It’s time to get real

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Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: “Let he who hath no sin cast the first stone…” Is there anything you have judged prematurely, only to find yourself walking in the same shoes later?

I’ve noticed that it is much, much easier to find others’ faults than to acknowledge our own. But the truth is, upon self-examination, we are generally every bit as guilty as those we judge.

I have a friend who recently went through a divorce. His ex-wife is not a nice person (to put it mildly) and she has a terrible reputation around town. And it’s no secret that she strongly dislikes me. In fact, she told one of our friends, “Heather is really sweet, but I still hate her.”

There could be several reasons for resentment: I moved to town and became friends with everyone she grew up with. He ex-husband and I are close. Her kids adore me. (And I adore them.) But when it comes down to it, I have never done anything to intentionally make her mad — and I never would. I’m not a spiteful person.

Despite telling everyone we know how much she hates me, she comes across sweet as sugar every time I see her. Big fake smile. An excited, “Hey! It’s sooo good to see you!” And sometimes even a hug. Really?? I know the things she’s said about me. I know how she really feels. Why the act??

But you know what? I smile and fake it, too. I say hello and act as pleasant as possible, even though my insides are screaming out something foul about what a terrible person she is. She uses and abuses my friend – taking advantage of the feelings he still has for her. She doesn’t spend the time she should with her kids. She’s hateful and irresponsible and she’s tried to turn my friends against me. But I smile and speak to her when I see her. I’m every bit as fake as she is. Because if I were honest and upfront, I’d quickly tell her how those feelings of dislike are mutual.

I don’t know about her, but I think my reasons for pretending stem from a desire to keep the peace. I’m not sure if that’s a valid excuse, but it’s all I’ve got. Sure, I could ignore her. Turn away when she speaks to me. Act like she doesn’t exist. But what would that accomplish?

I’m sure neither one of us will be able to keep this up forever. At some point, one of us is bound to snap. Probably me. I can hear the conversation:

Her: Hey!!! It’s so good to see you!!!
Me: Cut the act, skank. We both know you don’t like me. And news flash: I don’t like you either.

Hahahaha. Okay, I’m sorry. That’s not a very mature thing to say and I hate that there’s a side of me that would really like to say it. I wish I could be a better person. I wish I could just ignore all of the things she’s said about me and wear a genuine smile when I see her. Maybe I’ll get there one day.

In the meantime, I’m stuck looking like a hypocrite. Judging her for being fake while I pretend everything is fine.

What would you do?

20 Responses to “It’s time to get real”
  1. Lacey says:

    Oh gosh, I have soooo been there! And I find myself in the same shoes, caught somewhere between, “Ug, I freaking HATE fake people!” and, “Ug, I am so fake!”

    I don’t really have any advice, unless one day you want to gather up a whole bunch of courage and flat out ask her why she can’t say the same things behind your back and to your face. But *I* would never be brave enough to do that… because the only thing I hate more than fake people is drama, haha.

    • Heather says:

      I’m the same way. I avoid drama like the plague. I’ve never dealt well with it. I’d rather keep quiet and put on a nice face then confront someone and put myself in the middle of a soap opera. I guess I need to muster up enough courage to at least tell her that I know how she feels and she doesn’t have to pretend to like me in public. :)

  2. I suggest you gift her the book “The Story of My Experiments with Truth” ;-)

  3. What an honest post. It takes a lot of nerve to be able to say that you’re being just as fake as she is. And you know what? You’re not alone. I’ve been just as fake as the next person, all in an effort “to keep the peace”. Frankly, peace doesn’t live in the same house as resentment. Having ill feelings toward others can be toxic at times and I only know this because I’ve lived it. You can either have an honest conversation with her about your feelings, or you can let it all go. The choice is yours. :)
    Great post! I’d love for you to stop by and take a look at my piece for this week’s Writer’s Workshop. See you soon and have a great day!

