“Treat You Better”
I won’t lie to you
I know he’s just not right for you
And you can tell me if I’m off
But I see it on your face
When you say that he’s the one that you want
And you’re spending all your time
In this wrong situation
And anytime you want to stop
I know I can treat you better than he can
And any girl like you deserves a gentleman
Tell me why are we wasting time
On all your wasted crime
When you should be with me instead
I know I can treat you better
Better than he can
I’ll stop time for you
The second you say you’d like me to
I just wanna give you the loving that you’re missing
Baby just to wake up with you
We’ll be everything I need and this could be so different
Tell me what you want me to do
Give me a sign, take my hand, we’ll be fine
Promise I won’t let you down
Just know that you don’t have to do this alone
Promise I’ll never let you down
Better than he can
Better than he can
Sung by Shawn Mendes
Copyright 2016 Island Records, UMG
Shawn Mendes started getting musical attention as a young teen in 2013, but it was his hit “Stitches” that brought him worldwide recognition. Out this past summer is his second album “Illuminate,” and released as the first single off this disc is “Treat You Better.”
The song’s character has a message for a love interest about her current romance. He tells her, “I won’t lie to you, I know he’s just not right for you.” He adds, “I can treat you better.”
Unfortunately, his message, even if true, is stated less with caring about her well-being and more as a way to promote his own agenda. He tells her that “you should be with me instead.”
Well, given his attitude, probably not! He lacks respect for her right to choose what is good for her life. Should she eventually come to the decision that her current boyfriend is not right for her, she probably should avoid the song’s character as well.
Beyond the song’s obvious melodrama, it raises an important question: When you have something difficult to tell another, how should you go about doing so? While there is no perfect approach to such situations, the place to start is with a quality that the song’s character appears to lack — humility!
We need to recognize that seldom do we genuinely know what is best for another person. Life is complex, and what we see on the outside is only part of what is going on in another person’s life. Consequently, if you decide that you need to share your concern about what is occurring in a friend’s life, take on a humble attitude.
What would this look like? Well, first ask the other person if you can talk about whatever the subject is. Showing this type of courtesy and respect contrasts with just pouring out your perspective when the other person has not indicated a desire to discuss the subject.
Further, timing means a lot for important discussions. To start giving your opinion without receiving the other person’s stated interest in hearing what you have to say is disrespectful.
Next, and unlike the song’s character, put aside any personal agenda other than to begin a dialogue that could be helpful to the other person. Ask yourself what motivates your desire to talk with this individual. How do you hope to be helpful? How will you indicate your respect for the person’s right to make choices in his or her own life?
Such questions demonstrate the type of forethought needed to enter into a difficult conversation. They help you assess what is going on within you before attempting to initiate the dialogue.
Be sure that you are truly open to hearing what the other has to say without any judgment. Listening in such a manner doesn’t mean that you agree or approve of the other person’s choices or behaviors, but it does validate that the other individual experiences the situation differently from your perspective. Reality is a big place, and many points of view can coexist.
Certainly, talking as a friend with someone whose well-being seems in doubt to you is an act of caring. Ask God to help you enter into the discussion so that your caring will manifest throughout the conversation.
If you begin the process with prayer and maintain an attitude of humility and listening, you will end up “treating” the other person “better.” Then, the other individual is more likely to feel truly cared about as your friend.
Your comments are always welcome. Please write to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org, or at: 7125 West CR, 200 South, Rockport, IN 47635, or like this column on Facebook at “Charlie Martin’s Today’s Music Columns” and post a comment or suggestion.