“Turning a blind eye to hurtful behavior is being complicit in the harm. In your home, on the job, and in the world, stand up against harmful behaviors.” ~LMB
You deserve to be treated well at all times by all people. Others deserve the same. Far too many people, however, don’t stand up to poor behavior when it shows up. People often fail to stand up because doing so is risky:
- People may stop liking you.
- A romantic partner may leave you.
- Your boss may fire you.
- People may rage, blame, or attack you.
The above risks can be scary. Your spouse may get enraged, your child may throw a fit, and your best friend may make fun of you if you dare to speak up. Feeling fearful of these reactions is common. However, what people forget to realize, is that not standing up, often comes with even greater risks long-term, including:
- Increasingly unsafe environments at work, home, and the world.
- Growing resentment, more distant relationships, and greater unhappiness.
- Loss of self, lower self-esteem, and an increase in poor treatment.
- More conflict, upset, and possible violence—in homes and the world.
- A breeding ground for more hate, emotional abuse, and aggression.
- A greater acceptance of the larger issues of racism, misogyny, homophobia, etc.
Realize that what you turn a blind eye to, grows. If you believe that all couples say mean things when they fight or all men harass women, you will likely normalize these behaviors. The more you normalize behavior, the more that behavior becomes the norm. The more we think something is the norm, the more we accept it as the status quo. Harmful behavior is never acceptable—even when you feel the other person’s behavior is off. One person’s mistake does not justify the other person’s rage. Believing in immigration does not make it okay to yell at a stranger to get out of this country. An attractive female does not excuse sexual harassment.
The more you sit back and watch poor treatment go on in your home, on the job, or in the world, the more complicit you are in allowing it to grow. Stop allowing harmful behavior to thrive. Take a stand, set a limit, or leave a situation if others are treating you poorly. If others are being treated poorly, speak up, report the behavior, or file charges when warranted. Speak up even if the person doing the action is your friend, colleague, boss, or stranger.
Challenge: Humanity is about treating one another humanely. Raise the bar on what humane looks and sounds like—in your home and the world. Teach your loved ones to do the same by your actions and your words.