We all know people talk behind our backs. That’s just a fact of life. People have formed opinions of me and some might be good and some might be bad. I think a lot of people have no idea what others think of them. I have a pretty good idea (See: Pros and Cons of Dating Me). Therefore, when someone is cautious when telling me something, I get really concerned. What could you possibly tell me that might hurt my feelings? I’m sure there are plenty of things but, overall, I like to stick with one rule of thumb: If it’s true, why get upset? Why get mad? That’s me! I did that! I do that! Proud or not, I should own it.
To give you an idea of what I’m referring to, here’s 4 situations that have come up in the past month:
1. A friend asked me for interview advice and I made some cheeky, self-centered comment like, “Oh, I’m great with interviews.” I do actually think I’m great with interviews and I’ve only ever been in one that I didn’t get whatever it was I was interviewing for. My rule of thumb, I told her, was to tell them something they won’t hear from anyone else. That’s how you really stand out. It takes you out of the sea of people they will be talking to and gives them something to remember you by.
The friend receiving this advice then asked me to not take offense but she should tell me something. I agreed and told her to let it fly. “That’s because you’re exceptionally good at talking about yourself,” she said.
After an initial, oh wait, do I talk about myself too much? Am I not a very good friend? I then recognized that I didn’t need to analyze that comment because it was just flat out true. I have this blog for god sakes!
So I shrugged, nodded and smiled. That’s me! And that’s also what makes me a great interviewee!
2. I arranged a bar night for a friend Boris’ birthday last week. When my roommate didn’t show up, I took to peer pressuring her via text message to come. Eric also jumped in and was texting her anything that might guilt her into coming down. Her excuse was that we were going on a trip to San Francisco the next day and she needed to pack / rest. Eric pointed out that I was also going on that trip and hadn’t packed and my flight was way earlier than hers and yet, there I was at the bar hanging out for Boris’ celebration. When she texted him back, Eric just started laughing hysterically.
“What?” I asked him, curious as to what could be so hilarious.
“I don’t think I should show you. It might crush your soul,” he responded. What could she have said that would “crush my soul”? That didn’t sound very nice.
I asked that he show me anyways and the text read: “Kim is way better friends with Boris, she also has like three t-shirts to choose from when it comes to packing and is a fairly consistent insomniac. We’re not even in the same category in this discussion.”
Again, I shrugged, nodded and smiled. That is all extremely accurate. Why would I let a comment like that upset me or “crush my soul” when it’s all just true?
3. I was recently called a “cuddle monster.” The girl who called me this then joked that she was going to call me that in front of my friends. My first reaction was, oh god, please don’t. It borders on cute pet name and I know I’d be given shit for it for months to come. My second reaction, however, was “go ahead!” Actually, anyone who knows me knows I love to cuddle. This won’t come as a shock to Them. Why should I be embarrassed by an extremely accurate, and fairly cute, nickname for myself? That’s me! No shame.
4. I met a friend of Boris’ and she immediately said, “I’ve heard so much about you.” That probably wouldn’t be a good sign for most, but I pressed about it anyways. What could she have heard about me? She was hammered so her answer was dead honest.
“I heard you drink all of the time, just like me. Someone said you were a total frat boy alcoholic.”
Okay, well, here’s one situation where I did get a bit offended. Almost the entire comment is true. I drink a fair amount so no surprise there. I am definitely a frat boy at heart. I mean, I have two beirut tables for goodness sakes! (Frat Snap!) None of that bothered me. The part of the comment that crushed me was the “alcoholic” ending. Alcoholism is a very powerful disease and shouldn’t be thrown around lightly.
I pulled Boris aside and let him know that it bothered me, even though he wasn’t the one that had told her that. Say what you will about me, but at least make sure it’s true. In this case, her intent was probably just to get across that I drink often, which is completely true. I just then made it my point to get to know her better so that the first thing she thought of when she thought of me wasn’t alcohol. I am more than that but it’s up to me to show it. Not her or anyone else.
So there you have it. I do my best to accept the good and bad sides of me. I don’t want to get mad at people or upset with myself for comments that are entirely accurate. If there is something that I don’t like about myself, I need to be the one working on changing it. Otherwise, I have absolutely no room to complain.
So buck up! And work what your mother gave you! Stick out that (large) chest and be proud! We all know I do…