We’ve all wondered from time to time how other people see us and our actions. I’m not convinced it is always a good idea to wonder…
Throughout your life people will give you feedback on everything from your behaviour, how you look, what you’re wearing, your new haircut and how good you are at your job.
If you’re lucky you will never have a problem with any of the feedback. It will all reinforce the way you perceive yourself and you will be happy to be seen in that way.
But what happens when the people you care about the most start giving you feedback, and you see that the person they are talking about is not the person you perceive yourself to be?
The first thing you feel is hurt. A deep hurt that the people you care about the most don’t see who you really are.
It’s happened to me a couple of times lately and once the hurt subsided I began to feel angry. These are the people I have spent my life bending over backwards for and they barely have a pleasant word to say about me.
We’ve all wondered what it would be like to be a fly on the wall when people are talking about you. But I wouldn’t wish that on anyone.
I’ve spent months trying to weigh up the difference between how people see me and the person I really am.
The problem is if I met someone who was willing to go over and above for me, as I did for the people I care about I would cherish that person. I would be so grateful that I was a part of their thoughts that I would make sure I gave back as much as I took from the relationship.
The more I hear how people perceive me, the more I realise they don’t know me at all. Even though they don’t have a good word to say about me, they still come to me for help when they need it and being the person I am I never turn them away.
Sure it hurts, deeply for a few days. Their words go round and round in your head. You distance yourself from those people and put up walls to protect yourself from getting hurt again.
You consider what they said, and if like me you have demons, they’ll try to agree with them for a while. If they think I’m a terrible person then I must be, right?
But then I remember that I don’t think I am that horrible person. I do have flaws, I’m a human being, none of us were created perfect, no matter how much some people believe they are! I will admit to my flaws, it’s a long list so I won’t bore you.
But my point is… for everyone who has told me what a horrible person I am, there are people who tell me how much they love me for who I am. For all the nasty names I’ve been called, people have said lovely things about me.
After a while it becomes hard to believe the people who tell you you’re a bad person one minute and then say they care about you the next. But I think that is more about them than it is about me.
I think there are fewer people like me in the world today and people don’t know how to deal with me, so they don’t understand me. People who are good because they wish that everyone else was and because they care enough and have the ability to help and do so.
I’m no Snow White, I make mistakes and do things that I’m not proud of, but the hurt I’ve experienced in the last few months has made me less willing to accept such bad behaviour towards me in the future. Because a lot of what was said, I really didn’t deserve. It’s not ok any more to take your problems out on me, just because I care about you and stick around.
At times I should have done or been better, but that could be said for us all.
I decided that if something felt right to me then I would do or say it. Even if it might hurt someone’s feelings or might not be the reaction they were hoping for. Even if I never hear from that person again, it’s better than not being able to look at myself in the mirror the next day.
I’ve never been someone who wants to let people down but people don’t seem to worry about hurting me and letting me down. Maybe one day the people who hurt me will realise what they lost.
There is nothing wrong with me – has become my new mantra. I no longer worry what people think about me. As long as I can look myself in the mirror and be proud of who I am then that is good enough for me. Even if it means I’ll end up spending my life alone.
This post was brought to you today because I remembered it was #TimeToTalk.