I was talking to BT yesterday, and he said how it was frustrating how even with how long you might know someone, it seems that trust isn’t really cultivated. He meant a different sort of trust – like trusting someone’s judgement – but what struck me is the horrbile trait that I don’t tend to trust someone as “they would never do ___” even after knowing them for a while.
If I consider how I trust other people, I think to myself, I never am sure that they wouldn’t hurt me. Or lie to me. Or do something horrendous for some reason.
I was thinking about it as I packed away recycling in the vehicle, that I don’t think that’s really what it is. I think it’s the same thing that stymied my starting to recover from an ED – I saw people for their weight (a lot of times), so I expected the same. I didn’t realize that that could change – and it did. But it took me recovering, first.
So I thought, I can’t trust someone else to not be something, if I never trust all of who I am with anyone. If I never reveal all of myself to someone I could never expect to know who they are all the way through, either… could I?
I tend to not want to alienate people, so I don’t show sides of myself. For instance, maybe, I don’t show the part of me that is really conservative (or I don’t want them to think their views aren’t welcome because they differ from mine – I don’t mind that). Or I don’t want to scare people so I don’t reveal my temper (or say I have one). People get annoyed at people who are excited so I won’t be excited. I try to cut away and whittle off anything that someone might wish for me not to be.
But you can’t grow by cutting off pieces of yourself.
Yet I think that’s what character development *looks like* to me a lot of times. (And I tend to get well-convinced by “looks like”.)
Take Tom Haverford from Parks and Rec. I think BT and I are in the 3rd season? When he starts his Rent-A-Swag business endeavour there is definitely some character development going on.
It looks like him deciding to NOT be a party boy and NOT be this or that. That’s my first thought. Look at all the things he didn’t do.
But those things he didn’t do, weren’t the point. He decided to stay true to his word. Take care of his friendships.
And as they discussed in a succeeding episode, if Tom tried not to be the confident, flashy person he is, then his new business would definitely fail.
He shouldn’t throw all his money into trivial items for his business – as he might have done – but if he “cuts that off” and doesn’t spend any of it, that’s not good either. The growth was to use it in things that appealed to him, and they all pitched in to help build the items he needed. Character growth.
I’ve never been great at nuances. (Hey, look, there’s a character trait someone may not like about me!) When I learned horseback riding, and my teacher was trying to teach me something, my mom would take me aside after the lesson and say “exaggerate it, do the complete opposite of *insert bad habit teacher was trying to break* and you’ll hit the middle.”
So if somebody cheers on somebody’s character growth and I think “Look, they didn’t do something, and that was good! I saw it, too, that was really helpful for them, and I’d much more enjoy spending time with them now, too.” I think “I won’t do things, either!”
Well, that has been proven to not work. And even though I’m much more trusting, and expressive, than I was there for a while, I still would describe myself as “not trusting”. I’m not sure if that actually manifests in my life, or if I really do blanketly (I kinda feel I don’t) not trust anyone. But I do believe I’d be hindered in being able to trust someone if I never chose to show that person the less-“good” parts about me.
And, wouldn’t it be true that nobody can trust me if I conceal so much…
Growth is about growing, and if you chop off everything, there’s nothing left to grow. And if “change” is really rebuilding like I feel better describes it, there’s got to be something to start from.
(Full disclosure: the people closest to me probably know all of me, even if I try to not show it XD When I say, well actually I have ____, they’re like “Oh good. I’m glad you know it, too.” or “Uh-huh, I could read it on your face!”)
I gotta be honest though. My high energy never seems to be a good match for anything…
And if the internet and stories from other people have taught me anything – it’s that frequently, (if you have a good heart), when you are real, and have flaws, it’s encouraging, humorous, helpful, and it sometimes even helps you and everyone else grow. 🙂
Has there ever been anything you tried to chop off, that you realized later wasn’t helpful like you thought’d be?
Do you have any special plans for the weekend? or Thanksgiving? 🙂