If the year 2018 was anything for me it was a journey of self discovery and awareness. Suddenly many truths have become clear to me and i started seeing many things the way they are rather than how i feel they are or how i feel they should be.
All my life i have been a people pleaser and i am a giver and i love to give and giving and helping others brings me joy. Unfortunately looking back at my experiences in life most of them have ended badly with disappointments and people taking advantage of kindess. They know you will not say NO. So they ask you to do things that you are shocked they ask you to do. Yet in-spite of that shock of them asking you to do these incredibly HUGE favors you say YES because they asked so nicely and because they are your friends and because well you feel maybe you want to help.
Before you know it something happens and you realize that that person would never return the favor or even appreciate it. They have reached a point where you doing these things has become something expected from you and not something you are thanked for even.
You continue to do good and know Allah will return it to you but yet you mature and start to realize that you can say NO.
عن أبي هريرة رضي الله عنه قال: قال رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم: " المؤمن القوي خير وأحب إلى الله من المؤمن الضعيف وفي كل خير. احرص على ما ينفعك، واستعن بالله ولا تعجز. وإن أصابك شيء فلا تقل: لو أني فعلت كان كذا وكذا، ولكن قل: قدر الله، وما شاء فعل؛ فإن لو تفتح عمل الشيطان" (( رواه مسلم))
Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) reported:
Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said, "A strong believer is better and dearer to Allah than a weak one, and both are good. Adhere to that which is beneficial for you. Keep asking Allah for help and do not refrain from it. If you are afflicted in any way, do not say: 'If I had taken this or that step, it would have resulted into such and such,' but say only: 'Allah so determined and did as He willed.' The word 'if' opens the gates of satanic thoughts".
So being a good muslim doesn't mean being a pushover. Being a good person doesn't mean never saying NO. Even Allah loves a strong mu2min more than a weak one. Being strong is by standing up to yourself. Being strong is not being afraid to say what is right and what is wrong. SayYes when you want to and make it on your terms and not theirs.
I have come a long way and i am still learning but in school now my daughter is dealing with a girl who is bullying her. I spoke to the mom and i thought it was resolved till i found out that the only difference has become that my daughter has been afraid to speak up and listened to everything this girl tell her to do including laughing at other kids. Threatening her saying if she doesn't she will tell secrets about her and get her in trouble. I know my Lulu is very kind. She just wants to have friends and she even told me the girl makes her carry her bag! You know as a mother sometimes there are things that happen to us and people mistreat us in life but if someone hurts my daughter... they have unleashed... the inner HULK
And i realized that she is a copy of me and i don't want her to go through years and year of people taking advantage of her and living in fear of being rejected or not loved. I think we should bring this awareness to our children because even as adults we might not realize the many toxic people we have in our life. We should stop this need for being loved by everyone.
We justify their toxic behavior because we always tend to look at the good side of people and the good they do. And sometimes those people really care about you and love you but still doesn't meant that they cant be toxic for you.
How many times has your friend come to you and told you about she has been mistreated and you just feel so angry because in the end when you don't walk away from it you are allowing it. And sometimes we allow it because we think we deserve it. You then you wonder that if this happened to you would you feel this strongly about it? Would you be this angry or do you feel you deserve this treatment? If the same thing was done to you would you react the same way if it was done to someone you care about? your daughter? ohhhh HELL NO
And why is it that you take peoples mistreatment to yourself so lightly??
Why is it that you allow others to take advantage of you and control you and justify their actions?
Because... you lack SELF RESPECT!
It's likely that you are a kind helpful person by nature, and sometimes you allow people to take advantage of you, because you're nice and you want to be a people pleaser. Stop this pattern! it's killing your SELF RESPECT and will only let people step all over you. so what you need to do is :
1. Recognize when someone is taking advantage of your time or kindness.
2. Act. Say something. SPEAK UP.
For Ex. Someone calls ans asks you to do work for free whether its a logo design or an event or any service people usually PAY for. They don't bring up payment. They say things like " oh this is actually good for you and i'll tell all my friends about your work" AS if they are doing YOU a favor by letting you do the work for FREE. Next time you are in a situation like this, friend or not.
