Protect Your Happy
One of my favorite movies is Elf. Not only because it’s a Christmas film and I’m completely obsessed with the holiday (137 days, 6 hours, 41 minutes from this very moment), but I adore Buddy’s sweet spirit. His never-ending smile—and elf uniform—often caused him to receive many weird stares, however, it never bothered him. But unfortunately, his naiveness often placed him in bad situations. I can definitely relate.
There are many stigmas attached to being a nice person, one of them being that you’re easy to walk over. I have had “friends” lie and take advantage of my kindness, people give me unnecessary attitude when I was simply trying my best to help—I’ve even been asked why do I smile so much. Apparently, something is wrong with me.
A few years ago, I was having a talk with one of my guy friends. He was venting to me about how he had been heartbroken so many times to the point where he considered just becoming a player, because apparently that’s the type that women go for. His frustrations with being the “nice guy” led him to believe that being a heartbreaker was the only remedy for his heartache.
I completely understood where he was coming from, as I have had my fair share of failures in the love department: my main issue was chasing jerks regardless of the constant red flags being tossed at me. It’s difficult to survive in the dating world, especially if you’re seen as too nice. At one point, I found myself losing hope. I knew personally for myself that I couldn’t play the game. I didn’t like the thought of leading on a guy, only to crush him because another guy did it to me.
All I could do was tell my friend about my experience. I told him that I’ve been hurt plenty of times but I didn’t want to allow a few unfortunate events to distort my view of people. I could’ve just taken the easy road by forming a hard exterior and keep everyone at an arm’s length, but I decided to keep my smile.
The statement “hurt people, hurt people,” is similar to the domino effect: unresolved feelings from the past continues into your next relationship, potentially ruining it, and then he or she takes that luggage into their next relationship.
Instead of getting to the root of the problem, a lot of people choose to accept what they have become by remaining in self-protection mode. I have seen many people online brag about being heartless or having trust issues, as if it is an accomplishment.
I’m not sure if some of you know this, but it’s not.
Yes, our circumstances can affect the way that we interact with people. It all stems from hurt but by holding onto a heavy heart, you’re blocking the potential blessings that God wants to give you. You may think that you’re winning the game and protecting yourself but instead, you’ve actually conformed and became the person who you despise.
It may be easier said than done, but you can’t allow people and situations to take away your power—your power to love, laugh, and let people in. Never dim your light because there are people who need to see it. Remain who you are, but of course be aware. Forgive those who have wronged you but keep them at a safe distance. It’s important to set boundaries because if you don’t, people will believe that they have free range to treat you however which way they choose.
If you find yourself growing weary of the nice guy or girl, remember this: God knows and He honors your intentions.
Be a rare breed; you don’t have to follow the world’s mindset that you have to be a player in order to win. Be like Buddy; make it cool to be a good person again.
“And let us not lose heart and grow weary and faint in acting nobly and doing right, for in due time and at the appointed season we shall reap, if we do not loosen and relax our courage and faint.” — Galatians 6:9