I read that snippet of advice recently and it just struck a chord with me. How simple a dividing line is that? Over the past year, I began to consciously contemplate and apply that quote to my daily life, and to my surprise the happiness and peace in my life increased significantly.

Consider the people you know — your family, friends and acquaintances. Stepping back and placing them by where their actions belong is fairly easy. Everyone can have a bad day, a bad mood. What you are looking to discern is who has a give-and-take relationship with you. These are people who love you or care for you – people who care about your feelings and emotional happiness.

Love Those That Treat You Well

Loving the ones that treat you right means your love will be returned. This focuses your energy on loving relationships with the people that also support you in your life journey. Look at people’s actions, not their words. Do these people treat you “right”? Do they genuinely want what is best for you in your life. These people are there for you when you are down or sick, having a bad day, or have a difficult situation to deal with. They are ready to help as much as they can, even if it is just by giving you a hug or an encouraging word.

Deciding Who Does NOT Treat You Right is Fairly Easy

These are people who do not care about your feelings. Think about people who seem jealous or spiteful. People who lie to you cannot be trusted. People who constantly cut you down, ignore you or even seem to enjoy hurting your feelings.

Over time, I came to a startling realization: my mother clearly belongs among people who do NOT treat me right. The details are not important and really neither is her issue. The fact is that I can change neither, the only thing I control is my behavior and my response. This realization set me on a journey to discover ways to cope with my situation.

Finding Empathy from Fellow Survivors

At I have found some answers to my questions and much more. I have learned skills for coping with people who lie, manipulate or hurt me emotionally. This has helped in all areas of my life, at home and at work. The coping skills and support I have received from other survivors in similar situations has been a lifesaver. I truly feel like I have found a caring community interested in helping me fill-in the gaps of what loving and being loved is all about.

we love to read your comments below


  1. Kitty

    May 4, 2014 at 10:36 am

    Good advice! I think it sometimes is hard to see who the loving people are. I know people that act nice, but I don’t think they are?

  2. Profile photo of Nova

    June 10, 2014 at 11:54 pm

    Kitty, trust your gut. Lots of people act nice in public. Look at actions, not words. Words are easy to say and often mean nothing. Sometimes spiteful things are said under the guise of false concern or worry. Sometimes they are said behind your back. Sometimes they are said to your face with a laugh and called a “joke”. Anyone who frequently makes you feel bad or worthless isn’t showing love or concern in their actions, regardless of how they say the words.

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