feel awful? Is it because they always have to have the last word, or an absurd desire to show their power? It may be that they are suffering from despair, unhappiness, depression, addiction, or other disorders, but that’s no excuse to take their issues out on others. And, thankfully, we don’t need to tolerate their behavior. Close the door!
“Avoid those who seek friends in order to maintain a certain social status or to open doors they would not otherwise be able to approach.” ~ Paul Coelho, Manuscript Found in Accra
It’s okay to reach out to others for an introduction to a company with whom you are interested in working. We can ask for an introduction to a doctor, lawyer, therapist, mechanic, caterer, etc. That’s how we find the person, thing or service that best suits our needs. It’s NOT okay to use another person to climb the corporate ladder, for non-consensual sex, to abuse, to bully, to take out our frustrations, to manipulate, etc. Close the door on these individuals!
Whether it’s in a family setting, with a romantic partner, in a friendship, or in the workplace, it’s always a work in progress. There are so many personalities, cultures, behaviors and norms that factor into our dynamic with others. Strong, healthy relationships take all of the people involved to make these relationships work. One party can’t be giving 100% while the rest sit by reaping the benefits. If someone refuses to put in the effort, it may be a good idea to close the door as well.
You don’t have to like everyone, but there must be respect, honest & open communication, leading with heart and soul rather than ego, and a mutual give and take. If it’s only you doing all the work, time to find your brave, walk out of the door, and don’t look back.
So, Now What
Of course, people can change. Sometimes, they really don’t know that their actions (or inaction) are offending or hurting others. Once brought to their attention and they then gain a new perspective, they may act in a totally different manner; all for the better. It may be okay to open this door again, albeit slowly as you regain faith and trust in them. Others, just won’t get it, or worse yet, they choose not to get it. If there are underlying behaviors such as Narcissism or Narcissistic Personality Disorder, Bi-polar, Borderline Personality Disorder, PTSD, anger management issues or the person is just plain mean, there are times they can’t understand or control their behaviors because they have not obtained or refuse to obtain professional assistance.
There may be times the negative behavior is brought on by their addictions. Other times, people just seem to be so worn out or tired or they simply feel entitled to their mean, rude or insensitive behaviors.
Go Ahead, You Can Do It
It is okay to close the door here as well if necessary. I understand that they may be family and you don’t want to see them continue to hurt themselves or others. While we want them safe, there is the fine line we walk between caring for the person and enabling their harmful ways. It’s never an easy decision and I am not suggesting that closing the door is always right; every situation is different. However, do not carry guilt and shame with you if you make the decision to shut the door. We must remember that we need to also care for ourselves.
There are people, things, and workplaces that will suck the life out of us if we let them. Remember, we cannot control their behaviors no matter what we do, but we can control our reaction to them. No other should make us sick, stressed, physically and emotionally drained. The decision is yours but please, don’t be afraid to close the door. Sometimes it’s only temporary; sometimes it will be forever. A fresh perspective is that closing said door may be the best thing for all parties. If forces vulnerability, accountability and healing.
If through the door you find value and joy, leave it open. If the old door brings chaos and sadness, find your brave, make a decision, and never fear closing the door!