You say : " that's great i would love to help you but i will email you a quotation for approval." If they keep insisting on free work you say since you are my friend and i will give you a discount. If they get upset, they are not your true friends.
3. Pay attention to little details that you let go.
For ex: More than once i would be out with people and not eat and maybe just have a drink while many order shisha and some even order STEAK and in the end they divide the bill equally. And you end up not speaking up because you feel it would make you look bad to say something. But in reality.. YOU Should not pay 295 AED for a cup of diet seven up and bread and butter.
So that is just one example.
So that is just one example.
Once i was sitting with a group of girls, and one of the bossy girls was next to me. Her friend arrived late and when she arrived she looked at me and said " Dina get up and give your seat to her so she sits next to me". i didn't even think twice, i got up and gave the girl my seat. It was only later it hit me.. SHE should have gotten up. I was sitting there before her. It was MY SEAT. So why did i just not say "Sorry i was here first if you want to sit next to her maybe you can move". Because not speaking up even though you think its to avoid problems it is not a solution. Every time you don't speak up it adds a bad feeling about yourself in your heart because each time you don't speak up YOU disrespect yourself and allow people to DISRESPECT you.
I was sent this very powerful video that i believe everyone needs to watch and i will translate it to those who do not understand arabic. Detox is not only with food but with people and your relationship with others and she talks about the kinds of people you need to cut out of your life ( unless if they are family like your mom or sister or relatives). We are talking about unhealthy toxic friendships and this video will help you recognize these people. I will add some of my points as well :)
The kinds of toxic people you need to get our of your life
1. il 7ardaneen ( ones who are always upset from you)
Someone who is always upset from you and never ever pleased. People who make you feel you are not good enough. Who always question your "niya" and good intentions. They make you feel like you did a crime when you would not have done anything. You find yourself constantly worried that you upset them. You find yourself doubting your own self and feeling always that you are not good enough. They will never be please and sometimes they are not bad people but this kind of person is toxic and will only make you feel bad always.
2. Pack your bags cause you are about to go on a GUILT TRIP.
Someone who always "بعاتبك" means that they always come to you saying things like " Why did you not call me yesterday or why haven't i heard from you in so long? Don't you care?" Again this is all to make you feel guilty and those people will never ever accept any excuse and make you feel bad no matter what excuse you tell them. True friends don't judge and they don't even need to hear your excuse.
People who sit with you and are just simply negative. In their outlook in life. Negative about other people. We are like sponges and every person gives out a certain energy. They have endless complains about everything and have the ability to turn every situation into a negative one.
Negativity is incredibly harmful and contagious.
So just like you are careful to stay away from someone with Infeunza al tyooor or al khanazer or someday al bagar. You need to stay away from these people because before you know it you will such a weight on your chest and somehow their negativity moves on to you.
Human beings are like sponges and we will only absorb the energy surrounding us.
This category is not always as obvious as you think. They are those people who pretend to be your friends but seem to always put you down. Negative comments on your appearance. Negative comments on anything you do. Maybe its because of their insecurities. I had a friend who used to tell me i look like Lilo and stitch. not the girl ....the alien
There are those who just find ways to put you down. You tell them " Look i just won a wordwide logo competition!" Their reply would be something like this " Oh really.. are you sure its worldwide? cause maybe its one of those online things that only loser graphic designers join online" ermmm
Those people can't even stand to see you receive a compliment by someone else infront of them.
Somone else : Dina you look so great!
( Negative Person) : Oh you didn't see how she looked yesterday?!!
I know it might seem hard to just cut these people out of your life. Especially if you have known them for so long. But after a while the continuous negative effect on your life will make your feel like you are " makhnoo2a" ( suffocating). And you realize the reasons you have for keeping in your life are not good enough.
Take that step. Just walk away. Feel Empowered again. Take back control of your life and RESPECT YOURSELF! And most of all you need to teach your children about this and about boundaries and how people should always respect you and your boundaries.
Think of all the time you have wasted in "muajamalat" and doing things for people who don't deserve it rather than doing the things for the people you love and seeing the people you love.
You can never get that time back. Use your precious time wisely. Most of all LOVE YOURSELF