punching bag

Throughout life you are going to come across people who want nothing more than to see you fail. They constantly nag you and try and make you feel bad about yourself, hoping that you let it get to you. It’s rough— seeing someone focus all of their energy on you just to deflect what’s going on with them.

I have been in the position where I’ve treated people close to me like crap for no reason. It didn’t take me long to realize what I was doing, and stop it. When you are going through things within your own head, it isn’t fair to take the anger you have at yourself out on someone else. Or if you have conflict with one person, allowing yourself to treat another as your punching bag isn’t okay either. All of this seems like common sense, but we are all guilty of it on a certain level— some, way, way more than others.

Sometimes it can be hard to tell if you are using someone as your punching bag. The easiest way to figure it out is to listen. Listen to the words coming out of your mouth directed at them, and listen to the way they respond to you. Once you start paying attention, the damage you are doing is quite obvious. And sometimes it takes you realizing it on your own, because a lot of people won’t have the courage to stand up and tell you exactly how you are making them feel.

Now, it’s one thing to acknowledge that you are using someone, but it’s another thing to actually take action and stop. The majority think that it’s enough just to leave a trail of empty apologies along the way, without actually changing. In order to become a better person, in order to grow, you have to fill each apology with a piece of your pain, eventually you will have no more pain to throw at that person.

This also works when trying to forgive someone. Allow a piece of the puzzle to come back together with every conversation you have with said person.

Being on the opposite end of the spectrum, and having someone use YOU as their punching bag is a tricky place to be. While it’s easy to tell that the person using you is going through some things, it’s not easy to tell in what way you must ask them to stop hurting you as well. It’s easy to feel like you have to let them continue hurting you, because they don’t actually mean it… Right? Behind every rude, and vague comment hides some truth about how that person really feels towards you. Don’t let yourself feel like it isn’t okay to stand up and stop them dead in their tracks of destruction. You don’t need to be involved with their self-despair.

Sometimes being a punching bag for so long, and never fully sticking up for yourself causes a lot of emotions to build up. So when you snap, you snap. Everything that you feel about whoever continues to hurt you just comes charging out. You come to a point where you don’t even care. They’ve continued to try and dig you deeper and deeper into a hole, that when you finally are able to push them out of the way to see the light shining in, you don’t have the strength to sit in the darkness with them any longer.

Either they see it, or they don’t. It should never be your job to make someone understand that their actions are hurting you. And it isn’t your right to tell someone they are wrong when they’ve said you hurt them. Everyone’s feelings are valid— but that doesn’t mean actions are too.

-Kelsi

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