When Someone Tells You Who They Are…

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Last week after our office Holiday party, I found myself being cursed out by a drunken coworker. Without getting into too much detail, this coworker can be really hurtful. Yet, somehow every time he causes drama with someone in the office, he manages to get back into our good graces with long heartfelt apologies, explaining that he only acts the way he does because he’s insecure. When this happens, you feel so bad for him, that you let him back in… only for him to do it again.

You know when Puss from Shrek makes that face that melts your heart and then attacks you? He’s kind of like that.

Anyway, after cursing me out on Friday night he spent all of Saturday trying to apologize. I woke up to multiple text messages that said things like I don’t know why I yelled at you like that… I got mad at you for no reason at all… I’m so sorry… please forgive me. I ignored them. A few hours later he called and left me a voicemail: CeCe, I don’t know what happened last night. I’ve spoken to a few people and they said I yelled at you for no reason at all. I never want to disrespect anyone, you didn’t deserve that. Please call me back so I can hear you say that you forgive me. I didn’t call him back.

There is a quote that says “When someone tells you who they are… believe them.” Its simple, but so hard to do. I am always looking for the best in people, assuming (or hoping) that their intentions are good and anything that they do to hurt me is an accident, but that’s not always the case.

After I didn’t return his phone call/voice mail, my coworker called Robert. He told Robert that his insecurities had surfaced after having too much wine and for reasons he didn’t understand, he tried to make me look bad by cursing me out and saying awful things to me in front of our office friends.

This guy has taken his insecurities out on me (and others) for as long as I’ve known him. Its happened in different ways, ranging from a snide remark in the lunch room to emailing someone’s boss to “report” things about them that weren’t true. A few of my friends have speculated that his motives to “play me” stem from his attraction to Robert (yes, my crazy coworker is gay and Robert is definitely his type). Countless times, I’ve told myself to cut this coworker off, to keep it strictly business with him in order to avoid getting burned. But over time, he wears me down with a witty joke, a compliment or a funny story, his own versions of the “Puss face”. Then I think to myself it’s so much easier to be nice… I’m sure he won’t do anything THAT crazy every again…

But the next time he hurts me or tries to make me look bad, it’s always worse than the last.

Since I’ve known him, my coworker has been telling me (and everyone else in the office) that he’s an insecure person who deals with his insecurities by hurting people. He’s shown me that he tries to make himself look good by making others look bad. But it wasn’t until he embarrassed me in front of a group of coworkers that I finally opened my eyes and believed him.

When someone tells you who they are… believe them– This is a lesson I plan to take into ALL of my relationships moving forward.

-If a guy has three kids by three different women and he hasn’t married any of them, he won’t marry me if he gets me pregnant. I Believe!

-If a girl says “I can’t be friends with females”, she won’t be a good friend to me. I Believe!

-If a guy says he’s not looking for a relationship, he won’t change his mind after I hook up with him. I Believe!

I could go on and on, but I think you get my point….

Have YOU ever chosen to ignore the warning signs from a friend/coworker/lover? How do you deal with people once they’ve shown their true colors?

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  • http://twitter.com/thebiggirlblog The Big Girl Blog

    P.S. the TBGB comments section has been revised so I can comment directly to everyone… should be fun! xoxo

  • http://eyeronic.wordpress.com/ Eyeronic

    Hi CeCe,
    I’ve only recently found your blog, but admire it immensely. Thank you for sharing your life with us all in this way.
    I think your handling of this situation was extremely wise. Clearly this coworker is a ticking time bomb. His outburst to you may have reset the clock, but it’s bound to tick down again. This guy has the self-awareness to recognize some dangerous personal traits, but lacks the wherewithal to take proactive steps to fix them. Sometimes it’s the things they don’t tell you that can be most revealing, and this tacit message screams “get the hell away from me,” in my book.
    I’ve experienced warning signs from a romantic partner that gave me serious pause at one point. Fortunately he read the signs as well and promptly got help for the issues that were causing problems. A certain amoutn of tolerance for unacceptable behaviour can be justified as long as you’re not the only one willing to make concessions.

    • http://twitter.com/thebiggirlblog The Big Girl Blog

      I totally agree with you… everyone deserves a chance to make adjustments and learn things about themselves. I think I let him “reset the clock” too many times and made concessions while he remained unchanged.

      xoxo

  • Tonia

    Tough lesson to learn, but such a valuable one. I’m sorry that happened to you. <>

    • http://twitter.com/thebiggirlblog The Big Girl Blog

      Thanks Tonia xoxo

  • NaturallySharon

    Hi CeCe. I am an avid reader of your column and find it informational and many times hilarious. The one thing that comes to mind as I was reading your experience is “A man/woman will show their true feeling when alcohol is involved.”

    This relationship will be a never-ending roller coaster. Cut your losses and move on. Some friends are forever, while others are like mass transit (good til the next stop).