    Kristi, Live and Love…Out Loud

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Kristi!! You’re right – ill feelings toward people can eat you alive. I need to confront the situation and stop being fake. I HATE being like that… I just also hate drama and feel like it would cause some!

  4. scarlethue says:

    I tend to not have this problem, simply because I’m not good at being fake. Lord knows I tried… I mean what else is high school other than a bunch of faking and posturing? But I’m just not good at hiding my real feelings. They’re written all over my face. As a result, if I don’t like you for some reason, you’ll see it and steer clear. There’s a wife of a friend that I do NOT like– she’s kind of mean to him, plus she’s obsessed with clothes and hair and quite vain, and she gossips. I usually just ignore her. Once she said something mean about a mutual friend in my presence, and I just gave her that one-eyebrow raised look and told her something like “I’m sure she would be interested to her what you really think of her,” just to shut her up. Since then, we hardly speak, which is fine with me. We’re never rude to each other, but we just know how we both feel, and it’s fine. It happens. If I were you, I would try to summon up that courage that Lacey mentioned and simply ask her why she’s two different people to you. Maybe an honest conversation with her would put an end to it. She probably doesn’t actually hate you, she just doesn’t know you, and it sounds like she’s battling some internal demons too. Course she could just be a bitch, you never know :)

    • Heather says:

      Ha – that’s always a possibility!! Thanks girl. I HATE that I’ve not spoken up already. I’m generally a very straight-forward person. I need to end this madness though, for sure. If nothing else, I need to let her know that she doesn’t have to pretend to like me in public. :)

  5. Shauna says:

    Truthfully- I would cut my strings … there’s to many people in the world that you can spend time with that will make you feel good- don’t waste your time with jerks! I’m following you now- stop by my place when you can.

    • Heather says:

      You’re absolutely right. And believe me when i say I don’t choose to spend time with her!! I seem to always run into her, though!!

      Thanks for following! I’m heading over to your blog now :)

  6. Trudy says:

    Who wouldn’t want to say that! It’s so hard to see our friends getting hurt repeatedly by the same person. Especially sad when it’s a situation where they have children together!

    Myself, I would be repenting a lot for the horrible thoughts (and maybe even words) I would have. Then I would just pray a lot for that person to become enlightened to do some repenting of their own!

    • Heather says:

      Thanks Trudy. You’re right – I probably should be repenting for the things I’ve thought about her. Not because of her dislike for me – I could care less about that – but for the way she treats my friend. It hurts my heart to see him treated like that.

  7. Dan says:

    Heather you would have to be a saint to let that type of behavior not bother you…I personally like the “Skank” approach!


  8. ~ H says:

    If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past few years, it’s this: Women are drama. Period.

    I’ve sorta been in your shoes, but my “friend” was making things up and telling a mutual friend that I was venting and b*tching behind her back . Oh … quite contraire! I confronted them both, but soon realized they were two peas in a pod and there was nothing I could do. I chalked it up to an interesting life lesson.

    I completely understand taking the “fake nice” approach, especially when drama would ensue if you called her out. But, if it’s eating at you that much, I say that you shoudl mention to her that you’ve heard the not-so-nice things she’s said and wonder why she pretends to be your friend. Then, avoid her like the plague! LOL.

    Best of luck!

    • Heather says:

      Yeah, learning those life lessons can be tough sometimes. I’ll probably eventually say something to her if this continues. There’s no sense in both of us wasting energy being nice to each other if we could just be avoiding each other altogether :)

  9. You should be a comedian.. you made me laugh.:)

  10. Mama Kat says:

    You should totally say it. If anything it would make for a great blog post. ;) I bet her not saying what she feels comes from a place where she knows she has no good reason to be mean to you. So she can’t.

    Mean people suck.

    • Heather says:

      You are so right – mean people definitely suck!! :)

      Who knows… one of these days I might actually man up and say something to her. Then I’ll probably be labeled the mean one!!

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