There is a quote from Maya Angelou, that Oprah Winfrey added to, that I really feel like is very apt these days.
It’s “When people show you who they are, believe them the first time”
It sounds a little weird until you digest it. People will show you who they are on the offset, and your perspective might change it, but it will still shine through.
People are mostly upfront about who they are, even if their words don’t match the actions. It’s what they do, how they interact with you, and how they react to you that’s a real reflection how their true selves are.
I think this mostly is the easiest to see in a significant other. We try and make excuses for the people we love, but the excuses will run out. Who they are will always come up. And it’s not really their fault if you just keep hoping they’ll change into someone that you feel will be a better fit. They’re trying to show you who they are, and whether you can accept that or not, do yourself a favor and see them for who they really are, not who you hope they’ll be. It’s a disservice to you, to them, and it will just result in hurt feelings and disappointment for all those involved.
In a professional setting, especially in this climate, it’s difficult to keep pretending. The truth will always reveal itself, when they slip or when you let yourself accept it. And if you’re the one trying to hide behind a cheery demeanor or a fake connection, you’re giving yourself more trouble in the long run.
What am I trying to say? I guess that it’s exhausting not accepting what’s right in front of you. Hope is heartbreaking when the truth is a whole other thing altogether.
Listen to people when they show you who you are. And forgive yourself if you’ve pretended long enough.
Because if anything is to be believed about this year, it’s that time isn’t guaranteed. Not for anyone.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. It’s the only fair thing for how we treat each other.