As We Need Them to BeOct 17, 2023
One of my favorite teachings is that people will always show you who they are. It's become my truth as I've noticed it over the years. People show us who they are through their actions. Even if they're being deceptive or manipulative, they’ll still show us who they are if we hang out with them and pay attention.
Yet what I've found is we often do not see them as they are. So I wonder, where is the breakdown? And I'm talking about intelligent people with lots of clarity, intuition, and discernment. And yet despite people (often blatantly) showing us who they are, we still don't see them who they are. Why is that?
The main reason that I've found is that we tend to see people as we need them to be. We have an idea of how we want or need them to be, and then we see them that way. We override our clarity, discernment, and intuition by saying, “No, this is how they are.” And then we overlook everything else.
Say we are considering whether to create (or continue) a relationship or friendship with someone. We meet them and they’re attractive, funny, and intelligent. We’re attracted to them or drawn to be their friend. We likely may need them to be a certain way because we want to connect with them.
We're going to see them as this person that we could have a relationship with. If they say things or do things contrary to what we want in a relationship, we may tend to overlook it. I've heard many people say that all the red flags were there early on when we were dating, but they overlooked or overrode it.
I've had several clients even say, “He told me he didn't want a serious relationship.” And then six months, a year later, two years later, they’re in tears telling me, “He doesn't want a serious relationship.” They didn't hear it because they needed them to be other than that and overlooked it.
We figure that once he feels a connection with us then he's going to decide he does want a relationship. “Once he feels our love, he's going to realize that we’re meant to be together.” While this may happen, notice where we crossed over into la-la-land. He flat-out told us that he didn't want a relationship.
There's this slight arrogance, this magical thinking that comes in. And this indicates the way we can avoid this. It's being willing to look at your magical thinking. We talked about coyote medicine last week. It's inviting coyote in and asking yourself, “How do I want this person to be? Are they really that way?”
It's acknowledging that I want this person to be a certain way. It's owning, “It's my bias that I want them to be this way.” Of course, you have a bias of how you want your son, parent, sister, or significant other to be. It’s only human to have subjectivity to a relationship that’s so close and important.
So if they are lacking integrity in an area, it's going to rock our world a little bit. Accordingly, we’re invested in them being a certain way. That's when we get into trouble. But if we look at our bias and say, “This gal that I'm dating is really sweet so I'm really needing her to work for a long-term relationship.”
So the fact that I want it to work is important information. We want to consider objective and subjective factors to make decisions. We want the head and the heart. We don't want just pure objectivity because they’re people. They're not a checkbox thing. Yet we do want clarity, discernment, and wisdom.
It’s best to allow all of it. We notice our bias, the connection, attraction, that it brings me joy, and the red flags that they may be looking for a different type of relationship than I am. We’re looking at all the factors, almost like a pros and cons list thing. We used to call it making a choice with our eyes open.
So we're encompassing the whole deal- the good, the bad, the ugly, all of it. Let it all in. Then let's spend some time and get even more information. Then we can say, “Okay, now I'm seeing them as they are, not as I need them to be, and it makes sense to be their friend. Or, I do want to go out with them.
The invitation is to allow in all the information and let their actions show you who they are. Are their words and actions congruent? Does what they are saying line up with the intuitive hit I'm getting? What doesn't my gut like about this?
Now I can make a clear choice on what type of relationship to have with them.