“He’s just a little insecure and doesn’t know how to confidently show he’s interested in me,” I explained to my roommate.
I was twenty-one, hardcore crushing on a computer science major who also played the banjo, and justifying my ass off for why he wasn’t returning any of my text messages. I was also ignoring my gut. As I sat on our faded plaid armchair, the one that was in this dilapidated college-house when we moved in, I kept repeating that he was just shy. Nervous. Awkward. A computer genius. As a person with anxiety, I was well-equipped to over-analyze everything he’d ever said or done.
While this may have all been true (he was sort of shy, awkward, and intelligent with computers) it was also true that he was not responding to my text messages. And no amount of hypothesizing (maybe he’s practicing his banjo and can’t hear his phone!!??) changed this fact.
It is easy to try and see what we want to see. To weave elaborate backstories for why someone is treating us the way they are treating us. Especially if their actions don’t align with the reality in which we want to live.
“When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time.” – Maya Angelou
I know it’s a tired expression, but actions seriously fucking DO speak louder than words. I can tell you I’ll pick you up from the airport at midnight tonight, but unless I pull up with Britney blasting from my windows, that promise doesn’t mean anything. Do you hear what I’m saying? To use one of my favorite expressions: Don’t piss on me and tell me it’s raining.
It took me a long time to start digesting this fully. To truly understand that those first few days, weeks, months we spend with a person are important moments of learning someone’s character and intentions. I can’t tell you how many times I’d find myself feeling hurt, then only moments later blaming myself and feeling sorry for the other person. Wizardry!
The older I get, the more I realize so much of being a kind and responsible adult is just being able to follow through. Pay attention to whether or not someone stays true to their word. Listen to your gut and above all trust your gut. Look for consistency because this is what will sustain.