Khaled Hosseini has a quote that goes, “That’s the thing about people who mean everything they say. They think everyone else does too.”
Maybe from that quote alone you can see where I’m going with this and what exactly my embarrassing blind spot was. Honestly, I’m still scratching my head and wondering what the hell I was thinking.
Basically, I thought the kindness, vulnerability and presence that I saw when I first met someone was who they would continue to be. To be honest, if they didn’t show this kind and open side of their personality, I wouldn’t like them at all. But because they did, I felt safe.
This is the banana peel moment. You’re not looking where you’re going, then you slip and fall.
When the less savory side of the woman’s personality showed up, I was stunned and wondered how this could be happening. I would tell people that that isn’t who she really is. It would take some time before I even considered that I was being deceived.
And while “deceived” might be a strong word, it is fairly accurate. I finally got it, thanks to my friends. They said that people put their best selves forward in order to get you to like them. It’s no different than what people do in a job interview.
As you can imagine I was stunned by my naïveté. I mean, I write about relationships for god’s sake! How could I not have known this? To be fair, I knew it but I never, ever seriously considered it.
I guess when I first encountered this thought, I thought to myself, “But why would anyone try to get me to like them? The moment I see that you aren’t who you say you are I’m going to bounce, and vice versa if I did it to them.” And because it didn’t make sense, I cast it aside. I didn’t think anyone would be so stupid or manipulative.
Like I said. I’m naïve.
But then I had to ask myself, “Am I guilty of doing this and I don’t know it?” By my estimation, no. By the estimation of my most recent ex, no. She said I was the most consistent person in her life.
Overall, this just seems like a hilarious mistake on my part. Even when my friends were saying it, it was like they had to drum it into me because I wasn’t making any sense. I appreciated that.