Sometimes when you want someone to be honest with you, it can hurt.
There’s an episode of Friends called “The One With the List”. In it Rachel finds a pros/cons list that Ross made to determine if he should break up with his current girlfriend for her. As expected, when she reads it, it really hurts her.
Imagine the worst things you think about yourself. Now, how would you feel if the one person that you trusted the most in the world not only thinks them too, but actually uses them as reasons not to be with you.
I once had a talk with a very close friend and during the conversation, I asked them to brutally honest with me. It was one of those moments where it was now or never that things of this nature were going to get shared.
I’m not going to share what was said, mainly because a lot of the things said are still quite painful and also I realize that it was only one specific viewpoint. But at the same time, it hurt. It made me feel like everything I have ever worried about myself for years WERE in fact true. Also that things that I had finally come to love about myself were still negative factors about me.
The worst part was that it had come from someone I trusted. Yes, I had asked them to tell me these things. Really, I have no one to blame but myself. I suppose I’d rather hear it from someone I trusted vs. some random person who didn’t know me at all. But I think it’s because I am close to them that it hurt even more. That because they knew my insecurities and my fears, the way it came out just made me feel like I was a failure. Were these things all true? Possibly. But at the same time, maybe I just wasn’t ready to handle it.
The next few days involved a lot of internal and external processing. It was very tempting to continue feeling like I was unworthy. It was a very highly emotional time. But because I wanted to prove to the other person and mainly to myself that I wasn’t going to stay this way, I found myself fighting it. First though, I allowed myself to hurt. Because to ignore the hurt would not be healthy. To just push it away would only make it come back much worse in the future. I let myself cry and be angry.
Then I stopped. And I allowed myself to move on. Why? Because even though this was a trusted confidant for me, they aren’t me. The only person who has final say over what happens in my life is me. And if I’m honestly happy with myself right now, then no one should take that away from me. Just because I’m not what someone wants or I’m not doing something you would do, doesn’t mean I have to change myself. Unless I want to.
One more thing. I am done having important and in-depth conversations late at night. Because this right here is so very true (but not in the way it happens on the show, lest you start thinking that) :
Addendum: Also lest you think this person was a horrible person, they are not. I still consider them to be one of my closest friends and I love them dearly. It was just one of those moments that you learn from. 🙂