Reflections

I’ve certainly had a lot on my mind of late. I read on Momalom’s blog this post:

http://momalom.com/2010/01/we-care-what-people-think-about-us/  and the comments left by their other wonderful readers.

It made me think. A lot.

Over my birthday back in mid December I had something wretched occur to me by virtue of a person I had considered my best friend and who I loved dearly and respected. For the sake of privacy, I’ll change the names. I’ve written about my friends before under the pseudonyms of Fred and Sam.

Fred was the perpetrator of said offense. I’ll spare you the details. It was ugly and hurtful. I haven’t spoken to him in over a month. However I do still have occasion to speak with Sam. Now, Sam is a wonderful, kind and generous man. He too, like Fred, is a very honest person who speaks his mind. Inadvertently though him I came to realize my part in the “offense” that took place.

That leads me to this:

Its truly interesting how, through the eyes and perceptions of our friends, we on occasion see a reflection of ourselves shown back to us that we didn’t know existed. I saw my reflection through Sam’s eyes and didn’t recognize her! Who is that awful woman? We talked about my behaviors, his opinions of me, things he had always thought, etc. He wasn’t telling me things with the intent to help me out or bring problems to light. He was just matter-of-factly stating things he had always thought through normal conversation. I had no idea! I can say I was certainly less than thrilled with the reflection I saw. I needed to see that. There are clearly weaknesses on my part that I need to address. I was clearly disturbed by his opines about me and apparently those are shared by a few others as well. He became aware that I was disturbed and in his words “it isn’t any big deal. Does what people think really matter? I couldn’t care less. I’ve known all sorts of different types of people”. That didn’t exactly put my mind at ease over it.

On that, I am also happy to report that Sam had only ever bore witness to a small sliver of my life. That small sliver is in no way “Who I am at my core”. As much as I adore Sam and his honesty and integrity, it begs the question, “why didn’t he realize that?” He is an incredibly intelligent individual. I acknowledge that when I have party buds and only see them when we’re out drinking or what have you, that isn’t who they are at their core, it’s just their party self. I acknowledge that people I had worked with, the faces they show there in the office isn’t a total reflection of who they are at their core either. So why is it that people who also only saw a small sliver of my life and personality would not acknowledge the same? Why would they assume that’s all there is to Deena?

We are all our own definition of normal and assume/take for granted, others are like we are. Only when we see something completely different and unique from us, do we gain the….. or more, logical knowledge that we’re not all wired the same. This to me, is one of those times.

That small sliver of my life and personality certainly needs some work and I’m quite happy to know about it but it really burdens my heart to know how little people actually thought of me in that small neck of the woods where they all are. That small neck of the woods was a place I had always felt comfortable and at home. Understood and appreciated for who I really am. That wasn’t the case. I never picked up on anything negative because frankly, they didn’t care. It didn’t matter to them. I really enjoyed and looked forward to being there. It can never be that like again and I feel like I’ve lost something although logically I know I apparently never had it. I never cared what people thought of me until I found out that what they thought was very negative and in actuality, is in very sharp contrast to who I truly am “at my core”. I’m a diverse individual indeed with a wide base of interests and activities. That one small sliver is but one of probably hundreds of slivers that make up the entirety of ME.

Lessons to be learned from this, if I am to share from my own experiences is that whether you care what other people think or not, if they’re important in your life, pay attention to what your behavior indicates. Some people’s opinions matter and others do not. I don’t think it’s unreasonable to care what some people think of you and not care about what yet other people think. How to define who is who and what group they fall into I suppose would be determined by how important they are to you. I was always one of those people who, regardless of who they were, I didn’t care because I am a kind and decent person. How could they possibly derive a bad opinion of me? But, I also learned that our behavior at times, when taken out of the context of the rest of our life, can create a very misleading impression. If those impressions are had by those who are important in your life, it can certainly effect you in a negative way.

Also, I learned the importance of having decent, honest people in my life and as inadvertent as this all was on Sam’s part I read this blog here : http://osmosisofaffliction.wordpress.com/a-hundred-more-things-i/   #65. This was Sam. He was that messenger, inadvertent as it was.

-Deena

PS. this blog is my literary sliver! 🙂

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~ by Deena Kay on 01/17/2010.

14 Responses to “Reflections”

  1. Messengers are important Deena. Good friends will do that for you. Recently I had a close friend tell me “you don’t treat women very well.” I had to really think about that because as you know, almost all of my friends are women. Strangely, maybe what she meant is just that – I treat women like close friends and not as women. I am recently finding that women want more than just friendship with me. I am not necessarily saying they want a ‘personal relationship’ but more something in between. It has gotten me to really think about all of this.

