I’d say that in general I have pretty good instincts about people, but I have also been known to give some of them the benefit of the doubt far longer than I should and far longer than they deserve.
So, today, when someone who I spent several years making excuses for did something that I knew long ago he was capable of, it shouldn’t have come as a surprise. Â But, even though as soon as he spoke to me, my gut knew what was coming next, I was still surprised when it happened. Â Even after I called him on it and he completely and transparently lied to my face, I was surprised. Â I was hurt. Â I was angry. And I let it happen. Â I didn’t do anything to protect myself. Â And that made me even angrier and I turned it in on myself. Â This person is no longer a significant presence in my life, he’s barely a blip on the radar anymore and yet I let him shake me up and upset the calm I’ve been cultivating.
In the aftermath, I shared the details with several people who it affected directly (actually, more directly than it affects me in the long run). Â They too were outraged and not a bit surprised. Â They reaffirmed my feelings and helped me diffuse them, but the episode left me shaking with rage and it took a good couple of hours to calm down and stop reeling from what had happened. Â I think the lesson is finally learned. Â I only hope I don’t ever have to face it in this particular way again.
Please excuse the vagaries of detail in this post. Â It’s done to protect the innocent (as well as the guilty). I’ll just leave the guilty party with some advice: Â When your job requires you to be Ethical, you sometimes have to act above simple self-preservation and do the right thing, even if it’s hard to do. Â Maybe start with a dictionary and look up the definition of the word ethical, and then read a book or two about how to practice being ethical. Â There are hundreds of them in the library down the hall from your office.