This is kind of a hard post for me to write because it’s something that has never happened to me before, and it took me a minute to reconcile it in my own mind.
Recently I was talking to someone I was just getting to know on the phone for the first time, and it wasn’t five minutes into the conversation that things went really far downhill really fast. Almost immediately, this person was telling me that I needed to change my approach and be nicer and sweeter. It took me by surprise and honestly offended me a little bit, because I hadn’t thought I wasn’t being nice. I was just being myself…I can be shy and standoffish when I talk to new people, but I’ve always been told I’m a sweetheart. During the course of what was actually quite a long conversation (over two hours), this person kept saying variations of the same thing to me, and it was extremely frustrating because I wasn’t being anyone different than I ever am. I really tried to stick it out and steer it in a better direction since first impressions aren’t always correct, but I ended up hanging up on this person in exasperation. It wasn’t a polite thing to do and it wasn’t very mature, but at the time it was definitely better in my mind to do that than to lose my temper and say things that I wouldn’t normally say to someone.
This person later told me I was a horrible person, and the most miserable, negative person they had ever spoken to.
I thought about this a lot and replayed the conversation over and over in my head trying to figure out what exactly it was I had said or done that was so awful. The human being in me felt horrible…even though I felt I didn’t do or say anything that was mean, I don’t like when people feel bad, especially on my account, and I wanted to apologize and do whatever I could to make it up to them.
On the other hand though, the realistic one, I know in my heart that none of it was true. I do my best to be a positive and happy girl. I have a big heart and one of the things that brings me the most joy is sharing that heart with others. I have worked hard to better myself and become someone that I can be proud of, and to be someone that I can be happy about being. I am by no means flawless or perfect, but I definitely do not go out of my way to put others down or make them feel bad. It is one of my strongest beliefs that everyone has the right to follow their own bliss and live the lives they want to live for themselves, and I would never look down on someone for doing that if the life they live isn’t harmful to others.
One of the biggest lessons that is recurring in my life right now is that you can’t please everyone. Not everyone is going to like you, not everyone is going to agree with you, and no matter what you do, there will always be people who will look for the bad things about you instead of seeing the good things. It certainly doesn’t feel good, and I’m still not great at just letting the negativity roll off my back like water off duck feathers, but when I think about the people that do know me and do care about me for exactly who I am, I know that I must be doing something right. I am surrounded by more wonderful people than I could ever wish for, and that can’t just be a coincidence.
It’s such a cliché, but you really only have to answer to yourself and do what makes YOU content with yourself. The people who disagree with that or try to make you feel guilty for doing so are people that do not need to be in your life, and the people who truly deserve to know you are the ones who will be supportive of that no matter what.
As Liz from Buckaroo Barbie tweeted me, “…if you’re pissing someone off, then you’re doing SOMETHING right!”
And you know what? That’s pretty damn true.
I don’t have any anger towards the person that said those things to me…they have gone through their own trials in life and have worked hard to become the person that they want to be just as I have. It’s their right and privilege. They didn’t have to take to heart what they perceived as negativity towards them, and I don’t have to either. We’re both free to forget that ugly conversation ever happened and get on with life. I wish them luck.
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.” – Dr. Seuss
“Give thanks for what you are now, and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow.” – Fernanda Miramontes-Landeros
“Always when judging who people are, remember to footnote the words ‘so far.’” – Robert Brault