When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them

The title of this article is a quote by Maya Angelou. A quote that most of us probably think back on situations in our past and say “I should have listened to Maya.”

It is so difficult to find someone in today’s society that I think many of us get a little wide-eyed when somebody shows interest in us. Wow, this person makes me laugh! Wow, this person compliments me! Wow, this person is this or that, or maybe both this and that.

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Naturally, our attention may be grabbed and we could start spending time with this person. Maybe a date or two goes by and we are ignoring that thing they do with their mouth that is a little bit annoying, because whatever.

Then we are sort of brushing aside the fact that they have kind of a shady past with relationships, but clearly they are interested in you, and you are so awesome that they are going to break that pattern when they realize how great you are.

And then we find out that their family doesn’t talk to them anymore, for some reason that you will probably find out when you get to know them better and realize that it really wasn’t a big deal. Just a small misunderstanding. A decade ago.

Then you find yourself texting them first…all the time. And they take awhile to respond. But that’s fine, because they are busy. Even though they always respond quickly to other people when they are around you.

But none of this matters because they make you laugh, and they compliment you, and they are this and that. But if all of that is so great, then why do you still feel so empty?

Before you know it, you have invested yourself in this person emotionally. Maybe you are even in a committed relationship with them. But now the dust is starting to settle a little bit and you are noticing small little things that might bother you a little bit, like that thing they do with their mouth. Or maybe you are starting to notice some character flaws and unanswered questions, like why they have such a shady past with relationships.

And…why doesn’t their family talk to them? Why?

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This person has changed so much! It’s like they aren’t even like that same great, flawless, exciting person who you first met. Who also did that annoying thing with their mouth and doesn’t talk to their family.

And then you realize…they haven’t changed at all. You have just floated down from the clouds enough to begin to see who they really are, and not be blinded by the newness and excitement of it all.

But they were always this person. And you knew that. You just didn’t want to see it because you thought you had finally found somebody who was what you wanted. When in your heart, you knew there were things lacking…maybe even big things…but you wanted to give it a shot anyway, because you never know.

Plus, you didn’t want to give up. You didn’t want to quit, because quitting is negative. Giving up is what weak people do. And you are not weak. You are strong – and strong people hold on to things and make them work instead of just throwing them away.

Except – sometimes strength doesn’t mean holding on to something. It means being able to let go of what can’t be fixed.

If we are looking for a real long term connection with someone, we have to be honest with ourselves about what we will and will not accept. We all have flaws. We all have things that will probably annoy the person in our life, and vice versa. Those are not the things that really matter (unless you are really sensitive…)

The things that really matter are the dealbreakers. The things that you personally decide you are not going to accept. The things that you personally decide that you absolutely want in a relationship or in a teammate. When you don’t find them in someone you have started seeing, it doesn’t mean they are a bad person, it just means that they may not be the right person for you. And that is okay.

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To stay in a relationship you know in the very depths of your heart is wrong, is to cut yourself off to the possibility of finding the right one. Every moment you stay with the wrong person is another moment that you are not emotionally open and available to finding the right one.

People are always showing you who they are. Make sure you pay attention.

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Click here to get my new e-book, The Modern Man’s Guide To Chivalry And Courtship!

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12 thoughts on “When Someone Shows You Who They Are, Believe Them

  1. I just went through a break up and all of these things applied but to see it in writing is like a light bulb went off for all future relationships. Thank you for this article.

    • This article actually led to a breakup — I recently started dating a guy who seemed perfect in the beginning and then as I “descended from the clouds” I started seeing all kinds of red flags. Broken relationships with family and his children, controlling behaviors (that looked like caring at first)…my story reads just like the article. Of course when I broke up, all that nasty stuff rose to the top quickly and I can see what a train wreck I just avoided.

      Thanks for the clarity and common sense talk.

  2. Another absolutely fabulous blog. I’m still thinking about it. Just fabulous
    Sent via BlackBerry by AT&T

  3. Thank you for the article it nothing but the truth, when you meet a new friend or enter in a new relationship you don’t really know the person and you don’t know if they will hurt you or when they are going to break your heart. You hear those who knew telling you he/she is bad news you just ignore and they’re jealous of your friend then when you finaly see what they warned about things starts to be bit tense between you and you become enemies forever.

    Best friends can turn into worst enemies.

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