Congratulations, the first task was completed: awareness and ownership.
Great start, don’t stop there.
If you are sitting across the objectified person on the subway- move to a far away seat.
If you are looking for their pictures on your phone- block their social media contacts.
If you are staring at them on the pasta aisle at the supermarket-, go buy some veggies.
You get the idea. Remove yourself from the situation by making it as impossible as you can to engage in the unwanted behavior.
Remind yourself that you did not get their consent to objectify them. Therefore, it is a violation of their privacy and their humanity. As such, it is also a violation of your own values as a kind, respectful, caring person.
Think of them as a human being with feelings, thoughts, likes, dislikes, struggles, wishes, family, and life.
Pay attention to insure that you are not creating a role for them in a fantasy. No needy, struggling divorcee or young broke student that a superhero like you can save… The more you see them as a real, whole person- the less you will allow yourself to minimize them for your selfish use only.
Think of yourself as a whole. Neither perfect nor worthless. You are not just the urge you gave in to. You are a son/daughter, a brother/sister, a father/mother, a friend, a community member, a professional, a citizen.
In one or more of those roles, you might find that you are thoughtful, loving, loyal, supportive, encouraging, generous, giving, and respectful.
Remind yourself how wonderful you can be. Give yourself true examples to support those affirmations and resist self-depreciation.
Your actions are a choice and right now in this moment, you are choosing to honor yourself, your values, and your integrity. That is a big deal! Make a commitment not to abandon yourself anymore as others in your life might have. Fight for the awesome person that you can absolutely be. I know if I had seen you doing so- I would have joined.
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