I was working on something for Robert Greene recently for his new book with 50 Cent. One of the hustlers from his crew said something that really stuck with me–something that you can see powerful people living by. He said “If you aren’t going to say ‘I’m the best’ who will?” Respect is the same way. If you aren’t going to demand that you be treated with it, who will? I certainly don’t have some protector who walks around fighting my battles and setting the standard of how I’m treated–I do that.
Recently, with my career choice, my family had a bit of a meltdown. Some latent feelings of resentment and loathing surfaced in a shockingly overt way. So I’m done, at least for the meantime. If they can’t be in my life in a healthy and positive way then they don’t need to be in it at all. They are free to disrespect me if they wish, but never with my consent. From afar, they can be however they want but I don’t have time or the desire to be torn down or hurt by people I have allowed to access my vulnerabilities. They can take it or leave it and we’ll see what happens.
That’s the thing. You, and you alone are they only person who wishes to see you respected. Why would it be anyone else’s priority? The state of nature: People will get away with whatever they are allowed to get away with. And really, you don’t control how people treat you, only who you allow to treat you. So the key is to only deal with people who will treat you well.
I’ve said this before, if you have a friend who lies to you or is perpetually late or makes you uncomfortable, find a new one. With women it’s ridiculous, every one I know has a bunch of creepy guys in their life who they appear to hate but tolerate anyway. There are some primal or evolutionary impulses that pressure that, but seriously, I think it’s time to move on. If you have a guy who pretends to be your friend but alarms you with his body language or his calls–just cut him out. If someone is a loser and you don’t want them around, then don’t.let.them.be.around. If don’t want a guy to bother you with text messages and late night phone calls, then don’t give him your phone number. If you’re tired of suggestive or annoying posts on your Facebook wall, tell him to stop or just block him. The people who matter will respect that decision. It is your life, protect it. One of my favorite lines in Meditations is “Am I afraid of death because I won’t be able to do this anymore?” Do you value life so little that you allow it to be stolen away from you by the hour by thieves you can’t stand? There is simply no reason to wake up and frequent the company of people you don’t want to. In business perhaps, in your personal life, never.
I do not spend time with people I don’t like. Sometimes, yes, I end up chilling by myself or with my girlfriend but that makes me happy. And it makes spending time with my real friends all the more enjoyable. I went on a people diet a while back just got rid of everyone I found myself complaining about. I didn’t make a big scene or confront them, I just stopped concerning myself with their existence. Mine is more important. All I know is that in a rather finite amount of time, I will be dead. I certainly won’t, as I approach that date, be consumed with regret at having not endured more bullshit or assholes.