We’ve all had someone sit us down to tell us that they’re breaking up with us, or will start seeing other people, or don’t want anything more to do with us, because they don’t deserve us. You know how it starts: “You’re so great. I don’t think I’m good enough.” Or who’s heard this one? “You’re just too good for me.” I’m rolling my eyes so bad now. Anyway, when this happens I always feel like I’m being punched in the face. Not literally, but I sense this weird passive-aggressiveness about the whole thing. I should be feeling better because this person I like just told me I’m amazing. And yet, the whole “I don’t deserve you” shtick reeks of dishonesty.
One thing I should point out is that I’m all for honesty and real talk. You don’t want to see me anymore? You don’t like where this is going? Fine. Tell me. But don’t play the martyr who’s pretending to be the bad guy, but is really trying to run away as fast as humanly possible. Tell the truth and stay away from vague and ambiguous statements. Trust me, you’re not doing anyone any favors. In your attempt to spare someone’s feelings, you end up hurting them more. You’re providing them with a door that will never close. You’re telling them that if things were different, if they weren’t who they are, or if the timing was better, it might all work out. But that’s false.
We don’t know what could or couldn’t be. All we know is our present reality. So yes, maybe you like this person but you’re intimidated, bored, unsure, scared, or not feeling it. That’s perfectly fine. But the best thing you can do for them is to tell them exactly that. Otherwise, you leave them hanging between a yes or no. You’ve basically given them a maybe before walking away. You’ve closed that chapter but not provided them with the courtesy for them to do the same.
And let’s go back to the phrase, “You’re too good for me.” What’s that even supposed to mean? Are you trying to excuse your bad behavior by calling them nice? In our present world, we love insulting people with the idea of being nice. Have we passed the point of honesty and now favor condescendence as a way of communicating with each other? Or is this passive-aggression a way to be blatant, yet still feel good about ourselves?
I think that using excuses like this are a cop-out for discussing our feelings and being vulnerable in front of others. Instead of actually dealing with our issues, we just avoid and run away from people and emotions. But, trust me, nobody is winning or gaining anything from this. The person you say is too good for you is left with a question mark. They’re wondering whether their personality is problematic or boring. While you end up avoiding human intimacy once again. Nobody’s perfect. But nobody is too good for anyone. We all have our flaws and issues. The best thing we can do is own up to our weaknesses and allow someone else to see beyond our problems. For them to get to know the real us. But, until then, we can at least provide the people that come into our life with one thing: honesty.
So, next time you want to break up with someone for being too nice, ask yourself who’s really getting spared. You or them?
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Images by Elliot Dunning