I have heard it so many times: “I feel like I’ve known you my whole life.”
And that used to make me smile. But these days I find myself a bit more suspicious than I used to be. Because too many times, it was accompanied by something else I’ve gotten used to. People pointing out something I said or did and then attributing a completely wild explanation for why I said or did it. A reason or motivation or a sense of meaning that had nothing at all to do with my actual experience of it.
I’ve found that people consistently connect easily with me. They like me. But it’s often because they see something in me that isn’t there. They project some kind of positive image onto me. One that they want to see.
I guess I wear other people’s projections very well.
To be fair, I think this happens to a lot of people. It’s not necessarily a phenomenon that’s isolated to me. But for some reason, I do have a hard time breaking free of those masks once people have put them on me.
It doesn’t matter what I say, how much I argue. Often people will insist that they know me better than I know myself.
But I do argue. I try. I do my best to communicate. And if they don’t get it (which they often don’t), then at least I know I did my best. Gave it a shot. Gave them a shot. They just didn’t get it.
In the past, the other person’s insistence would cause me to question who I am. But I don’t anymore. At this point, the next step after arguing is to shrug it off. Let it serve as a reminder of who I am. And a sign that this person isn’t someone I’m really going to connect with deeply (no matter what they think).
Instead of causing doubts, it affirms who I am.