Recently I had some friends tell me I am inconsiderate and selfish. (Well, make that two friends and one acquaintance.) These would be my former roommate (to be known as C), a friend of his (to be called L), and this other guy that I have known since 1999 (to be named E). At first it bothered me…until I realized that, in their own ways, they were all suffering from selective memory loss.
Let’s start with E. He says that, in all the years I have known him, I have never asked how he was doing or if he needed help with anything. WRONG. When he told me that he and his last girlfriend broke up, I asked how he was handling it AND what the circumstances were. On top of that, I seem to remember him dating a woman who treated him like garbage when we first met. Knowing very well he wouldn’t dump her just because I said she was bad news, I
made it a point to hang out with him as much as possible. The purpose of this was two-fold: (1) Time spent with me was time NOT spent with her. (2) I was hoping to subconscously drill it into his head that he was a good guy who didn’t deserve that type of treatment. So to say I never helped or asked how he was doing was incorrect.
Now let’s move on to L. To be honest I don’t quite know the context in which she called me inconsiderate, but I can hypothesize. Years ago, L offered to read a novel of mine and offer suggestions on how to improve it. Months went by. Every now and then I’d ask her how the notes were coming. Now kep in mind she was going through some personal turmoil at the time. I ALWAYS made it a point to ask her how things were going first. It wasn’t until that conversation was done that I asked about the notes. Even then, I would preface my statement with, “I hate to sound like a nag, but…” And not for nothing, but the main reason I asked was because she told me she had two pages
of handwritten notes. I was just curious why it took so long to type up two pages of notes, but then she had time to post cat pictures every ten minutes on Facebook. So once again, labeling me selfish was the wrong answer, but thank you for playing…enjoy your parting gifts.
Which brings us to C. Sadly, when it comes to him, he is right. I never said, “How was your day?” Never asked if he was seeing anyone or how he was doing. For that, I apologize. However, one thing he CANNOT say (which he did) is that I am selfish. I seem to remember giving him countless rides to and from work, for which I never received any gas money. I helped hook him up with a decent place to live, namely the second floor flat of my mother’s house, for which my mom received less than HALF the rent she was due. Then he moved out, not notifying my mom of his departure UNTIL IT WAS IN PROCESS. On top of that, he left his bedroom floor covered in cigarette ash and all other sorts of garbage. He can blame it on depression all he wants, but depression is no excuse for not being an upstanding person. The definition of depression doesn’t include shirking your responsibilities.
So what is the point of this blog? Was it just to publicly bash some people? No, that isn’t the real aim. They are merely an example, meant to illustrate the kind of person I am. Simply put: I believe in accountability. I will owe up to the flaws I DO have, but I don’t like being accused of something I’m not.
But then again, how can I deal with that? People are going to think of you whatever they want. It isn’t going to match up to reality every time. So I guess once again we arrive at the solution of just taking a deep breath and letting it go…and when you blow out, you exhale all the anger those misinterpretations of you caused. Okay, so they got the impression from a couple things I did that I am selfish and inconsiderate. So what? Maybe they just caught me on a couple “off” days. But more often than not, I don’t feel like a selfish or inconsiderate person. And believe me, I am the FIRST person who would hold myself accountable for that if I thought that’s how I am.
I guess the lesson here is (as it always seems to be with me) “KNOW THYSELF.”