What do people get wrong about you?
It’s obvious in hindsight that I didn’t know my ex-husband. And it seems that, even after sixteen shared years, he didn’t know me either. Based on his surprise when I went on the offensive after his abandonment and betrayal, he thought that I would simply roll over and take the consequences. I had always been the “nice girl.” He didn’t know that nice had its limitations.
He hasn’t been the only one to misread me. When we first met, my now-husband saw me as a super-conservative and ultra straight-laced school teacher. It was only when he learned about my love of heavy metal that he opened his mind about me. His friends still seem to think that I’m some delicate flower that will easily bruise.
At work, I’m viewed as unflappable. Consistently capable and good for advice. Yet few of my coworkers know how often I’ve broken down on Friday nights as the strains of the week build to an untenable level.
I’m accused of being unemotional because my analytical mind acts like a filter, reviewing and revising the feelings before they are releases. The anxiety that powers me is interpreted as responsibility. My introversion has been read as aloofness and my love for exercise as vanity.
And goodness knows, I’ve misjudged others. I thought my ex husband was trustworthy (spoiler alert – he’s not), I first believed that my now-husband was cocky (now I am always in awe of how readily he takes responsibility for any mistakes) and I have frequently made snap decisions about students that I have to modify as I get to know them better. Between the propensity for all of us to assign labels and our own experiences to behavior and the fact that we never reveal all of ourselves all of the time, it is inevitable that people will reach some false conclusions about you.
So how about it? What do people get wrong about you?