My mom always says that dating is a tool people use so that they can discern what behaviors they're willing (or unwilling) to put up with in other people. Personally, I'd say friendship has been my most enlightening exposure to unseemly or undesirable habits and idiosyncrasies. Over time, I've made a pretty thorough list of deal-breakers -- all of which were culled from former friends. The first five items on this list? Dishonesty, pessimism/negativity, laziness, disrespect, and selfishness.
At this time, I'd like to add to this list "using others."
What I'm about to say is going to come across as totally bitchy and self-righteous, but I don't care because I truly believe it:
There is very little that disturbs me more than one person's willingness to manipulate, deceive, or otherwise take advantage of another person for their own gain -- whether that gain is financial, physical, psychological, spiritual, etc. That level of self-absorption appalls me. I am especially agitated by the practice of excluding, avoiding, vilifying, or otherwise discriminating against someone in order to feel better about yourself.
I don't want to be in any kind of relationship with a person who does those sorts of things. I don't want to be associated with anyone being treated poorly.
The thing that kind of blows about adding that item to my list is that, now, I have to do some weeding in the garden that is my social life. It's not meant to be judgmental, although that's how it will probably be construed. It really just comes down to my perception of what it is to have integrity. It's not that I'm above that sort of behavior, it's that people -- the people I believe exist, underneath all this universal apathy -- are above that sort of behavior.
We're all connected by the over-soul, which I believe to be the light of Christ, and doesn't that mean we should hold ourselves to a higher standard?