“I am what I am, and that's all that I am.” ~ Popeye
For most of my life, I've wondered why I am so hard to get along with, why do people find me so different, why don't people like me? There are reasons and circumstances that have led to these wonderings, for sure. But as I have gotten older, and I would hope more wiser, I have begun to find the answers to these wonderings.
It is not that I am hard to get along with, I am quite easy to get along with once others get to know me and understand me. I now come from a place of absolute truth. I was recently called a "WYSIWYG". I had not been called that before and did not know if I should be offended. However, it is an acronym for "What You See Is What You Get". I love it. That is exactly what I am. As I currently live abroad, I am immersed in a culture that does not say what they mean or do what they mean. Everyone speaks in some sort of code that others must decipher and find the real meaning behind. People think that there is something behind what one is saying and they look for it. They don't take what I say for actually being what I mean. It's been so frustrating for me because I am then received as blunt, forward, and pushy when that's not the case at all. The positive side of that is not seen; the truthfulness, the not "beating around the bush", the time-saving decision making of "this is what I really want so do this" the first time. These are all good things. They can all be said with a smile and positive attitude as well as received with a smile. They are delicate, elegant virtues.
“I was recently called a "WYSIWYG". I had not been called that before and did not know if I should be offended.”
Why do people find me so different? Well, that explanation would go on and on. I homeschooled, so I had a different type of childhood. I have lived abroad and experienced many different cultures which means I find myself more openminded. I don't watch the news. I do my own research and watch what is going on in the world. I listen to the Lord and try to walk out His will for my life everyday instead of pursuing things I think would bring me success, acclaim, or more money. It's hard, but that's the intent. But mostly, I say what I mean and am honest in what I say and do. It seems to me that people are not used to being told the truth. People are used to being told what they want to hear. So, the truth can come off harsh at times. And, it used to for me. But, I have learned (and continue TO learn) to deliver the truth in love and with tenderness (most of the time).
Why don't people like me? I want everyone to like me. It's something that I have desired my whole life. Even though I know how to rock the boat, I am a peace-keeper at my core. I am a people pleaser. Because I tell it like it is and speak the truth so much, it may sound like and look like I offend or piss people off. But, I have found that when people are respected, loved, and embraced for who they are, even when they have all their barbs exposed, when truth in love is spoken, it will eventually seep in. They will hear it, even if they say they don't want to hear it. People may start out not liking me, but then, when they really get to know me, they love me. However, I also know and teach my children that 20% of people just won't like you. There's nothing you can do about it. So just don't worry about it. If people like you, they like you. If they don't, they don't. Don't spend time getting people to like you. Only spend time being yourself. That's all anyone can be. That's all I am. My favorite quote is from Dr. Seuss, "Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those that matter don't mind."
The most important key to remember is that God made you the way He made you. There is no changing that. He gave you your personality, your characteristics, your being, the core of who you are. How you learn to balance that in the world and serve others is up to you. Sir Anthony Hopkins once said, "My philosophy is it's none of my business what people say of me and think of me. I am what I am, and I do what I do. I expect nothing and accept everything. And it makes life so much easier." I'm learning not to expect anything. I am what I am and that's all that I am.
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