You deserve better and you shouldn’t have to say so (a rant)
Sometimes you just have to put everything down on paper to see an accurate reflection of where you are, what you believe and value and what is simply not working. Be careful not to paint everyone with the same brush and understand that sometimes genuinely good people will go through toxic periods. Sometimes, we are toxic people. Sometimes after some really hard work plenty of self-reflecting and self-correction, that toxicity sorts itself out and things work out.
If it costs me faith, my values, and peace, then this is a place, this environment, and these people are not for me.
If it requires lying about me, to me, or me to lie for or about another it is not for me. If you are lying to me by omission, by substitution, it doesn’t matter if it’s a small insignificant lie or something important; you are not for me, this job is not for me, these people are not for me. If you prefer the lie, if you prefer the pretend life, the complacent approach to life and work, I am not the right person for you.
If you need to tell me whatever it takes to keep the peace, shut me up and say whatever is easiest for the sake of convenience, or simply choose not to engage in a truly open and honest conversation, this relationship, this job, this type of person is not for me.
If talking about problems and finding solutions is something that you choose not to do with me, if silence, ignoring the issues is the only alternative you are not worthy of my time, professionally or otherwise.
If you need to be secretive about life events, if you choose to hide or withhold anything- particularly the things that show who you are- if you need to wear a mask, I am not the right person for you.
If you are not willing to acknowledge me, know me and treat me more than an invisible being in front of others, you are not right for me.
If I am to beg, plead, repeat over and over again, you are showing that my opinions, my voice, my time means nothing to you.
If I am expected to be a shadow, a ghost, if I am to give up what could lead to my peace, happiness, success for your comfort and convenience or those that you respect and choose in your life you are not for me. I am not ‘an only if nothing better comes along’ spot holder. My needs, wants and feelings have value for those who are worthy even if you are not amongst them; it does not matter if you are my family, my friend or colleague.
If you are withholding the most important pieces of yourself, pretending that all is well or being something other than who you truly are, if you are not in a place where you can be authentically and genuine, I am not the right person for you. I have no desire to operate with masks and a person of two or more faces in any situation.
If you need to pretend, deceive, trick, manipulate, ghost, hide, conveniently forget, change the narrative in each conversation, withhold, or intentionally or otherwise resort to gaslighting tactics to hold on to me, keep me in the space, this place and these people are not for me.
If you find the need to mould me, shape me, deconstruct any aspect of my being; if you need to undermine me, pick away at my confidence, appear and disappear as suited, and prey on my hopes, dreams and insecurities you are just plain toxic if not downright abusive to me.
I do not need this toxicity in work or in any aspect of my life; it is destructive and disrespectful. This is so much more common in the workplace than I ever imagined and as a woman, we face it not only from the men (subordinates, peers and management alike but from women too).
If you are the type to resent me for calling you out for your BS or giving constructive criticism and/or have no interest in calling me out on mine, you are not for me.
If you are holding onto me out of fear, ego or loneliness rather than respect, love, friendship and a true innate desire to be more, do more and fulfil more of our sunnah and fard requirements I cannot be the right person for you.
If you can fulfil the rights of all others, if you are fighting for the rights of all others, whilst infringing, trampling or just plain ignoring mine, you are not for me.
If Allah has granted you the means, resources and ability and yet you are not willing to take on some of the responsibility of treating me as a woman of honour and dignity not just financially, but emotionally, mentally, physically, sexually, spiritually, if I’m not adding real meaning and value to your life or vice versa, if the intimacy at all those levels does not exist, is subject to convenience rather than appreciating its privilege, you are definitely not for me. If we don’t share values, if you are not willing to take care of yourself and me, if you don’t want or show any inclination to serve as a protector a guardian and a best friend, you cannot be for me.
If doing something together or for each other, making each other feel important, special and appreciated, if creating memories is uncomfortable for you or me, if one or both of us always holding back and avoiding it, if taking some of life’s and Islam’s most fundamental steps together is constantly unnerving, this is not the right place for me.
If we cannot talk, if sharing my fears and needs or yours, if we cannot be truly vulnerable, be at our weakest or if we can’t celebrate our achievements or special moments if creating meaningful memories with everyone but me is a priority, if the burdens of what it offers are too much this isn’t the place for me. These people are not my people.
If silence, forgiveness and patience are weaponised against me or vice versa, you are not for me. If my weaknesses are used against me, or to exploit me you are not for me. If I am nothing more than an obligation, a burden, a convenience, if you feel the need to use me or feel used by me, you are not for me.