    I wish you the best of luck, and remember, YOU decide how people treat you, not them. With that, also make sure the relationship is a two way street.

    Much hope for your happiness…

  2. Messengers are indeed important. When you introduced me to Osmosis of Affliction, I didn’t see it right away. I wasn’t ready. I finally got it yesterday as I continued to finish reading her posts.

    I think your personality stuff with regard to women has a lot to do with being a Leo. It falls to the women as “I want what I can’t have or don’t have”. Not that you aren’t a wonderful human being. I never met a Leo I didn’t adore. 🙂 Just like you!

    I was looking at your facebook profile and noted your birthday. My friend is also a Leo and like you, he treats women like buddies and sometimes doesn’t realize that although we are buddies, we are buddies of a different breed. My male counterparts would have thought nothing of what happened. I however am female, proud of it, and it matters. I screwed up too though and failed to realize the shortcoming of a lot of people. They/We form opinions on the only info we have while not taking into account that which we do NOT see. I take what I do NOT see into account but most times, others do not. Now I know and will remind myself of that. As well, put people in check when they’re doing me a bad.

    I’m happy your my friend. Even though I never met you in person, I know without a doubt, you’re a wonderful human being. You and Nicki both. I’m glad you introduced to me to her too!

    • Actually I just had a thought. I’m going to relate this to cats and dogs. Although we feel the same love for each, although a pooch adores a tummy tub, a kitty might bite and scratch. Not only is it necessary to show our appreciation for each breed differently, each breed will RECEIVE that appreciation differently as well. 🙂 It’s important to not onlu be aware of the differences but to appreciate them as well. 🙂

  3. Deena – Thanks for the nod in your response to jassnight.

    I am one of those people who doesn’t normally care what people think. I am not worried about what those who are on the outside of my life looking in think of me, my friends, my life. I probably should care a bit more but then, I find I get hung up on what people see and that gets in my way of being me. I have let this interfere in relationships in the past but am trying to not let it anymore. We’ll see how that works.

    Keep up the fabulous writing!

    • You’re welcome Nicki! I adore you too! 🙂

      I know I certainly never cared before. If they’re on the outside looking in, they hopefully will acknowledge that there is more to what’s behind the window than just what happens to be there at that given time and place.

      I really hope to not become to hung up on what other people think and I pray Im smart enough and content enough in my own skin to not let that happen. I shouldn’t since I’m happy with who I am and what I’ve become in my life. I just feel such a loss at having been so wrong about things. I guess it happens. I care what they think and I enjoyed the freedom, the company and the license to just be who I am when I feel the need to cut loose. Now it’s all different. Now I feel judged and it sucks.

      • It’s the “J” word. Judgment or being judged just sucks and people – whether they see all of you or just a sliver – should not judge.

      • This is true. 🙂 It really makes me rethink my opinions I’ve held about other people too. Maybe I’m wrong.

  4. I definitely think there must be balance between what you project and what you internalize. I used to be constantly aware of what others were thinking and what judgments they were making about me. Eventually, that became so toxic and controlling that I had to learn to project who I wanted to be and stop letting others decide for me. It’s a tricky little balancing act that I don’t think any of us are perfect at.

    • Kelly – balance! I have read so much about balance lately that your comment just resonates with me.

    • Oh dear, I definitely feel the need for some balance. This just totally screwed up everything I’d thought and believed. I took for granted that people understood me and now I learned they didn’t. I guess at the end of the day, its what matters most to me that really counts. That I make sure “I” am okay with who I am and let go of those who just dont get it or judge me harshly without seeing the big picture. 🙂 It could also be argued that they are truly my friends and that is why they didn’t care and also didn’t ostrasize me. 🙂 I guess that’s some food for thought too.

  5. […] I care what these people think.  Then, Deena at A Day in the Life of Me posted some of her own “Reflections,” based on her […]

  6. It’s a gift and also a frustration that life forces us to be different people in different situations. Work, home, school, public. Etc. Etc. Etc. And all of our many roles–they can change depending on not only the environment but on the relationship we are catering to. Exhaustion. It brings me exhaustion to think of it. But in a lot of way, it DOES matter what people think of us. It can help or hurt our kids. It can make or break the raise with our boss. And getting an honest glimpse of it through someone else’s eyes from time to time is actually priceless. Rare. Hard to come by. Most people won’t offer up the truth. A truth from which we can grow if we have an open mind.

    • Absolutely! Very rare indeed. I’m a blessed woman to have such a great friend! 🙂 I have to acknowledge that he gave me a priceless gift of the realization I truly need to work on some things… I totally just chalked things up to “nobody’s perfect” but in hind sight, that doesn’t necessarily mean I should always justg accept the status quo when things could be improved upon as well. 🙂

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