When I read this quote at the Peabody Essex Museum, it resonated with me. I snapped a pic and filed it away.
Fast forward to a few weeks later…
I had to listen to a friend tell me how innocent they were of any wrong doing. They insisted on their having done nothing. I gritted my teeth. Because I had seen what they termed nothing. Had it done to me before. And I kept asking myself is this person lying to me or herself? I mean does she seriously believe the shit she is saying to me? Because I don’t.
Here’s where things get dicey. Perception is very subjective. Seeing yourself clearly takes years of practice. So I get why she doesn’t. And I know better than to hold a mirror up to someone. I’ve been gutted as the messenger time and time again. But the frustration of listening to this got to me.
Why can’t people see themselves clearly? And why do they have to insist that other people buy into their perception? I mean, if you’re right do you race through the streets proclaiming it? I don’t. And I don’t look for others to validate it.
Then another person comes to me and tells me their opinion of their parent. He states everything as fact “My father ruined our lives” rather than “I think…” As if his thoughts are the final judge of reality. Guess what? It’s just your opinion. You can spin facts however you want. Doesn’t make it the absolute truth. It’s just your version of the truth.
Again, I bit my tongue. I try not to interfere in people’s lives. But when I’m completely off-base, I look to my friends to tactfully steer me back on course or at least present another viewpoint. But I get the feeling these people don’t want any input. They want yes men, which I am not.
So here’s my question, how do you deal with someone lying to you and themself? Do you grit your teeth and listen, secretly thinking how off-base the person is? Or do you speak up and tell them how you see things?