When People Show You Who They Are, Believe Them

When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time. People know themselves much better than you do. That’s why it’s important to stop expecting them to be something other than who they are. – Maya Angelou.

This short little quote helped me understand the ‘how’ of relationships. I kept expecting people to be true to their words, because I was true to mine. That’s just not how it goes with everyone. Many people mean what they say, when they say it, but give not much thought after that. So I was torn between believing what people said (because as an empath I didn’t feel they were lying) but then disheartened when they would yet again disappoint me.

I expected them to be who they wanted to be, rather than who they were.

When people show you who they are, believe them.

I have a rule of three and it applies in many areas of my life. But one I am most adamant about is giving people three chances. Sometimes mistakes are made. Anyone can have a misstep or poor judgment once. So long as it isn’t a deal breaker that gets foofed off as a “one off-er”. A freebie, so to speak. A brief conversation might be had, or it might just be dismissed.

The second time that thing shows up, it’s a deeper conversation and it’s noted, in a file, in a drawer, in a cabinet, in my brain. The third time that thing happens, I’m done. Like D O N E done. Three times? That’s a pattern my friend. You have just showed me who you are. Now, granted there are certain things that if done once they never get the chance to do a second time, but those things are big deal breakers and go without saying.

I think largely this quote is good guidance for people caught up in co-dependent relationships, with the repeating loop of “I’ll do better”, doesn’t do better, “sorry I didn’t do better.” However, sometimes this lesson isn’t about ending a relationship. It might be about ending your expectations.

People show us all the time who they are and we immediately discern whether or not they are someone we want to get to know better. Sometimes it is easy to decide, ‘no, I don’t feel compatible with that person’ and you move on. Other times though the relationship has no red flags or warning signs. It’s a perfectly good relationship. You might laugh together. Do activities or projects together, but maybe at some point you feel like you aren’t getting out of the relationship what you put into it.

Or maybe you just feel like you aren’t getting what you need from it…

That’s what I want to talk about today.

It is perfectly OK for you to know that you ‘deserve’ what you want from a relationship, be it romantic or friendship. The thing is just because YOU deserve it, doesn’t mean the person you want it from OWES it to you.

Even if you extend to them the same respect, effort or affection. Just because you give it doesn’t mean the other person is obligated to return it. That’s when you need to adjust your expectations to fit the relationship you are actually in, rather than the one you imagined yourself to be in.

People can only offer you what they have to give. No more. And if they offer you less, well then they are telling you something aren’t they? Either they are not capable or they are not willing. Either way, they are not optimal as partners in the relationship you thought you were creating. If you were intending to create a romantic or business relationship, it is probably advisable to end that versus just changing your expectations. However, if your intention was to create a friendship then you don’t have to end it, just change your expectations.

Friendships come in many shades. There are best friends who are confidantes where the bond runs deep. There are social friends who like to go out and do things socially without much deep conversation. There are work friends you never see outside of the workplace. And a hundred other kinds of friends in between. If you were going for ‘best friend’ and you aren’t getting back what you put in, don’t scrap the friendship, just adjust your expectations. Recognize what the other person is offering you and manage your expectations to that degree.

Now let’s end on a more positive note.

When people show you who they are, believe them.

I can’t count how many times I’ve heard people say, in one way or another, “I have trust issues”, or “People have to earn my trust.” I’m here to tell you that last one is backwards and the first one says more about you than anyone else.

We don’t ‘trust’ others, we trust ourselves to put our energies into the right places. Listening for who people show themselves to be is key in that. How many times did you ‘trust’ someone, get disappointed and then look back and see the warning signs you overlooked/didn’t listen to? They were there. You know they were. You just wanted what you imagined the relationship could be so much that you chose to be deaf and blind. If you think you have trust issues, it’s because you really have imagination issues.

You imagined a future relationship and confused that with present time. You overlooked and excused behavior because you didn’t want to give up the ‘potential’ the relationship has for the future. This is imagination at its finest. You IMAGINE that the relationship will become something else in the future and therefore trade your present for it and are surprised when the results are not what you imagined. It’s kind of like wanting to bake a cake, but don’t find all the ingredients for it in your pantry, so you put together what you have, stick it in the oven and expect it to still come out like cake.

People do not earn our trust. To really be authentic in relationships you need to have the approach of trusting someone until/unless they give you a reason not to – in other words, ‘until they show you who they are’ (or who they are not.)

When people show you themselves as honest, trustworthy, attentive and understanding, believe them. Don’t make them jump through hoops to prove themselves. Enjoy the even exchange relationship and don’t overthink it. However, do pay attention when if they begin showing you themselves to NOT be those things!

Too often we get hooked into someone because they intoxicate us. Maybe they are exciting. We feel a little small sometimes but they make us feel bigger. Maybe they give us really high-highs through their antics or their humor. But with those highs or feeling big we can feel the opposite sometimes. A relationship with those kind of ‘mood swings’ is not healthy.

