Friday, February 15, 2008

Credibility

I was at Walmart on Valentines day this week. Not something I would suggest to anyone, but I was getting my oil changed and at this Walmart, it took an inordinately long amount of time to do it. As I was without children for the next two hours and free to roam the store as I liked, I thought I might try and find Matt a card.

I have always prided myself on being able to find the perfect card. And if I don't, I just don't give a card. One of my favorites was one that my friend Mike and I gave our friend Andrea for a her birthday back in high school. It was so awesome. I wish I could remember the details of it now, but all I have in my head is the picture on the front of the card. I've gotten some really good ones for my dad on Fathers Day. And sometimes I have found a good one for Matt.

I am not a flowery, mushy gushy type of person. I am to the point, and I say what I mean. Well, most of the time. As I was looking through a few cards, I could not believe the amount of mushyness in these cards. And since people buy these kinds of cards, I'm going to assume that there are people out there that actually feel the way they describe. You know the ones, where they go on and on for three paragraphs of how amazing and wonderful and you fulfill me type of stuff. Yeah, so not me. I didn't buy him a card.

Matt usually gets me a card and a small treat on Valentines. Once he bought me flowers. But that was a long time ago. This year, his card was funny. It said: I'm so glad we're married! Lucky lucky me-I can't think of anyone luckier.....(open card) except maybe you!!!! Now, that is Matt. And me.

When people are this mushy lovey dovey type of stuff, I don't tend to believe a word they say. None. I think, do these people have any sense of reality? Yes, Saly is great but she (fill in this spot with bad habit or other non-great personality trait). Perhaps I focus on too much of reality.

I started to think about why. Why don't I believe it when people start saying those sort of things to me, or even others?

I figured it out. When someone consistently tells you one thing, but behaves in a different way, their actions speak louder than their words. And depending on the relationship that you have with this person, it can affect you very deeply. You don't believe them when they tell you things like "I love you" or "You did a great job" or things of that sort. Their credibility is shot.

And it carries over into other parts of your life. There are few people in my life that I will actually believe when they say anything remotely mushy, or lovey dovey. Obviously, one of those is my husband. And I really struggle with those that I hear do that. I want to correct them, throw them a dose of reality. Like when people say, "Going on a mission was amazing". And then leave it at that. They don't go into the reality. Or when a girl is about to get married, has never had sex, and when she asks her friends that are married about it, all they say is how wonderful it is, how close you feel to your husband.... and on and on. Where is the reality?

Perhaps I need to lessen my reality and look for more of the good in people. Do my best to believe people when they give me a compliment. When Matt's mom goes on and on about how proud she is of Matt, how smart he is, and aren't you proud of him?? I want to say yeah, but do you see how he acts when he has a big test coming? Do you see how little he is with his children on a daily basis? Do you see the bad habits you allowed him to cultivate while under your care that I am now having to deal with because he is too busy to be bothered about picking up after himself?? I should focus on the good and say Yes, I am proud of him, and try to get past the small irritations of the last year. (this year is MUCH better than last year, just to clarify.)

I have a feeling that this isn't something that is going to be easily changed. Perhaps I just need to up my positive thinking. Not a bad idea to always remember the reality of things, but try to give more people the benefit of the doubt. It is a slow process. Sigh.... but I guess I wouldn't care so much about it if it were easy.

1 comment:

Steve-o said...

No need to change your way of thinking. Your sense of reality will balance out all those overly positive, possibly phony people around you.

I occasionally get flack at work for being negative, and I always tell people I'm just being a realist. After a while, they realize that every group needs a realist, especially when you're trying to do something important.

Everyone at my company takes personality tests that identify how a person ranks on a list of 34 themes. "Positivity" is dead last for me, which I think is really funny. When the subject comes up, I tell people that it's not that I'm not positive; I'm just better at or more of 33 other things.