Still have Divorce Friend touching base but she's moved on to live with another friend in hiding til her new apartment is ready. (Don't want crazy estranged husband to know where she lives.)
Still have SAHM friend who struggles with boundaries/anxiety touching base.
The rest of my friends are doing ok -- their problems are like mine. Annoying, but easily fixable.
I'm lucky enough to be dealing in tangible problems rather than "relationship" or "work" issues. Yes, the plumbing! Plumber came, AC came, remodel measurements guy came. The whole "Stop this water damp and make two new bathrooms" project inches forward. I'm hoping for a Xmas bathroom. Maybe a New Year's one. Let's GO!
But being in a front row seat trying to support Divorce Friend and SAHM friend in their separate but related struggles has been interesting.
I used to say "If you want self-esteem, do esteemable things!"
My feeling on that hasn't changed but I read an article
that gave me pause to reflect on how I express that sentiment. I'd been surfing online trying to find something uplifting to send to both of those two to encourage them.
Self-esteem is based in what you think.
Self-respect is based on what you do.
stuck out for me from the article.
When I measured it against my own
"If you want good self esteem, do esteemable things"
what I thought was a clear statement became even clearer to myself.
I deeply believe that feelings ensue after behavior. All day long we choose things, choose how to behave in the circumstances. That leads to feelings. Which leads to the next set of circumstances to choose the next
Self esteem and self respect are interlinked for me.
So what I MEAN when I say the above is
"If you want good self-esteem, behave in self-respecting ways."
Cool. I got an update in clarity of expression. I still think the same thing. I can just now say it better.
Shiny Thoughts. So much fun to think!
Sometimes I use the old fashioned phrase of "That is not flattering to you" when assessing someone's behavior or conduct. What I mean is "choose to behave in self-respecting ways."
It's fine to let one's hair down and run around being silly once in a while. But know time and place, please. Definitely don't run around like that Estranged Husband doing all kinds of wackadoodle! (Understatement: Ugh. Soooo not self respecting behavior! )
The article also had this stand out quote to me.
Self-respect is based on what you do. And it is an ongoing effort. It doesn't matter what you did in the past, it is about what you are doing now. It is important to realize that these actions are concrete and measure up to external standards of good behavior, accomplishment and cause for admiration. You don't just think of yourself as a good person, you walk the talk. You take extra time and effort to be a good person to others.
That also means being a good person to YOURSELF. Not selfish,
but honoring your own well being and choosing behaviors to support that.
That's my SAHM friend. I tell her over and over to buck up and change her behavior and see if she feels better.
See if her self esteem improves if she breaks up with so called "friends" than drain her because she is choosing self-respecting behavior then. To not associate herself with toxic people! To decide she deserves to be around nourishing, supportive people.
To get involved in her community and participate and not be all cabin fever with walls closing in on her. Because she is choosing self-respecting behavior by engaging with other people, donating her time to give something back, to preserve her mental health and to improve the world she lives in. Rather than choosing less than self-respecting behavior and staying like a shut in where she slowly goes potty with cabin fever! Shoot -- go pet and clean the cats at the animal shelter! You like cats!
To go get a check up at the doctor for depression, vitamin deficiency, hormones, etc . Because she is choosing self respecting behavior and caring for her body and mind with that action. See the dentist while at it!
DH and I were at Denny's on Sunday and we were going over Divorcing Friend since she was coming over later that night to practice her court statement on us.
He shook his head and told me (again) that for us to Open, there would have to be respect all around. It's a line in the sand with him. I re-agreed! That's always been there.
Divorcing Friend and her Estranged Husband? Their Opening and expectations and attitudes? Just seemed lacking in respect/sef-respect to me in some places.
On the other hand, her taking serious steps to be rid of him and his abuses? It's a hard row to hoe. And she's doing it anyway!
That's self-respecting behavior in spades.
Later Monday night after the whole court day DH and I were working on a puzzle talking about this whole "self-esteem vs self-respect" thing.
It's a subtle, subtle trip at first. To make excuse for someone else's bad behavior. Anyone can have a bad day. But if the person constantly
crosses boundaries the answer is not to move the boundary back or excuse them. It's to call into account. Either THEM for the bad behavior or YOURSELF for choosing to engage with this person to begin with. Or BOTH.
Because if you do that enough times... making excuse for their bad behavior toward you? And you STAY in the line of fire for more?
Your OWN self esteem and self respect takes the dings. Then it's even harder to get out of the pit.