Up front I have to admit I certainly have told lies, but more often than not, I have told truths … truths that were not recognized as truth, or could not, or would not, be believed. I even lied after I told the truth just to smooth things over in order to avoid conflict, one of my least favourite things. And over the years, many people have lied about me, with their own unique motives. I used to get hurt, angry, and even confused, but not so much anymore, and at times, not at all.
Fortunately my drive to understand human behaviour recently provided the much-needed answers I sought.
As I have written about previously, my research revealed that my personality type falls within a small range, estimated to be between 5% to 8% of the American population, as well as also being an introvert, in contrast to the dominant personality type, extroverts.
Not having this knowledge, truly understanding the impact, and people being more comfortable with people like themselves, not only compelled me to be untruthful about my true character, unique talents and skills, not that they were bad, just more different than the majority of people. I realize too that my being untruthful about myself and presenting a preferred persona, also resulted in relationship problems and even professional problems when my true character came out, which eventually had to happen in order for me to develop the best mental health for me.
Unfortunately, what I did with good intent, becoming chameleon-like in order to be accepted, liked, and loved ultimately backfired personally and professionally and their has been much collateral damage requiring several years and a lot of effort to shed the false skin and grow into my own … and also to let people go gracefully, in ways I could not do before.
Now, the challenge is not to revert to chameleon-like behaviour, but to stay true to myself, even with the knowledge that not being like most people, I have to accept people’s discomfort, dislike, or even worse from my not being like them, my not thinking like them, my not making choices similar to theirs, and as a result, their lack of respect for me.
Learning what I have, I now do my best to be civil and respectful to others because I know what it feels like not be respected. I even make an effort to apologize if I am not as civil as I want to people to treat me. And when I am on the receiving end of what I experienced when I was naive about all of this, sometimes it still hurts, but only initially when I let my feelings dominate my consciousness rather than my principle that everyone benefits from being treated with civility … in other words, respectfully … simply for being another life.
The other thing though that has helped me considerably to live truthfully is studying The Bible and discovering three important facts.
First surprising fact to me was that if someone is dedicated to doing work that is going to make a positive difference in the world, that person must be prepared for the onslaught that will come because, after all, Satan wants to win as many battles, especially against anyone who is going to advance humanity, because he knows the final victory is God’s. Discovering this empowers me to be less surprised when bad things happen, big or small, yet admittedly I still have to make sure to remind myself not to take any onslaught personally, regardless of who delivers it, because I know the real source, whose power is really nothing compared to who is for me and my purpose.
Second, those who believe in God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit are told they are in this world, but not of it, so it is natural that some, even many people, will not only accept, but will also reject, and even seek to harm someone they do not identify with or who does not believe as they do..
And gladly, third, no matter what is said or by whom against me, I need do little, especially not acting revengefully, but just believe in the power truth and God brings to any situation or relationship.
Undoubtedly, living truthfully may not always be the easy way to live in this world, but after living untruthfully for a number of reasons most of my life and reaping the unsatisfying, unfulfilling, limiting, and harmful results, there is no other choice I would make.
KAITLIN ANN TREPANIER
Specialist, Writer, Speaker, Social Entrepreneur, Founder and President
Connecting The Dots With The Respect Principle
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Last update April 22, 2020