If you are not willing to do the work, take responsibility, and be accountable for your own actions, if you cannot speak directly instead of riddles, rhymes and avoidance, you are not for me. If I am to shoulder your blame, you are not my people.
If you are not willing to defend me, fight for me and with me in a constructive and healthy way, if you are not willing to stand with me and for me, you are not the right kind of person for me.
If you choose not to include me in your life, introducing me to the most important people in your life, if it gives you angst, and requires avoidance can I really be the right person for you?
If I’m not asking about your days, your past, your future, your interests and part times, hopes and dreams, your life, if I’m not willing to joke and laugh and rarely fully at ease with you, I’m not the right person for you. If I’m not sharing the same info with you or answering your questions and vice versa, I’m not the right person for you, I am not enough of a friend. You deserve better.
If we are never talking about the future, if there is no commitment and there is not even the hint of one on the horizon, I will never plan a life, a future with you, with this organisation. The truth is, I don’t see one. I don’t see our interactions lasting more than a short while.
If you are not willing to compromise or put me first once in a while, I’m not the right person for you.
If you are the type to insist on telling me I need to lower my standards and expectations of people, that I need to drop to the level of others instead of asking them to raise their game, if you are the type to make it sound like I’m the problem for not wanting the scraps thrown on the floor that even your dog won’t touch, the bare minimums and only slightly more than that, you need to turn around and walk away. You are simply wasting my time and clearly have none of my interests at heart. It doesn’t matter if it’s work or family, friend or foe.
If you are the type of person that are busy encouraging others to pursue a project, a cause, a family (or pursuing the same yourself) while discouraging me, poking holes and finding problems with mine offering no reasonable explanation or assisting solutions, you are not the people I want in my space.
If you have no interest in actually hearing and listening when I speak, if you have no desire to implement what is needed, you are not the people I want to work with, live with or have any association with.
If you are the people that live by the adage ‘don’t hate the player, hate the game’, you are wasting my time. Anyone who truly believes this is looking for an easy road. The truth is there would be no game with no players. Success should not cost you your soul.
If you have no interest in treating me as you do your closest family, then it is clear I am not your family. If you are unable to treat me as you treat your closest friends, then it is clear that I am no friend to you. If you would treat others in your workspace better than me, I take it my professional relationship with you is non-existent. If acquaintances, strangers and even enemies are treated with more dignity, respect and the best of you, you have made it clear I am no one and nothing to you.
Relationships are about companionship, and friendship, they are just, kind, honest, patient, intimate, compromise, compassionate, it’s building something meaningful together.
More than that, they bide by respect. They require independence and interdependence. One that can’t encourage us to show our truth, be our truest selves, one who is not open to dialogue even when they disagree, even if it causes some justified pain, can’t be. That’s just saying I can’t trust you to honour me for who I am.
There’s something eternal about the right relationships, they flow with ease even in hardship. They make each other better not by force but it’s a natural flow. Even when they wish to walk away in the shittiest of times, they know they are better as people together, they somehow inspire people to be a better version of themselves.
The truth is our every action, every non-action, every word and silence, every standstill moment and the consistency in which they are carried out speaks volumes of what we really feel and think about any person and every single one has consequences.
I’d rather deal with the painful truths, the full story and the facts. Having all the facts, feelings and cards on the table allows for both/all parties to make informed and honest decisions which can only lead to long-term happiness.
I’d rather have no one than people who show up only because they have to, show up only to stab in the back, show up in word only, or just not show up at all. I am no one’s second-best, backup, part-timer, toy, invisible, donkey to be lead by a dangling carrot, subject to convenience, need to tolerate person.
When people reveal who they are, believe them, when they show what matters, who matters believe them. When your heart is constantly breaking, when you feel like they are trying to make you feel like there’s something wrong with you, when they ignore you over and over again and still get rewarded, leave! There is no job on the planet, no friend, no family member, no partner and no one that is worth the pain that comes with that. I know I am better, that I deserve better and I am in pursuit of far better, and that is all that truly matters.
Disclaimer: While I wrote this last year, I have been reminded that so many of these aspects apply in the professional space as well family, friends and significant others. It should go without saying that not everything applies to each relationship dynamic or workspace, it should work both ways as all valuable relationships do. And if ever you have reached a point where you need to tell anyone this, you have been working, playing and building in the wrong place, with the wrong people! I am not a mental health expert, so if you think you are being abused or think you are an abusive personality seek help from a professional.