October 29, 2011

Louder Than Words

People are really good at telling others how they are. I've been hearing a lot of it lately, and the more I hear it the more I believe it's not true. When I was in high school and all the girls were wearing shirts that said ridiculous things like "Mrs. Timberlake," or "Caliente" it was blindingly obvious that the people buying and wearing them were anything but. I'm well into my 20s now and not only am I hearing it more, but I'm hearing it from people who are older than me and should know better. But they're still wrong.

When I started at my current job the office manager would talk about how her husband makes 6 figures and only works because she gets fulfillment out of making a company grow, something she's done in the past. But certain things make me think maybe she really does need the work: working 10+ hours a day in a highly stressful environment for little money, wearing clothes with holes in them or clothes that don't quite fit, bad spending habits in the past, and her mother-in-law lives with them in their apartment in a shady neighborhood. Granted, some of these things I do too (hell, my apartment has bars on the windows), but I'm not claiming that I don't absolutely need to work, and all of these things make me question whether that's really true for her.

I've also heard "friends" go on about how important friendship is, how much they value others, how they want others to value their friendship, too. Proclamations like these aren't true but I get the feeling that the people saying them likely want them to be true, at least for the time being. A couple years back I was friends with a coworker who said these things all the time and I fully believed it. Then I left that job and realized he was using me for a ride to work and a couch to sleep on. When I started hearing those same proclamations some months back from a different friend I was skeptical. Turns out I had a right to be. Certain people have different ideas of what friendship is, and when your ideas on your respective roles in that friendship differ it's hard to maintain a relationship. Fortunately for me it was good to get out of that first friendship and not too hard to let the second one slip by.

We judge others all the time, but I think our worst and least accurate judges are ourselves. We're so quick to tell others what we're like instead of letting others find out for themselves. And why don't we actually live up to what we say we are? Show your friends, coworkers and acquaintances what you're really like with actions, not with empty words.

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