When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

I was having a conversation with someone the other day and she said something I thought was very profound: “When people show you who they are, believe them.”

One of my recent posts was about intuition and this seems to go hand in hand. So often in my life I’ve had people show me behavior that I attempted to justify, soften or simply overlook because I wanted to believe something different about them. Instead of acknowledging and seeing the truth, even if it was a truth I didn’t like, I made up a story in my head.

“He doesn’t give me more time because he’s so busy.”

“He’s distant and seems awkward with emotion because he’s been hurt in the past. If I’m just patient, he’ll learn to open up and be closer to me.”

“He’s not trying to be mean, he’s trying to be funny.”

“It’s because he’s so attracted to me that he keeps pushing the boundaries way too early.”

The excuse list could stretch on for pages and pages. Later, when I wound up hurt or incredibly frustrated with their behavior, I wondered how I could have read them so wrong.

The truth is, I wasn’t reading them at all. They had been giving me the information I needed all along, yet I refused to see it because it wasn’t what I wanted to see. I WANTED them to be different, so I adjusted my vision accordingly.

I recently got a very good example of this. I’ve written in another post about the man who continues to give me mixed signals, never openly telling me he’s interested, but always giving me plenty of reasons to believe he is. I recently discovered he has a girlfriend that lives out of state–a girlfriend he’s failed to mention for the entire two months I’ve known him. The other day when texting me, he sent a very romantic and passionate message that was completely out of context with our conversation. When I expressed my confusion, he wrote a quick sentence about it being sent by mistake. Yeah…he mistakenly sent it to me instead of his girlfriend! I prompted him for information and he quickly changed the subject, still trying to conceal his relationship status. When I first met him I thought he was a bit of a jerk, then allowed myself to begin to write a different story for him after he started befriending me. But the mixed signals, the slight effort at pursuit that never goes anywhere, the unwillingness to ever make plans while always hinting at the desire to make plans…he was giving me information.

He’s been telling me who he is, now I need to believe him. From now on, I will try to see the truths people give me about themselves and not look away simply because it isn’t the truth I want. It might not be the answer to everything, but it might smooth out some of the bumps along the way.

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One Response to “When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them”

  1. It is so easy to believe the lies that we tell ourselves. We want to believe that people really are better than they show us, but unfortunately people are as bad as they show us.

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