Punishing others


As humans, we tend to react to perceived injustices to ourselves with a punisher approach, some can be a victim or both.

The punishing others approach, seems like a win at the time, as you are getting back at someone.

We feel right is on our side, we feel it is just to inflict our punishment, whatever that maybe. Often ignoring others completely, or deliberately being cold or a little difficult and so on.

The person we’re punishing will matter to you. Perhaps instead of punishing, we could choose to forgive, accept that they were acting with their best intentions, and then remind them of our boundaries of what is acceptable to us or not.

Whatever, let go, forgive and move on. Life is too short for wasting on punishing, it never makes the recipient react well or feel inspired to act differently. It often becomes a repeating pattern.

It is up to us and vitally important to set out what our boundaries are and to stick to them. Explain and discuss with others. Don’t assume they acted badly. However, we can’t expect others to know what’s acceptable to us or not unless we tell them.

But never punish, as we are only, in fact, punishing ourselves by destroying a relationship with another person who matters.

Be generous with boundaries.

Punishment punishes everyone including the punisher.

5 thoughts on “Punishing others

  1. I take your point, but will likely continue to punish and walk away. If it’s one thing I learned this year is that when you decide to forgive and move on and cast repercussions aside for patience and understanding, most people respond by treating your relationships with them like an endless well of second chances…

    1. Then you have to question these toxic relationships and move on from them. If people repeatedly step over the boundaries, then perhaps yours and their values do not align and then it is never going to work.

      1. Forgiving always works for me, it never used to, however, that doesn’t mean accepting though or not having boundaries. If you are clear with articulating your values and staying true to them by laying out boundaries from the start of any relations then like attracts like and you exclude the people likely to perhaps make us feel like we are being taken advantage of.

        People are acting with their best intentions and are not setting out to be bad, they may have had different experiences and not learnt yet.

        We can only be taken advantage of if we perceive it that way.

        We need to be generous and empathetic to others. But not weak and allowing any kind of behaviour.

      2. The problem is not that people deliberately set out to be bad. The problem is that we live in a selfish generation, where many people don’t understand kindness, generosity or self-sacrifice for others.

        Most of the people who’ve come into my life have been amazing, and mostly in line with my own values. But there are always those fixer uppers who slip through the cracks that we try to help, and who ask for help, but ultimately aren’t ready for change.

        As we say in Jamaica, “Sorry fi mawga dog, mawga dog tun ’round and bite you.”

        English translation: Feel sorry for a starving dog, and he’ll turn around and bite you for helping.

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