Have you ever dated someone who you thought was perfect for you? I mean you click with everything, your chemistry is unfathomable, you get each other’s sense of humor, you both have the same favorite restaurant, and when a song comes on the radio that you both like, well, you picture yourself marrying that person. We’ve all done it. Writing their names over and over with little hearts on our supposedly “note taking paper” instead of paying attention in class. It seems like all is well within the relationship until something happens. That’s right, their true colors begin to shine. Whether it be the way they handle arguments, the way they begin to control you, lie to you, or maybe they even start to talk down to you.
Whatever it may be, people’s true colors begin to shine over time. What’s the definition of true colors you may ask? Here’s how I personally define true colors being shown from a person: I believe that somebody’s true colors are what makes a person complete. It could be their personality, their actions, their reaction on difficult times, how they act around people, ect. Dictionary.com seems to portray and define “show one’s true colors” within a negative light. In my experience, true colors will eventually shine within a person after they become comfortable around you.
So how do you handle it when somebody lies to you, twists a story around to make you sound like a horrible person, manipulates you, blackmails you, etc? Well that my friends is currently a work in progress. Have I been lied to? Many times. Have people put me down in order to raise themselves up? Has happened quite a bit. Have I been talked down to? Lots of times.
If it was a relationship I was in to where I didn’t like their true colors, I’d just call it off. If there was a friendship to which was making me miserable, I’d walk away. But what do you do when it’s family? The people who are supposed to be with you through thick and thin. The people you’re supposed to always be able to count on. THAT my friends is a very difficult question and I’ve recently been found asking myself that over and over and over. I can’t just cut family out of my life. I mean, you can but eventually they’ll find their way back to you whether you like it or not. Also, know that you can’t control people. I certainly don’t like being controlled so I would never try and do that to somebody else.
Family’s fight. Just like friends and couples fight. But there comes a time within every relationship that you may have to let it go. Whether it be an argument, nasty things that were said, or actions not tolerated that you have to let go of the relationship especially if you’re finding a repeated negative pattern in their behavior. You have to know when it’s time to walk away. I’m not saying it’s easy especially when you reminisce the good times in the relationship, but once people are considered “toxic” in your life, you have to let go. That doesn’t mean you can just give up one them over a fight, because most things can be worked out. What I’m talking about is when they make you feel lower than dirt, when there is no reasoning with them, or when they can no longer see the effects they’re having on other people.
There’s many times that I question “Am I the one causing the problems?” before giving up on someone. And believe it or not, sometimes you are. If not the total problem, you may be initiating it. Nobody’s perfect (no matter how much somebody thinks they are), and owning up to your mistakes or apologizing for something you did wrong can make all the difference. However, not only do some people that find difficult, I’m learning that some choose to believe that they’re always right and make it a fact that they don’t owe anybody an apology. Well I’m here to tell you, if that’s the case, you won’t be getting far in my book. In fact, you might lose all privileges in that person’s life due to your uncanny stubbornness.
There is a couple things I have learned:
- It’s never okay to point fingers. Have I done it? Yes, but all it does is stir up more anger. Whether you are factually right or not is besides the point. People don’t handle things well when they’re being forced in the spotlight for being wrong. Sometimes it’s best to stay quiet and take a break. Usually the person will calm down and realize, “Hey, maybe I took this out of context or maybe they’ll even own up to their mistake and apologize. I know I’ve done it. (It’s not easy but it’s considered mature.) If they don’t realize anything they did wrong for countless arguments, lies or whatever it may be, then maybe it’s best to rethink the relationship. Even if it’s friends or family. Okay, you’re my brother, sister, aunt, uncle, in-law, etc. But that doesn’t mean we have to talk. Even if you’re family, you don’t have to be close. I usually prefer to stay close due to my nature in avoidance with conflict but if there’s no “winning” with somebody, I’m learning to know that it’s okay to keep your distance.
- It’s okay to block people. Block them from your phone, social media, and if they have a key to your house, change the locks. There was a point I was receiving almost laughable derogatory texts. They made me sick. I’m talking physically sick and no matter what I texted back, it was like receiving a virtual spit in the face. That’s when I knew, it was time to give up. You do not have to tolerate people treating you terribly. I don’t care if it’s friends, coworkers, your significant other, EVEN family. When things get so nasty it’s making you physically ill, it’s time to walk away.
- It’s okay to feel sad. When breaking up with somebody, it’s almost like a part of you isn’t there anymore and it’s sad, especially when things used to be good. It’s okay to cry over it. I know I’ve shed my due diligence of tears when boyfriends and I split up. And that’s okay, because at least you know you once cared. But when it comes to family, I’ve noticed it’s a lot harder. I think that’s because you know eventually you’ll see them again, eventually you’ll receive a call or text, or maybe even a card. And you never know if it’ll be an offer to reconcile or another slap in the face.
- Whether or not you receive an apology, you have to forgive. I’ve learned how to forgive people whether they say sorry or not. It’s a fantastic way to create peace in your heart once again.
So to sum everything up, how do you handle somebody who’s shown their true colors? I honestly don’t have an exact answer and people I talk to always seem to have a difference of opinion. Therefore, it’s probably up to you. Just make sure you’re not getting walked on, like my husband says happens to me a lot. Basically, don’t be too nice that people take advantage of you, but don’t have too cold of a heart to not be open to a sincere apology.
What about you? How do you handle people who show their true colors? How do you make peace with it?