Oh yes, every relationship has highs and lows over time, but the highs should outweigh the lows. No one should ever try to make you feel small – ever. This is not someone to be in partnership with at all. In a healthy relationship there should be more stability than highs. You can’t be high all the time. If you are seeking highs because you feel ‘bored’ in stability then it says quite a bit about you and your interpersonal dynamics, and some internal work is in order.

Remember, you are also showing people who you – and they will believe you, too.

Peace Be With You,

Jade

Support Female Personal Developers

I’ve been thinking…(uh oh)….

There is an underlying pattern of misogyny in the genre of personal development. It isn’t intentional, mind you. I’m beginning to theorize it as a result of conditioning. Although ‘touchy feely’, ’emotions’ and ‘naval contemplation’ has been ‘seen’ as a woman’s field just google ‘personal development speakers’, or ‘motivational speakers’, or ‘personal transformational speakers’ images and you’ll find the majority are males.

And these males? They collaborate with males. They might have women on their teams behind the scenes but they partner up with males or they cite other male professionals as resources.

But here is where it really hit my heart… as I observe polls asking for recommendations for self-help gurus, the majority of answers, EVEN FROM WOMEN, are men. This is where the real misogyny is taking place.

Confidence and the presentation of it, is at the heart of this.  What do I mean?

Men take up more space and aren’t ashamed of it.

As I watch some of my favorite online male counterparts I am in awe at how some manage to be charmingly cocky (I do not tend to favor cocky otherwise) to kindly confident. They make no apologies. They don’t seem to cater to anyone and they are bold. BOLD. Not as in daring so much as they speak like they know their shit is TRUE. They take up space without asking permission.

As I watch some of the familiar online female counterparts I see some trying to wear men’s pants figuratively and it feels out of place. It comes off cocky and not authentic. It seems like one trying to play like a man as a woman. Rather than just play like a woman.

I am not anti-male, in any shape or form. And I’m not whining about being a woman….I wouldn’t have it any other way. I see the value in balance, but right now there isn’t any balance. Its odd for me to google recognized professional speakers to find male dominance, but see a preponderance of females in the not-so-recognized online world.

I understand nature, so I don’t see this as something ‘contrived’ by humans. Look at almost any species and you’ll find the male dressed in the brightest, boldest colors, loudest call, most aggressive and most recognized. It’s in their nature. The bolder look imprints upon us, so when we think of a peacock it is the male peacock that immediately comes to mind. Same thing for a lion, a cardinal or a deer. Males natural tendency to be more aggressive makes them more notable and memorable.

So, I’m not blaming the men at all.

I just want to bring awareness that just because a female is not all bold and aggressive does not mean she is not as capable of serving, especially in the personal development arena. We have ‘softer’ ways, like the gentler hues of the female peacock vs the bold colors of her male counterpart.

I want to remind my female counterparts that you don’t need to ‘sell out’ to find success. Don’t try on the bold male colors that aren’t your palette. Titles like ‘badass’, ‘gangster’ and ‘warrior’ feel disingenuous to me.  It seems like a false sort of confidence.

Does that make sense? Does anyone else feel the energy incongruence thing happening here?

Confident women, ARE. When I think of confident women in the personal development field I think of Iyanla VanZant, SARK, Brene` Brown, Marianne Williamson, Maya Angelou…just off the top of my head.

I cannot, by any means state that any woman who uses these terms in disingenuous, I’m saying to me it feels like we women have been sold a load of men’s suits and have been trying to tailor them to suit us, rather than just wearing what suits us authentically.

If you are an authentically bold woman with a more masculine energy, GO FOR IT!! But if you are not, please don’t try to emulate a male’s approach to what you are doing. And please don’t think I’m suggesting you just substitute ‘badass’ with ‘goddess’ either. It’s perfectly ok to just BE, without a popular label.

I just want to remind everyone of the abundance of capable, effective and inspiring female personal developers out there and suggest you recommend them to your friends as readily as you do our male counterparts.

Our society is masculine heavy. We NEED a balance of yin and yang to reach our full potential. We NEED the bold brash yang energy of the male workshops that get you all pumped up and ready to break free of the astral gravity holding your ass in the chair in front of the TV. But we also all NEED the gentle beauty of yin energy in the female workshops to get you to really connect with your life force energy.

*Full disclosure, I confess, this post was written mainly for myself, as a reminder to not see my male counterparts as more successful because they are louder and brighter and seem to have more engagement and to quit trying to tailor suits for my womanly shape.

 

~Jade

Jade Willow Song is an Intuitive Qi Therapist who works with individuals seeking healing, clarity and guidance on their life path by facilitating transformational experiences. 

Jade serves others with her experience and education in metaphysics, crystal healing, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, QiGong, guided visualization and meditation. In addition, Jade is an ordained minister with the Universal Life Church.

Jade holds a Bachelor’s in Social Work as well as certifications in Reiki and Therapeutic Touch.