I Paid Attention To Your Disrespect And I Turned It Into Peace

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woman in a field

By Emma Spear

I feel like as I get older, my circle gets smaller and smaller. I’ve learned to be more selective with who I willingly choose to spend time with and share what’s going on in my life.

But I wasn’t always this way. I wasn’t always looking for peace.

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I shared this post on Facebook that reads:

"I paid attention when I didn’t get the invite.

I paid attention when I didn’t get a thank you.

I paid attention when I didn’t get the apology.

I paid attention when a room would go silent when I entered.

I paid attention when folks believed lies about me and never asked me.

I paid attention when they didn’t show up for me.

I paid attention when my important life events didn’t even get a congratulatory phone call or text.

I paid attention to the disrespect and yes I took it personally.”

And this post spoke volumes to me.

For the longest time, I took things personally. When I would see friends on Instagram hanging out without me, if I saw there was a big event that I didn’t get the invite to, or if people didn’t show up for me when I would be there for them, I would become upset.

It would make me feel invisible and wonder why I put time into the relationships around me.

I would sit there wondering, “Why didn’t they ask me to come? Am I not cool enough to be invited? Am I not memorable?”

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I remember last year venting to my best friend when a group of classmates that I worked with closely made plans in front of me to get dinner and didn’t think to ask me if I wanted to come. People I spent so much time working with, and they excluded me.

I didn’t want to go, and couldn’t have gone if I wanted to, but that’s not the point. The point is I sat there in the room listening to these people make plans right in front of me, and they didn’t think once to extend the offer for me to come.

When you do that to someone, that stings, whether you mean for it to or not. It’s a slap in the face, and it truly makes you wonder if you mean anything to the people you see on a daily basis.

As time has gone on and I’ve drifted away from people, I’ve begun to realize how much I simply don’t care anymore.

If I see people I care about hanging out without me, I look at the photo for a second, then keep scrolling.

So what? They didn’t ask me to come. What do I care?

I’ve learned that the only person you need to worry about liking you is yourself.

Don’t get me wrong. I have my people, they know who they are. They’re the ones I know will always be there for me when I need them. But sometimes, you’re just better off riding solo than being with people who just don’t give a s***.

It gets lonely sometimes, but I’d rather be on my own, at peace, than be with people who I know don’t care.

Peace is expensive, but it’s worth it.

To those in my group — the ones who will never let me down — thank you. You mean more to me than you’ll ever know.

And to the ones who claim they care, remember that when you don’t show up and remember people do the same for you.

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Emma Spear is a student, paraeducator, writer, and contributor to Unwritten. She has a passion for writing about mental health, self-care, and education.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.