Some people are good at masking what they are. They hide behind lies and well-crafted personas to present to the world a palatable version of themselves. Others hide what they are by gas-lighting, using coded language, or simply denying the truth about themselves or their actions. No matter how they try to hide, people show you what they are eventually.
Sometimes, it’s in very obvious ways. You catch them being dishonest, or maybe you see or hear them do something questionable. Sometimes, it’s a little less obvious. How they talk about certain people or groups, or what they feel the need to celebrate or denigrate. What they place value in, and what they don’t. The signs are always there, and eventually you’ll see them.
My advice to you is this, when someone shows you what they are, believe them.
If you’re involved with someone, whether dating, in a relationship, married, or just casually sleeping with them, and you notice that they show themselves to be the sort of person you want nothing to do with, the sort of person that seems to contradict who they claim they are, you may feel the need to justify their behavior. You’ll think of any possible reason why someone you like, with the implication being that if you like someone they must be a good person, is clearly doing something you consider to be wrong. Maybe they’re stressed out, maybe they just need a chance to prove you wrong, or maybe they’re feeling anxious about their career prospects and financial situation, et cetera et cetera. Trust me when I tell you, you’re only fooling yourself. People are what they are, and when they show their true selves to you, you should believe them.
People show you what they are in what they value. People show you what they are in what they feel like they are owed, by you, and society at large. People show you what they are by who they associate with, who they call friends and who they consider their enemies. People show you what they are by what they love and hate. Whatever they show themselves to be, believe them. Don’t just take people at their word, trust the evidence they give you through words, deeds, and anything else you can see.
If someone conducts themselves in a way that shows that they are a liar, they’re a liar. If they cheat, they’re a cheater. You don’t need to wait for someone to tell you what they are when they’re showing it to you as clear as day. Convincing yourself that someone isn’t exactly what they show themselves to be, whether they’re a liar, a cheater, a bigot, or a sexist, is like believing someone when they piss down your back and call it rain.
Maybe you think that seeing someone for who they are would NEVER be that obvious, but you’d be surprised. Hints are always there if you pay attention. Maybe not at first, but eventually people show what they are given enough time. It’s up to you to be on the lookout for behaviors that show you who a person really is. It’s also up to you to recognize those behaviors and not jump through hoops trying to convince yourself that they aren’t exactly what they’re showing themselves to be.
Don’t refuse to accept what someone shows themselves to be because you’ll feel dumb for being wrong. Better to be wrong and move on, then to lie to yourself to stay with someone who is wrong for you.
Good Luck Out There.
Also published on Medium.