Do you ever feel taken for granted? I did last night, and it hurt. Not fun. Have you ever taken someone else for granted? I know I have, and I’d wager to say that we all have at some point in our lives, like it or not. I don’t believe I’ve ever intentionally taken people for granted, and I don’t think I was taken for granted intentionally either. As I said, I think it’s more common than we’d care to admit but we rarely (I hope!) do it on purpose. We realize it after the fact, usually after the other person has told us how hurt he or she was, then we feel bad (I hope!) and apologize and hopefully our relationships are strong enough to carry on. Ever since it was made clear to me, in the past, that I have done that I have made a conscious effort in my life not to do it anymore, especially to the people I love. I know it’s hurtful and it can really ruin some one’s day, or night, or whatever.
Stop and think for a moment about the people you interact with in your everyday life. Friends, coworkers, family, the paper guy you walk past every morning, the mailman, your boss, the clerk at the grocery store, etc ad infinitum. This has been part of my thought process lately: Do you look people in the eye when you casually greet them? You know, that tossed out “Hello” to random folks with whom you cross paths. Do you think it matters? I do, or at least, I try to every time. I Think it means a lot more if you look at someone in the eye when you say hello or smile as you pass. I think it’s appreciated and I know I appreciate it when I’m on the receiving end.
Feeling appreciated is just very nice in general, even more so when someone takes a moment to stop and tell you, “I really appreciate what you do.” It’s a warm fuzzy feeling, of course (doubtful you’ll EVER hear me say “warm fuzzy” again here, just sayin.) I think what we need to be careful of as social beings though, is saying things like that and then using them as a “free pass” to do thoughtless or hurtful things. I believe this is another common though unconscious act and as such it’s tough to self-police, but we need to try.
To bring this back down to earth- I ripped the young woman driving in front of me on my way to work this morning a new one because she was the worst driver I’ve ever seen (since yesterday) and yelled and pointed at her. She probably (if she even noticed) thought I was having a seizure or something! I’m embarrassed to admit it. Being upset does NOT give you the right to say whatever you want, even if the person can’t hear you! Oh well, make the rest of the day better.