This I Believe

Ashley - Greenville, North Carolina
Entered on June 12, 2007

All my life I have been taught, through being a Christian and in my belief in Jesus and God, to act selfless and to treat others as you would like to be treated. I have been shy, let people use me and I have ignored the way I have been treated. I am throwing the golden rule out of the window. In this particular case, I am treating another as I have been treated. I believe in self-assertiveness and gaining the respect one deserves. It is okay to treat someone the way that you have been treated, regardless of it being good or bad. I am not talking about revenge. I am simply talking about sticking up for yourself and not letting someone walk all over you.

A recent event has triggered me to write on this particular subject. This event has truly been a turning point in a friendship of mine. For the past three years I have been nothing but a good friend to this person. I have always been there for her through good times and bad times, and I have always been a shoulder to cry on. This past year, we decided to become roommates and have our own apartment. We thought it was going to be fun and that we could hang out all the time. It was everything but that. Slowly, my friend began to see my weaknesses in confrontation. She thought she could get away with disrespecting me in my own apartment and she did a few times. Last week, I had an exam at eight o’clock in the morning. While I was studying for my exam the night before, she thought it would be a good idea to bring 20 people into our apartment and play beer pong. Being such good friends I thought she would understand when I went out there twice to tell them to keep it down. With my small voice and cordial attitude, no one took me seriously. I was not getting my point across and I finally lost it. Like I have heard from some people, I saw red. I raised my voice to a volume I had never heard before. I think this shocked my friend because everyone left the apartment. She did not speak to me for days. When we finally sat down to talk, I felt so confident because I had stuck up for myself that my feelings just flowed out of me. This event pushed me to my breaking point. Since I held my feelings in all year, I grew to really dislike her as a person. I am not sure if we will continue our friendship in the future, but I do not need someone for a friend that can easily disrespect me and my property. It is sad to say that I really do not care too much if our friendship remains.

Expressing myself in this way has given me a great deal of confidence to always stick up for myself in the future. This event has taught me to treat someone as they have treated me. To me, self-assertiveness is a wonderful strength everyone should have and learn. It took me twenty-one years to learn it, but I am sure glad I was able to test it. This is an attribute everyone needs in this world or they will be used as a doormat.