How many times have we felt this way – like we are damned if we do, and damned if we don’t? How often has life dealt us hands or placed us in situations in which there is no way possible that we can win?
Life can be like a series of no-win situations and since interactions with others are part of life it is no wonder that our relationships often follow life’s example. Sometimes no matter how hard we try, we will never win. No matter how determined we are to be kind, to attempt to please others, to be thoughtful and/or diplomatic in and about our dealings with others, we will never do enough, be enough, or please anyone, including ourselves.
It may seem that there will be no satisfying anyone because there are some who can only see the negative. There are those who seem programmed to pick out the flaws, faults, and errors which others make. For some, I suppose, it supplies an element of satisfaction to point out these shortcomings because, perhaps, it makes them feel better about themselves and their own inadequacies. It’s a fair-from-perfect strategy though – the one in which we tear someone else down in order to build ourselves up. This only becomes another no-win situation that will always result in a pattern of events which will continue to prove hurtful to everyone in the end.
When we seem determined to be “right”, to be the one who proves others wrong, or to be he who acts as a mirror to us in order to portray where we have gone wrong, we place ourselves in a position where others may begin to resent us. Few of us believe that we are perfect, most believe themselves to be far from it. Having our mistakes, however innocent, continuously pointed out to us only adds to this feeling. But, if that’s the goal of some, to keep us feeling inferior and less than adequate, then mission accomplished I suppose. When we constantly feel like we will never live up to another’s expectations, some of us will stop trying and this is when resentment builds and communication breaks down.
If you are the mirror, the finger pointer, the one who is always right and points to the always wrong, please take a moment and ask yourself why you are doing this. Is it because you feel badly about some elements in your own life that you are determined to make these things seem better by proving someone else is worse off? Or is it because you simply have a strong dislike for those you are determined to prove at fault?
If you are the reflection, on the receiving end of the pointing, the one who seems to be always wrong or at fault, please also take a moment and ask yourself why you continue to put up with this kind of treatment. Is it because you are and have always been the peacemaker and you are determined to make peace even with this? Or is it because you truly want to finally have the respect of those who are determined to prove you at fault?
People can only change when they truly want to change. Patterns and habits can be broken, but only with determination and a true desire to break them. The first step is acknowledging that there is indeed something to modify in our behaviour and the next one is admitting that we have been experiencing or causing others pain and sadness through these actions. Communication needs to happen, but everyone has to be willing to communicate compassionately and respectfully.
Hopefully there are still enough of us who like to think of the glass as half-full, but there will always be times where no matter how hard we try, we are damned if we do and damned if we don’t. The important thing is to acknowledge those life situations and relationships in which we can never win and to make a decision to move toward putting our time, energy, and positivity into the ones in which all parties feel equal, respected, and loved.