When I was younger, I used to wonder why many good people end up abandoned by their kids, friends and family member…. And ending up all alone. When you speak to them, they would share stories of hurt and betrayal.
Important disclaimer: This may NOT be applicable to everyone. Some people tragically lose family members through untimely death, as well as other reasons. But I wish to share this as a food for thought.
There are factors that are really out of our control. At the same time, there is a possibility that our personality and attitude contributes to how people react to us.
The following behaviour may eventually result in people staying away from us:
1. Extreme stubborness and unflinching attitude. It is always either ‘my way or the highway’.
When we are young and able, our kids and people who rely or try to take advantage of us may put up with our ways. Once our use has expired, then people will follow the highway, and no longer our way.
2. Constant negativity of complaining about others and how unfair life is
Yes, we may have a bad life. People whom we have helped may have betrayed us. But there is no neee to go on and on and on and on to anyone who is willing to listen. It will make people feel very drained out. Other people have problems and a stressful life also. If they find themselves feeling exhausted and drained after meeting us, eventually they would start avoiding us… For their peace of mind.
3. Trying to break people apart
I have seen many cases that show to me that people who like to break up others relationship will end up having their relationships broken up as well. I believe there is heavy karmic consequences of breaking up people and groups.
Some people are adamant to turn us against people whom they are not happy with. If we do not agree with them, we would be met with great disapproval, cold treatment or passive aggressive behaviour.
4. Trusting the wrong type of people
Usually such people have a self righteous attitude …..which could be taken advantage of by opportunists for their own benefit. Opportunist will see through this and slowly weasle into the good books of self righteous people to influence them to their advantage by using ‘circumstantial evidence’. So in the end, such people may end up trusting the wrong type of people, and going against those who truly matter. Then, when they are not longer of any use, they get discarded by these opportunists. By then, their relationships had soured with their loves ones.
I have a number of cases that I know of that brought me to my conclusion above. However I would use one real example to illustrate my point.
More than 10 years ago, I got to know a lady who was in her early 70s. Let’s call her Auntie Mary. She was kind and helpful. But soon after I got to know her, she started pouring out a lot of stories of betrayal in her life. She also talked bad about some of the people who stayed with her, leading me to form a bad impression about those people. But most of the time, her conversations involved people in her life who I do not know.
Then later she went back to her hometown and invited me to go with her for a visit. But frankly after the trip, I felt so exhausted, mentally and emotionally drained by the negativity of stories she told me. At first, I believe what she said because she had a lot of ‘evidence’ to back up her claims.
It was through Auntie Mary that I met the mentor who would change my entire life. But it was also through her that it almost cost me to leave my mentor. At first Auntie Mary was in all praise of my mentor but later, due to prejudice, she changed her mind and turned against her. After turning her mind, she saw it was her duty to convince me otherwise using ‘circumstantial evidences’ to back up her claim.
There was an incident where two persons, B and C went into an argument. My mentor had to mediate the argument. Now, the argument happened in English. Aunt Mary did not understand the language. She just use her eyes and bad hearing to form all the wrong conclusions.
You know how it is that some people can be blunt but are good inside. And some people are polite but deep down are not very nice people. Well, B was the more blunt type but was good and C was always polite but in that argument, C was actually in the wrong. So C got into the good books of Auntie Mary while B, got into the bad side. From that argument, Auntie Mary drew all the wrong conclusions. As it happened I got to hear the side of the story from my mentor and B, as well as I also happen to know C’s character (which is not as innoncent as how Auntie Mary believed she was).
Aside from that, I also got to know more people from Auntie Mary’s circle. I saw how Auntie Mary’s extreme stubborness and prejudice coloured the way she viewed people. When Auntie Mary did not like someone, she would do her best to convince me and turn me against that person. I believe she meant well, and that she had wanted to protect me against ‘bad people’. She also did it to others as well, ie turn her friends against those that she dislike by pouring hours of negative stories and bad experiences.
I did my best to gently tell her to reconsider her prejudice against people that we both knew but she refused to bulge. Once a person is bad in her books, there is no way of changing it. As that time I happened to run out of money after quiting my job, I was not able to travel to visit her at another state. After I eventually got a job, there was a lot of stress and demands in the job. I just felt I was not up taking leave to meet her to have my energy drained hearing her talk negatively about betrayals she had in life, and to convince me to go against those people whom we both knew.
Eventually Auntie Mary moved into a home with another person. She often called me and complained to me that the other person was bad and even stole her phone to use. Because Auntie Mary found that her prepaid phone’s credit dropped very fast. I got into conversation with her granddaughter who told me not to listen to Auntie Mary. She said the reason Auntie Mary’s phone credit dropped quickly is because she did not know how to use the phone properly. She would call someone, and then when the phone is not being answered, it goes to voice mail. The thing is she did not know the call already went into voice mail and would be hanging on the line waiting for the person to answer, sometimes as long as 10 to 20 minutes. Yes, I have encountered it before as I used to get voice mail from Auntie Mary’s missed call and when I listened, she was not talking, it was as if she was fiddling with stuff and waiting for me to answer the phone.
In the end, the other person could not stand her and moved out. Now Auntie Mary stay all alone with no one looking after her. Even though I wish to, I cannot go and visit her as I am now a full time caregiver taking care of my mom.
I thought of sharing Auntie Mary’s story because this is an example of how a good person with strong principles may end up alone without anyone. When Auntie Mary was young, she was a trader who helped a lot of people. Some of these people were grateful but majority were not grateful. And when they did not behave in a way Auntie Mary had expected, Auntie Mary would badmouth them a lot. There was no way to convince her otherwise that I have given up. I also noticed that once a person has reached a certain age, their thoughts are cast in stone, and it is very difficult to change.
Hence I hope her story serves as a lesson for us all. If we feel that people betray us in our lives, instead of just blaming other people, perhaps we may want to look inwards to check if there is anything in our behavior that could have cost it. If yes, then let’s try to correct it before age catches up and we get too stubborn and rigid to change.