We’d be fooling ourselves if we said that love doesn’t bring out the best and worst in people.
When you’re loved, you feel like you can do anything, it gives you power, it propels you to do things that you were scared of doing and it brings out the best in you. Your kindness, your strength and your compassion.
When you’re hurt, you become the worst version of yourself, you become bitter, angry or resentful. You begin doing petty things for attention. You stop feeling confident and you start acting out of insecurity.
And I’ve learned that people can bring out these two versions of you depending on how well they treat you and what kind of situations they put you in.
Some people have a talent for pushing your buttons and testing your virtues just to prove that you’re crazy or emotional or unable to handle your temper. Some people know exactly what to say to push your limits and make you say things that are out of character or do things that you normally wouldn’t do.
Some people know your weaknesses and your dark spots and they know how to trigger them so they can come out looking like the stronger ones, the better ones, the wiser ones or the more composed ones.
Some people make you look bad to make themselves look good. Some people find it easier to bring you down so they can feel superior instead of trying to work on themselves and their issues.
And I’m not talking about relationships only, I’m talking about friends, colleagues, and relatives. People who understand you well enough to know what to do if they want to push you over the edge. These people are the absolute worst because they also know what lifts you up but they choose to do the things that will bring out the worst in you.
They choose the best time to say something mean or abrasive so you can react in the worst way possible and they can either feel better about themselves or prove a point to someone else.
Stay away from those who only want to see you at your worst, who only shed light on your shortcomings, who try to make you believe that you’re not worthy of love or worthy of anyone’s attention and time.
Stay away from those who know what rubs you the wrong way and they still put you in situations that would offend you just to see you react, just to watch you lose it and gloat over your tantrums.
Stay away from those who failed to bring out the best in themselves so they decided to commit themselves to bringing out the worst in people — even the closest ones to them.
Because the people around us have an impact on who we become, they can help us become the best versions of ourselves or the worst depending on which part they feed, which part they highlight and which part they nourish.
Surround yourself with those who want to see the best in you, the ones who lift you up, the ones who nurture your positive qualities and the good in you. The ones who are not out there to get you because they want to see you shine.
Surround yourself with those who don’t need to belittle others to feel good about themselves. The ones who don’t find joy in pointing out your insecurities or seeing you lose so they could win. The ones who win when you win. The ones who think you’re part of their team, not an opponent.