    • http://twitter.com/thebiggirlblog The Big Girl Blog

      @NaturallySharon – You’re right… I’ve heard “drunk words = sober thoughts” and I have to admit its true (even when it comes to me! haha)

  • Just Saying

    -If a guy has three kids by three different women and he hasn’t married any of them, he won’t marry me if he gets me pregnant. I Believe!

    -If a girl says “I can’t be friends with females”, she won’t be a good friend to me. I Believe!

    -If a guy says he’s not looking for a relationship, he won’t change his mind after I hook up with him. I Believe!

    Words to live by. Well said.

    • Anonymous

      Thanks :-) xoxo

  • Danielle Luke

    Completely agree. People are who they say, and most importantly, act like they are. When a man tells me he is not looking for a relationship, I’m not trying to change his mind. I’m also not trying to waste any additional time thinking I can change his mind.

  • Sherry

    My ex-boyfriend told me he was a bad person. I don’t know why I rationalized that it would be okay to date someone like that, but it turns out he was right! Lesson learned.

    • http://twitter.com/thebiggirlblog The Big Girl Blog

      @ Sherry – EXACTLY! People give us clues about who they are constantly, but we “keep positive” and “hope for the best” which in some cases is just weird cause we look back and say… wow– I was warned. Live and Learn! xoxo

  • http://www.facebook.com/piperdavenport Piper Maria Davenport

    Yeah, I’ve experienced the best and the worst of people.

    • http://twitter.com/thebiggirlblog The Big Girl Blog

      *sigh* We all have.. for better or worse :-/

  • MrsM

    Just recently discovered your blog and LOVE it. I think everyone deserves a second chance and, truth be told, sometimes even a third or fourth chance. That being said, once you begin to have any “hinky” feeling that this person is taking advantage of your good nature or isn’t serious at all in their attempts to change their woeful ways, it’s usually a sign to part company with that person. Life is too short to let a negative force influence our day-to-day lives. This is particularly difficult with a co-worker, as those who don’t have the privilege of working form home (as I do) must come into contact with that person no matter how resolutely they may try to avoid them. Once the barriers between “business” and “personal” are redefined, I think it’s important to keep those boundaries in check and not let your guard down so as to avoid falling into that abyss of negativity again. I think you handled this situation correctly, TBGB. Sometimes it’s like cutting an anchor from around your neck and freeing yourself. It’s difficult to stay positive, focused and keep moving forward when a proverbial albatross is wrapped around your neck. You deserve better.

    • Anonymous

      “Once the barriers between “business” and “personal” are redefined, I think it’s important to keep those boundaries in check and not let your guard down so as to avoid falling into that abyss of negativity again” <—-YES YES YES This is what I'm going to work really hard on. I let the boundaries get mushy and then the pattern begins all over again. Thanks for your wise words… (p.s. I want to work from home one day!!! lol)

      xoxo,
      CeCe

  • StayDreaming

    Man oh Man, you are so right. I had a situation like this occur for me recently. I just started school in NYC and I met a girl who is fun, but a bit spoiled. She told me a story about her fighting (!!!) a coworker in a taxi while she was working abroad. I thought, funny story, one time event, but I noted it for the future. Like a month later, we are at a party together that I brought her and her “friend” to, because she asked me to party with them. Not sure if the fact that she had her boy person there made her bold but she decided that she was going to SCREAM at me. In the middle of a crowded club surrounded by new friends and mutual friends. Because she didn’t like the clubs that I had taken her to that night. Lol I immediately stopped paying attention, and she left. We don’t speak for a week and then I get a text acting like nothing happened. She kills me lol. I have decided to forgive her and just keep her at arms length. I hope she doesn’t go crazy on me again tho, I have room in my heart for only one dramatic friend and that position is taken!

    • Anonymous

      “I have room in my heart for only one dramatic friend and that position is taken” <— LOLOLOL love it!!!

  • Francis

    Girl, you’re so smart! this is a lesson I’m going to take for myself since I have been ignoring so many warnings. Thank you.

  • Lida

    A girl asked a guy if he thought she was pretty andhe said no. She asked him if he would want to be with her forever and he said no. She then asked him if she were to leave would he cry, and once again he replied with a no. She had heard enough. As she walked away, tears streaming down her face the boy grabbed her arm and… said… You’re not pretty you’re beautiful. I don’t want to be with you forever. I NEED to be with you forever. And I wouldn’t cry if you walked away…I’d die.THE END
    Tonight at midnight your true love will realize they like you. Something good will happen to you at 1:00-4:00pm tomorrow, it could be anywhere on IM or email, outside of school, anywhere! Get ready for the biggest shock of your life. If you break this chain letter you will be cursed with 10 relationship problems for the next ten years. If you post this to 15 pages in 15 minutes, you’re safe

  • Michael Ann Riley

    Yep. And I married him. NEVER do that. You are wise to learn this lesson early. That paragraph you wrote about giving people the benefit of the doubt. Assuming if they hurt you, they didn’t mean to and it won’t happen again. That is so me too. Makes it hard to get out relationships that are like the one you described with this co-worker.

    Found your blog on the side bar of Hilarity in Shoes. Glad I did!