I’m such a Pollyanna. I truly believe that people are basically good, nice, friendly, and kind. That they care about each other. Don’t want to hurt each other. See only the good in each other. On and on and on. And generally, the people in my world ARE that way. It’s sort of a self-fulfilling prophecy: I expect folks to be nice, and they generally are.
When I encounter someone who is NOT those things, it brings me up short. I know the world is full of sad, angry people – I just try not to have any dealings with them. It’s almost a challenge to make them smile, although I can tell a losing battle when I see it.
Anyway, my goal in life has always been just to be happy. To have fun (in a responsible way), to be kind, to be a good friend. I bounce through life like Tigger, believing that everyone will understand and accept who and what I am. So when someone sees me as something different, it brings me up short. In my naive way, I can’t believe that anyone would see me as anything but me, in all my crazy, transparent glory. It feels like a betrayal when someone interprets my behavior as something bad or threatening, when that’s the last thing on my mind. I’m not sure how to proceed; if they see me as something other than who I really am, I don’t know what I can do to clear that up.
I know we’re not supposed to worry about what other people think of us. We can’t please everyone. But what am I supposed to do in the face of someone misreading my intentions? Especially when that someone is a friend. It shakes me to the core that they think I’m someone I’m not, capable of something I’m not. Makes me second-guess my every step, wondering if something I did made them stop trusting me.
That’s a dance that will drive you crazy.
So my solution is to withdraw. I hate conflict, so certainly wouldn’t confront this person and ask them why in the heck they think those things about me. (Yes, that’s probably the right thing to do, but it’s way too hard for me. I’d rather just avoid the situation completely and save myself the hassle.) Besides, I never have been able to perfect my poker face, so that heart I wear on my sleeve is pretty easy to see. And I want to preserve at least a scrap of self-confidence and not let them know that they’ve hurt me. So I’ll just stay away for a while, and see if it magically fixes itself. (What else would Pollyanna do?)
So tonight, I’m working on regaining my confidence. I know who and what I am. I’m sorry if they see me as someone I’m not. Pollyanna Tigger will just keep bouncing along, doing what she does best, and hope that it all comes out in the wash.