When I was tweenager, around 12 or 13, I learned a life lesson I’ve never forgotten.  A shy, insecure girl in my class, Mary Smith (not her real name) wanted to be my friend.  She followed me around, invited me over to her house after school, tried to please me…things like that.

One weekend I invited her over to play.  She was very excited about this, got all dressed up, was waiting for me to come by and get her.  For some reason I have no memory of, I decided I didn’t want to be with her that day so I called her up and said I couldn’t see her after all.

I found out later she was devastated because she didn’t have many friends and this was a big event for her.  The following week I tried to talk to her but she just turned away.  I called her and her parents said she wasn’t available.  I started to feel guilty and sick for my cavalier treatment of Mary Smith.

My father, who had quietly observed all this, took an opportunity to teach me a life lesson.  “You must always be careful about how you treat people.  Sometimes you can cause so much hurt and do so much damage to someone that they won’t be able to keep you in their lives.”

Here I am decades later and that lesson still remains a guiding principle in my life.  It also allows me to feel OK about accepting that some people may have hurt me or damaged me so badly that I can no longer have a relationship with them.

I’ve learned that everything we do in relation to other people has an impact, positive, negative or neutral. All our courses in the BizLife Institute library have a common theme woven throughout: treat yourself and others kindly and with respect, be aware of your impact on others and manage your behaviour accordingly, hold yourself and others accountable for proper treatment and seek to become the best version of yourself that you can possibly be.  This is what brings happiness, fulfilment, wellness and success – at home, at work and within ourselves.

Key Thought:

Sometimes we can do so much damage to another person that our relationship with them cannot survive.  Treating others with kindness and respect is always the best thing to do.

Relationships are difficult to navigate.  Check out Relationship Roadblocks And How To Repair Them.