I should know. I used to be one of those people, so you can’t kid a kidder. I know the signs.
A good friend of mine told me that every feeling, emotion and impulse I have is obviously shared by others (I’m unique but so is everybody else by that reasoning). Therefore I share this in the hopes that someone who has enabled disrespectful friends in their lives can enter the new year freed from the kavuyo.
Growing up, it was in my nature to be a doormat. A relative once told me: “Lindsey, someone can wipe their mud on your back and you’ll ask them if they need to wipe some more!”.
An illustration, reader, of what a doormat, in my case, signified:
“You’re angry with me. What did I do? Please, please, don’t ignore me and be passive aggressive. I confess I take full responsibility for whatever it is. You don’t even have to tell me. I forgive you and will allow you to pull childish stunts forever and ever amen”.
“I lent you 2 million shillings, may I have it back? Yes, I realize you helped me out with airtime every now and then. How selfish of me to not think of your sacrifices. Yes, you’re right, I should shut up because you don’t have the money and I’d better appreciate that if I want to be your friend!”
“You did something that upset me and I reacted badly. I’m so sorry you’re angry with me for reacting to something you did. I understand you don’t need to respect me enough to apologize. Please disregard what you did for my ‘sensitive’ reaction, and you have my permission to shit on my feelings forever and ever amen”.
“You talked about me behind my back, told someone sensitive information to hurt me. But of course, I can’t sue you for defamation since you claim you’re free to speak if it’s truth. You have also insulted me on numerous occasions, but please, let me be the one once again, to apologize for putting you in the position to do so. I accept that I am unworthy of any apology from you forever and ever , amen”.
But this year, I finally had enough. One woman in particular pulled an old signature move I used to tolerate from her: ‘I’ll shit on you and remember to take responsibility for making me shit on you”.
My brain finally restored itself to factory settings and I am able to see gaslighting and disrespect for what it is. Especially after I noticed that when I begun to stand up for myself and noticed my ‘friends’ did not appreciate this new person who will no longer take responsibility for their bad behavior, they begun the name calling and the “You now have kajanja” comments.
Everyone deserves love and mutually respectful relationships, and if you’re reading this and identify with what I’m writing (I’m sorry you’re also pathetic) let next year be the year you take responsibility for how you make people feel, but don’t allow yourself to give undue respect to those who won’t do the same for you.