I’m currently in the middle of my annual reading/listening to the Harry Potter series and I’m smack dab in the middle of Goblet of Fire. Harry’s about to do the first task and in addition to worrying about who put his name in the cup and how on earth he’s going to defeat dragons, he has to worry about his friendship with Ron. Because Ron doesn’t believe him, thinks he is lying, and is jealous of all the attention that Harry is getting. As the story is told from Harry’s perspective, it’s still incredibly frustrating to read about unfairly he is being treated. We as the reader know why Ron feels this way (youngest boy after five older brothers) and yes, the characters are just teenagers. But what Harry is going through is also painful to read because he cannot control the circumstances and his best friend refuses to stand by him.
How many times have you gone through life and someone doesn’t believe you even though you are telling the truth? It’s one thing when it’s people who don’t know you that well. These people make snap judgment and unfortunately since they have no way of knowing what you are really like, changing their minds is nearly damn impossible. Hopefully your life doesn’t depend on their opinion (ie. they are the jury and you’re the defendant) so while it sucks, this usually isn’t that big of an issue.
But it’s a situation like Harry’s, when someone who is supposed to know you extremely well stops believing in you, that hurts like hell. And almost every tie there is nothing you can do about it but wait and hopefully the truth will come out. It’s extremely frustrating to feel like you need to make them believe that you are not lying especially when you know fully well you aren’t. It gets worse when they think they know better than you and taunt with that type of behavior.
Being believed is something that is very important to us. When we know we are telling the truth and when someone WE trust does not believe us, it is like a betrayal. For whatever the reason, the other person has lost THEIR trust in us. Even if it is warranted, to not be believed probably hurts more than having actual angry and hateful words said to you. You know it’s bad when you need to say to someone “You have to believe me!”
I don’t know why as humans we are so doubtful when it comes to believing others. I think it comes from not wanting to be gullible. You don’t want to be seen as the fool for believing someone and it turns out they were lying and you now look like the fool. Also sadly people do lie all the time and try to purposefully manipulate someone’s trust only to break it. We need all the facts and see all the proof before we want to trust.
And then there are those times when someone does believe us. We don’t have to try to defend ourselves or prove the truth. And that is one of the most wonderful feelings in the world.