With everything going on lately, I’ve definitely been more attuned to the behaviours of others (and probably a bit more sensitive to be honest) because we’re all feeling a bit more on edge. Recently, with everyone on social media and what not I’ve been thinking a lot about how people paint themselves to be and who they actually really are. Their authenticity if you will.
The one thing that I really hate is people who act like something that they’re not. For example, I’m loud and I can be a be a big personality, and I own that. But what I don’t like is when somebody acts like something that they’re not. I don’t just mean this genuine “this is what I look in my instagram and this is what I actually look like in real life”, but more so people who make people believe they are kind and can do no wrong, and sometimes can be the most deceiving and least trustworthy people I’ve ever met. I’m sure this is going to be a post that a lot of people will not like, but it’s an important one to me because it is something that frustrates me to my core.
It is because of these people that my anxiety becomes very very real- most of you who know me in real life can attest to that although I have a big personality and I come across as pretty confident, I actually take things very personally and the things that people do and say really affect me. I have always been the kind of person to be up front and honest about my intentions and following through on whatever I do (whether I want to do it or not) so it frustrates me when I take people for face value and get myself into situations where I am “screwed over” so to speak. The past year in particular has taught me a lot about that- who I can trust, and the people I value in my life (and I am grateful for those lessons now). But because I want to believe in the best of everyone and care a lot about what others think of me, when people are not genuine with their intentions or actions, I feel very hurt (and obviously this affects the trust I have in others).
I’ve spoken a little bit about how I have had a tough time “molding” all of my worlds and interests together. I often feel like I am the square peg in a round hole. For the longest time I didn’t tell people at work that I was going back to do my masters because I was judged for that. People don’t like that I have been involved with many other opportunities that I have sought out because I like to grow and develop my own knowledge and understanding, and positively impact the lives of others. I care about people and that has always been my biggest driving factor. That hasn’t and won’t ever change.
I’ve gone on some terrible dates where people have said some pretty awful things to me (thankfully the 1%) but often it is the negative things that people say about/ to us that stick a lot more than the many more good. We have to make a conscious effort each day to let those good things outweigh the bad or else we would never be able to function (this is something I have struggled with and I still do!) But the point being, you can’t please everyone. If you go through life like this, you will never end up doing anything that actually makes you happy. You’re much better off to be genuine and authentic in your interactions with others and let others fall into place in your life if they are meant to be there (more on this in another post to come soon!) Those people who choose to focus on your imperfections are not adding the value in your life that you need- and they are not your tribe.
With all that’s been happening with COVID19, there has been a big call for help put out by our provincial nursing body asking for people who would be willing to help with virtual care and critical care nursing. I already work in critical care, and had told them I would be willing to work at Telehealth to do my part in a way (and in my head it makes a lot of sense because the more people we keep out of emerg, hopefully the less people we have to treat with coronavirus and the less overburdened the system is). This hasn’t been a secret, I’ve shared this with people. But the other day, I was sitting in the break room alone with another nurse on my break. In passing conversation when I mentioned something about working at Telehealth said “what, you can’t manage your money or something? Why do you need another job?”.
Let me tell you, in this moment I was taken aback- if you could have seen my jaw, it was probably on the floor. I had no idea how to respond to this individual (and I should have addressed it, but because I don’t like conflict I didn’t). Instead I just responded in saying that I was just trying to do my part to help with what has been going on. Which is absolutely the truth. But I was so stunned. The worst part is this individual paints his/her self as being kind and selfless and supportive. There was absolutely no place for them to say this to me nor did they have the right. It irked me for hours after. And I went home after my shift feeling pretty upset about it (I guess even still now since it’s made its way into this post!)
To anyone who has ever been made to feel like this- you need to read this. You don’t have to feel small so someone else can feel better or more important. You don’t have to “pay your dues” so someone respects you. If someone doesn’t treat you with kindness and respect, call them on it. There is a respectful way to address this behaviour and let people know that you will not be walked all over. It doesn’t mean you’re not kind- it means you respect yourself as much as you do others. I’m kicking myself for not doing this in the moment, but it’s something I am working on.
In the past year, overall I have learned a lot about who my true friends are. People I trusted and valued in my life (and even those I stood up for and treated with kindness when nobody else did) have taken my goodwill and intentions for granted and showed me that you can’t control anything else other than yourself. You cannot control the actions of others but you can control how you respond to things and how you treat others. That’s been my 2020 motto and in this time of all things unknown I think its even more important to stick to.
People will eventually show their true colours and you have to trust that karma will take care of those who are not genuine and true. I recently had someone say to me who has experienced similar struggles that “all I can do is meet them with kindness, humility and understanding and hope that shines through”. I liked this a lot. It speaks so well to where we should put our efforts and energies. And so to end off, I challenge all of you to do that. The world would be a much better place if each of us did this in our small way.
Stay safe and stay well. – C