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Lessons From the End of a Marriage

A “How to Thrive” Guide After Divorce

What Do People Get Wrong About You?

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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?

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5 thoughts on “What Do People Get Wrong About You?

  1. I have no idea what people thinks of me? One of my friend said to me the other day I respect you and I don’t respect many. I was in shock as she’s a specialist in her field.

  2. There’s a lot of misconception about being an introvert. Growing up I was made to think that it was abnormal, that they’re is something wrong with me. It got so bad that I believed that for a while. I was viewed as arrogant, boastful, snub (I am quite and reserved and very socially selective). Even with my ex she practically told everyone how bad I am, how I am this and that. When some of her relatives got to know the real me, they told me about everything she’d said about me just to found out themselves that what she was saying is all untrue. They got to know me to the point that they ended up defending me and realized who’s actually lying.

    Introverts tend to be more emphatetic. Some people view being nice as a weakness and they’ll exploit it to their advantage which a big lesson learned for me.

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