Stop Lying About Being Unhappy Because You Don't Want To Be The "Bad Guy."
Today's post is inspired by a short clip I saw of a man discussing his relationship with his former partner. In the clip, he explains that the reason he stayed in their relationship (one he was unhappy in) was because he didn't want to hurt her feelings and be the "bad guy."
Watching that clip made me think about how often people are "stuck" in relationships, friendships or a plethora of other uncomfortable situations, not because they don't want to hurt someone's feelings but because they don't want to deal with the GUILT that comes with hurting or disappointing others.
I've written before on apologies and making sure that you're protecting yourself from insincere people by holding them accountable for their actions. So let me be clear - this post is not encouraging you to go hurt other people all willy nilly. This post IS calling you out on what your real issue is though. That person you just can't break up with? That friend who you keep talking about to others yet you won't confront? That family member you don't want to cut off? Ask yourself: am I really trying not to "hurt their feelings?" Or do I just not want to deal with the aftermath and the guilt?
It's human; nobody actually wants to be the bad guy, but being the "bad guy" doesn't make you a bad person. You know what does?
Infidelity. Gossip. Blowing up on an unsuspecting partner or friend after months of holding in an issue that you could have (and should have) communicated when the problem came up. I know that no one is perfect, and sometimes we keep our thoughts to ourselves because we just don't see them as a big enough deal. Some of us (like me) choose to wait to find better (and nicer) words to communicate our thoughts with. However, if that choice of waiting lasts months and the feeling still exists then all you're actually doing is falsely convincing yourself that you're doing this to be the "better' person.
A lot of my friends still struggle with internalizing their issues and quarrels with their partners for a number of reasons. They don't want to be seen as sensitive and emotional. They don't want to hurt their partner's feelings. They feel as though the minute they express an issue, their partner will become hurt or emotional and won't really listen to their side of the story. A lot of these fears are valid, for both men and women. I know from experience how hard it can be to communicate your side of something mid-argument. HOWEVERRRR *record scratch*
You cannot reserve a spot forever in your comfortable and habitual place of "not being the bad guy." It solves nothing. It helps no one. It temporarily makes YOU feel better about yourself, but all it's really doing is alleviating the pressure that could have made you a more mature and much more confident communicator. I often wonder (*Carrie Bradshaw voice*): how many people are opting to go on to other toxic habits or actions because they so desperately want to avoid "hurting someone's feelings." When are we all going to touch and agree on the reality that it just doesn't make sense?
If you're unhappy or "feeling some type of way" you owe it to yourself to communicate that with the person who is either responsible for those feelings or involved in that situation with you. Nothing in this life is permanent and none of us are bound by an eternal contract that says that we have to stay in unhappy situations. Either do the work to fix what you need to fix, or find the nearest exit beloved.
It's time to stop worrying about who is the bad guy, and start worrying about being the honest guy.