When Someone Shows You Who They Are…

“I don’t trust you,” she said coldly. The same person I recently held in my arms while she cried and told me her troubles said those words to me.

I’m never going to forget being told those words because I have the kind of memory that stores information with great detail and rarely dislodges any of it. My earliest memories were created when I was a toddler and I still see the things, people and places in them as if I interacted with them yesterday – much like I can see this person on the playground of our elementary school. Sometimes I wish my memory didn’t work this way but at other times, now for instance, I’m glad I rarely ever forget. I’m glad because it ensures that I won’t allow myself to be caught in another web of deceit like the one made by a person who chose to abuse my friendship and trust.

As an adult, I’ve been accused many times of being naïve and too trusting of people, especially those I allow into private areas of my life, and with whom I share the most intimate parts of who I am. That characterization may not be too far off, but I prefer to look at it from the perspective of trusting until I’m given a reason not to trust. I approach life that way because it takes too much energy to walk around suspecting that every person one engages with is going to harm you in some way. The never-ending hypervigilance and suspicion would surely make it impossible to enjoy one’s life, and could, quite possibly drain you of your will to live.

Besides, when someone betrays or deliberately hurts you, it’s the unmasking of who they are. Therefore, it has no bearing on your character. Furthermore, when that same person has the audacity to mockingly ask, “What are you going to do about it?” in relation to the action they have taken against you; or “Who do you think you are?” after you call her or him out on their vile behaviour; it’s further evidence that they were never worthy of your friendship. Words and behaviour like this also makes one realize that the air of toughness someone might have projected for years, is just the lack of a conscience and the inability for her or him to form genuine human connections.

In the end, one must decide what bearing such a betrayal is likely to have on any kind of relationship continuing to exist. In my experience, that chance arcs sharply towards zero, because in all likelihood, there may be nothing to salvage. After all, it would be more than naïve to allow any person who treats you so poorly to get that close to you again. And if there’s any doubt about this decision there are always these wise words from Maya Angelou to remember, “When someone shows you who they are believe them; the first time.”

When Someone Shows You Who They Are



7 thoughts on “When Someone Shows You Who They Are…

  1. This same thing recently happened to me. My ‘best friend’ for 20 plus years told me she could no longer trust me. And when I tried to talk with her about the issue that led to these hurtful words, she said the same thing, “How dare you?” and “Don’t even try to tell me…” It hurts. It’s unbelievable. And I guess I’m seeing her in a new light and it’s not a very pretty one. I given up and going through the process of grieving this loss. I’m sorry that this happened to you and hope you begin to feel better ❤


    • Thank you.
      I’m sorry that you’ve had a similar experience. I hope you’ll start to feel better soon.
      After venting the issue through writing I’m feeling a lot better. The only thing that continues to irritate me is knowing that someone who I’ve been supportive of and who has taken advantage of what they needed me to do for them can now look at me and tell me I’m not trustworthy.
      When I don’t trust someone I don’t share anything about myself with them, but this person did the exact opposite, which makes no sense.
      Unfortunately, I’ve had a similar experience before and I’m realizing that sometimes when a person feels they’ve exposed too much about their life and allowed themselves to be too vulnerable they retract and become hostile. There’s also the fact that they may no longer need a connection with you to aid certain outcomes for them.
      Knowing that you’ve been used by someone is never a good feeling.

      Liked by 1 person

      • This is so true! I think that this is exactly what happened with my friend too. She told me she can no longer trust me. And what it seems is really happening is that the whole situation has forced her to see some truths about her own life and relationship with her spouse, and what she sees isn’t pretty. It’s easier for her to dismiss me than it is to have to face her own problems. The lesson I want to take from this, however, is to continue to trust people. My fragile heart wants to isolate to avoid being hurt again, but if I don’t keep trying, I may miss out on finding new, authentic friends. And I try to be thankful for the years of good times we had, but right now, those memories hurt. People are so complicated, I don’t want to waste my time trying to find the answers, but I can’t deny the fact that I wish I had answers. You have it right when you said people realize they’ve exposed too much so they retreat. And also, things change. It may just be that our time as friends is over, not a choice I would have made but the fact remains, that she is gone and I’m grieving her absence. I written a few posts about losing friends, “Grieving the Living” and “Letting Go,” that might be helpful for you. Thanks for the connection and support. I appreciate it ❤

        Liked by 1 person

        • It’s very healthy to acknowledge that this is a loss and that you need to go through the grieving process.
          We’ll probably never get the the answers to why these people in our lives behave(d) this way but you’re absolutely right that it shouldn’t change who you are and how you choose to live your life and interact with others.
          When I was younger I didn’t quite understand what being introverted meant, but now I’m grateful that I am because I’ve learned how to give myself the space and time I need to recover and heal from difficult situations without feeling isolated. There’s nothing wrong with looking inward at a time like this as long as we understand that how someone else behaves is about them and not at all about us.
          I greatly appreciate you sharing and being so open about what you’re going through. As awful as it might be, sometimes it helps to know that you’re not alone in what you’re experiencing 💛:)

          Liked by 1 person

    • I have to agree with you.
      I find it hard to give trust when it’s been broken. What makes it worse is when people don’t realize that trust is theirs to lose so they squander it then question what the big deal is when they do something that causes them to lose it.

      Liked by 1 person

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