Friday, August 03, 2007


We respond to the way others treat us.

We especially respond to people who treat us with unconditional positive regard.

And perhaps the highest level is undeserving unconditional positive regard.

See, it is legitimate to have certain expectations of people. You give; someone else gives back. It's a mutually beneficial relationship, and although it is not based on how much is given, that is the way it works.

But suppose that someone trusts you for absolutely no reason, because you haven't had the chance to prove yourself to them.

Or suppose that someone trusts you after you have failed them, but they believe in what is good in you and again, although you are undeserving of their trust or kindness, respond to you in a positive fashion.

Well, those are the people that we work the hardest for, the people whose respect we want, because we want to earn and deserve their good opinion. Because, in effect, these people are telling you, with their every action and every word, "We won't give up on you."

This is despite the fact that you might test them, push them or otherwise try to force them to give up on you, just to prove to yourself that the relationship is breakable. But it isn't.

I think we all do this for each other, some to a greater and some to a lesser extent. And there are times where it is uniquely frustrating or annoying or otherwise problematic, but you know that someone is relying on you and so you rise to the challenge.

Well, to all the people who have showered me with undeserving unconditional positive regard, thanks so much. That applies to all my friends.

Thanks for not ever giving up on me.

And I hope to be worthy of whatever it is you see in me, despite the flaws.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gorgeous post. Gave me a lot to ponder...

Just a thought--
Because, in effect, these people are telling you, with their every action and every word, "We won't give up on you."

What does it mean not to give up on someone? Not dumping them--or leaving them slowly and quietly-- when they're not exactly what we had expected? Maintaining a close relationship with someone even when they have proven themselves undeserving?

And I don't think that there are very many people out there like that--who trust you for no reason, and believe in you even in your undeserving state. You say we are all that type for eachother, some more and some less, but I'm not so sure about that...I would like to think we are, but that sounds awfully idealistic...

But in general, this post was a fantastic thought-sparker. Thanks.