Stuck on the Rhetoric

Posted on November 9, 2010

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“If someone shows you who they are, believe them.” -Maya Angelou

The above quote is one of my favorites. You know why? Because it’s true. A person continuously shows you who they are through their actions. Not through what they tell you they believe, not through their Facebook status updates, but by the way that they act.

Watching someone’s actions is an easy way to determine their character.

However, one of the ways many people get stuck in relationships is because they place more weight on what another tells them rather than what another shows them.

When someone says something we want to hear, it’s very tempting to attach to the rhetoric. When another’s actions don’t line up with their words, a part of us gets confused. Rather than take our confusion as an invitation to examine the truth of the situation, many people stuff away their feelings and instincts and continue to believe what they want to hear.

This, as you can imagine, gets people in a whole mess of trouble. Placing value on another’s rhetoric and denying the mismatch with their actions sets you up for some big-time disappointment when you, finally, can no longer deny the truth.

Facing reality is hard sometimes, especially if it means acknowledging that we’ve allowed ourselves to be in a dysfunctional romantic relationship. But facing the truth and moving forward (no matter how painful it may be at the time) is actually less painful in the long run than pretending we don’t know the difference between words and actions.

*The guy who says he wants to marry you but who never proposes isn’t being truthful.

*The woman who says she’d love to go out with you but who seems to always have an important event anytime you ask her out isn’t being truthful.

*The friend who says she’s happy for you because you met someone new but who is rude to your new heart throb isn’t being truthful.

You don’t have to walk around through life with a polygraph to see who is telling you the truth and who isn’t. You don’t have to take quizzes to see if your guy or girl is right for you.  You don’t even have to consult your friends.

Just watch how a person acts. Actions are the best indicators of truth. They will show you how a person feels, they will show you what a person believes and they will show you who a person is.

The next time you find yourself being wooed by someone’s sweet serenades or impressed with their lofty ideals and philosophies, just stop for a second. Ask yourself this one, very important, very sacred question:

~Does this person’s actions align with his/her words?

If the answer is no, then you’ll at least know the truth.

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Posted in: Relationships