I realized something today… Some people get on the Dysfunction Roller Coaster™ and never get off. They complain about their lives, relationships, jobs, circumstances, and will scream into the abyss, “I want off this ride!” Yet when faced with opportunities for growth, their response is to ignore all they’ve been told, all they’ve been shown, and grip the rusty, rundown, barely gripping the tracks, train instead.
I had to ask myself why this mattered since it’s not my behavior, not my choices…
What I came to is that these types of people trigger me.
Their dysfunctional worldview conflicts with my functional worldview, and it’s a problem.
I sat with this a bit and thought about all the people in my life that I’ve had to step away from. Before today, there was no pattern connecting these people. Yes, most of them had some sort of PTSD or similar issue, but their behaviors weren’t aligning. Yet all trigger me.
Today I finally connected what it was that aligned them.
None of them want to grow.
They don’t want to change. All of them want to be told they’re doing great, that they’re amazing people that have come so far and done such glorious things, and yet none of them have. They’ve moved forward some maybe, but the last thing these types of people want to hear is that they need to work on themselves.
In order to be the best people we can, we (as in all humans) must continue to grow. We must be open when we’re told we’ve hurt someone, or that we’re sabotaging ourselves, that there is a better way than what we’re doing, because if we aren’t moving forward and growing, then we’re stuck on this roller coaster.
It’s bizarre that so many people call it a crazy train, because trains are linear. They have a beginning and end. Craziness circles. It doesn’t have a stop. It’s like spinning in place until your hole is so damn deep that you can’t get out. This is why I’d call it the crazy roller coaster. Because that reflects the truth…
People get on this way of existing like a ride at an amusement park, and they stay on it. Going in that circle. Repeating all the same patterns and continuing to be confused as to why their life and circumstances aren’t changing.
It makes me sad for them. I’ve had pain, trauma, been the victim, and I honestly can’t understand why anyone would want to remain in that kind of pattern. It doesn’t make sense in my head.
A friend said I might be making people question their worldview, and that’s scary. But I question mine all the time. It’s not that scary. What it is, is work.
Work that many don’t want to do.
This leaves me in a hard place though. I care about many of these people. Not as much anymore, but there are still some in my life and I don’t know how to handle this. Because what I see clearer than ever is that I’m not compatible with people that don’t want to grow.
When I try to be there for them and help them and guide them, what they give me in return is that their dysfunction is more important than their relationship with me. No matter if it’s family, friendship, etc… it’s the same.
Their dysfunction matters more.
This is such a huge thing for me to realize. It’s not yelling, bullying, crossing boundaries, or the like, that trigger me. While those behaviors are unacceptable, it’s the root of those behaviors that is my trigger. The thing that leads people to bully and yell and cross boundaries. It’s these peoples’ unwillingness to change and grow and accept responsibility. It’s making excuses for behavior rather than just saying, “I’m sorry. I’ll work on this.”
I care a lot about people. Probably too much for my own good. It’s why I hate walking away or enforcing boundaries. Because I can often see why people are doing what they are. But seeing the why doesn’t make the what acceptable.
This is what I’ve come to…
I treat people how I want to be treated. Which means I listen, I’m open to feedback, I take to heart what people tell me about my behavior and how I make them feel, and I try my hardest to always be growing, improving, and moving forward. I try to be at my best for myself and for others.
I deserve that same treatment.
I deserve to be more important than someone else’s dysfunction.
I can’t have people in my life that want to remain on the coaster of dysfunction.
It’s not a judgment toward any of them. I’m simply not compatible. Growth is attractive to me. Accountability too. These things draw me to people and keep me there. They inspire more forward progress in myself as well.
So while it makes me sad and a little teary, I must move on. I can no longer waste my time with people that don’t align with this simple concept of growth. This isn’t an area where opposites attract in any sort of healthy way. This is an area where like must attract like.
I’m more important that fucked up and dysfunctional worldviews.
*image by Kristen Price on freeimages.com*