"When people show you who they are, believe them." - Maya Angelou
Maya Angelou is one of my favorite people that I never had the opportunity to meet. As a fellow woman, her evident sense of self-worth and value inspired me...and still does. As a fellow storyteller, her way with words (through her books, poetry, etc) was something quite brilliant yet simplistic, in a style that I greatly respect.
This particular quote of hers reminds me of another saying that goes "when you meet someone for the first time, remember that who you will be meeting is in fact the person's representative." We all like to put our best faces forward when we initially begin a relationship of any sort (personal or professional) however as time goes by, and we are placed in changing circumstances or environments, some of the not-so-expected characteristics start to surface. Here are 4 things people show you about themselves and ways you can easily identify that to be the case.
When People Show You They Love You
They're present in your life. They're constantly thinking of you and make it known. They pray for your development, growth, strength, and joy. They remain consistent in their loyalty towards you. They're champions of yours in private and more so in public, even if it is inconvenient or unpopular to do so (which is actually when it counts the most). They're there to laugh with in great times and also to cry with in not-so-great times. They provide a safe and trustworthy space for you to be exactly who you are -- for better or for worse. They challenge you to always become a better version of yourself, even if it means risking annoyance or resistance from you. These people are a gift and thank God always for them.
When People Show You They Only Intend to Use You
You're not a factor in their lives until they need something. They will not typically ever pick up the phone to call or text and if they do, 9 out of 10 times the conversation will eventually lead to asking for a "favor". They do not invite you to outings or gatherings. They do not usually reach out in any form on your birthday (call, text, Facebook message, etc). They do not check in when you're sick. They do not have any genuine concern for your wellbeing. Don't take it personally -- be grateful they've made it plain and adjust your expectations of them accordingly.
When People Show You They're Jealous of You
The actions are simple enough to understand. They criticize your every move. They diminish almost everything you accomplish as "less than". They're super competitive with you about everything. They're not happy to hear good or positive news regarding you. Sometimes, they'd prefer to hear you're going through "rough times". Again, don't take it personally -- it's one of those human emotions that has a way of showing up at different phases in life due to insecurities people are dealing with at a given point in time. Empathy goes a long way in such cases; however, if it becomes unbearable, some "distance" also goes a long way too.
When People Show You They're in Pain
They're distant and withdrawn. They're not as lively as they used to be. They can be overly emotional and get irrationally angry or upset about almost anything you say or do. It can be frustrating to deal with however, this is actually when they need your compassion the most. This is when you can choose to show concern, provide a trustworthy listening ear, and offer potential solutions to ease their pain...or not; the choice is yours.
Don't get it twisted folks -- people are always showing you who they are; you just have to pay attention :)