Wednesday, October 26, 2011

People Alert: Listen to what they're telling you!

Ever notice how often somebody will tell you about themselves, and you totally ignore what they're telling you? Ever have somebody say, "Well I'm really just an asshole. It's who I am." and the next thing you know you're saying, "NO YOU'RE NOT!"

Well my friends, let me let you in on a little secret: when folks tell ya stuff like that, don't argue. Just pay attention. It's more than likely you're going to see for yourself. I know. I've been there. And to this day, it still astonishes me that I will (sometimes) not believe what they're telling me. Truth is funny like that.

I'll give you an example.

When I first met the man I thought I'd spend the rest of my life with, he told me he was a "Class-A Jerk". I laughed. I couldn't even consider he was telling me a truth. Cuz from where I stood, he was my dream. He was smart and funny and romantic and polite and doting and all the things you'd ever want in a man. The first 2 years went beautifully. We were in love. We were inseparable. We were having a ball together. So all the little tell-tale signs were flyin' right by my blinded-by-love eyes. Didn't see a single one of 'em. And then...right after we got married, BAM! There it was. All the things he'd shown me were suddenly so obvious I couldn't believe I'd missed any of them. I could not believe I was that naive. My best friend had been trying to tell me all along. I ignored her. My sister too. Same with a few of my co-workers. Didn't hear a word.

When I finally realized that what he'd told me at the start was true, I was numb with disbelief. How could I have been so blind? How could I have not seen the signs that were now so obvious???? I felt like such an idiot. Worse, I was married to the jerk!

The good news is that it taught me a very valuable lesson. Even though I harbor no bitterness or resentment toward the man, I am still amazed that I even went through the experience. But, like I said, lesson learned. From that day forward, whenever I hear anyone say "I am ....whatever", I pause and take it in. I don't dismiss, argue or otherwise judge their confession. I just log it and carry on. Sometimes, when it is something I consider to be harsh, I will high-tail it outta there with nary a second glance. Because I know now that when somebody tells me who they are, LISTEN UP! Because chances are, they're not kiddin'.

Just sayin'.

P.S. If this seems less than "joyful" to you, you might have missed the point. I'm not whining, ruing or otherwise "down" on the lesson. I am grateful to have learned it. And yes, I still remember my ex-husband with great fondness. Even if he was a jerk.

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