Let’s Get Real

get real, honesty, life, My First Blog, my life, real me, relationships, struggle, struggling, truth

My blog challenge today is: Get Real. Share something you’re stuggling with right now.

Right now I’m struggling with how people perceive me.

If you asked my husband he would say I’m outgoing, friendly, street-wise, and have a huge heart. He would also say I care TOO much. If you asked my co-workers about me they would probably say I’m aloof, quiet, I don’t care, I’m angry or just always upset. Some people who don’t know me that well would say I was standoffish, controlling, or even mean.

Why do people see me so differently? And how can I better express who I am to the world around me? This blog is part of that answer. I have often found it easier to write out my thoughts and feelings. I still often email my husband or write him notes when there is something weighing on my mind. I can get it all out, without interruption, and be sure my thoughts are shown, and read, in an organized manner. I can’t always do that when speaking directly to people.

Here’s a for instance: I was recently asked to be part of a group because I was “young and had fresh ideas.” There were a few strong opinated people in this group, but I was encouraged by other’s support so I decided to do it.

In one of the few meetings I attended I was reprimanded, shot down and basically put in my place when I expressed opinions and ideas about how some things could change (what I was asked to do as part of this group!) My courage, self-esteem and “fresh ideas” went right out the window as I saw a group of “friends” start to become enemies.

Perhaps they saw me as an easy going person prior to this event – someone who wouldn’t stir the pot (although several people indicated to me that this is indeed what was needed) – and when I didn’t they looked at me differently… decided I wasn’t want they wanted after all. I would rather not create waves then get my way so I stepped down from the group. I never gave my opinion again for fear that it would create a rift between me and the entire group. Who did they see prior that they didn’t see during the meeting? I was open about what I felt needed to change, and I had expressed ideas prior to being in the group that were all encouraged. Why did this miscommunication (and “beating”) happen?

Now I don’t get involved at all. I shut myself off completely as a result. My husband is part of this group too and I do not wish to make life harder for him. So I keep my opinions to myself. Even if I see something I could help with – I don’t. I stay away. It has caused issue with my husband and I, it has made interacting with these people harder and it has made my life harder because I do not have friends that I can confide in. Their behavior during this meeting showed me that they do not know me at all and do not wish to. They slammed the door in my face.

Instead of being myself around these folks now – they see the me that I think they want to see. Some relationships have softened due to my new demeanor, but it isn’t truly who I am. I stifle my true self just to get by and not create any waves. I put up the proverbial “walls”. So I’m struggling with not being myself as well.

I think in life we can tend to let others dictate how we react, how we live, our opinions and so much more. We get lost in the “who am I?” I’m struggling with that right now. I’m trying to get back to it, but it’s not easy.

What are you struggling with today?


3 thoughts on “Let’s Get Real

  1. I don't know you that well but my first impression of you was a kind and caring individual. Unfortunately in today's society, people do not respect the right to a difference in opinions. I have the old school attitude that permits me to say what I think and if others don't like it, then it may just be their problem, I don't own it as mine. This is not to say that I am uncaring or intentionally hurtful with my language but outspoken and opinionated are often labels that are applied to me. At the end of the day, however, I've found that in the beginning people may not like to hear the truth but in the long run, they always know they can count on you to be upfront and honest with them. It's not always easy but ultimately it earns you a measure of respect. I say ” just be yourself!”

  2. Thanks Deb – those labels sometimes apply to me too, but I keep them well hidden anymore. I've lost so many friends because of my big mouth that I tend to keep it quiet anymore. I do have one very good friend whom I can pretty much say anything to – it's so relaxing to be around her! And I can mostly be myself around John too. I appreciate your feedback though – I'm taking it to heart.

  3. I'd recommend calling them out on it – even if via letter – to provide some measure of closure so that it's not hanging out there, particularly since they're people that you/John can/do see. Let them know that you were providing inputs that you'd been requested to provide & then (the hard part) tell them how their reactions made you feel – and that's not what you signed up for, so they can ask someone else. Being part of community is hard, but it's how Jesus lived, so I think we're supposed to work on it (n.b.: I don't have it down & am working on being authentic & allowing myself to be vulnerable in safe spaces (b/c let's be real, it's not appropriate to be vulnerable ALL the time with EVERYONE))… not that it's easy, but over time, you'll find it's not just their loss for not having you around, you'll also feel the loss for not having more of those trusting relationships where you can be you.

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