I want to open this piece with saying that I truly value other people’s thoughts and ideas. There are billions of people on this planet and we all have a unique story to tell, unique experiences, and unique ways of interpreting those experiences. It is so important to be open enough to take in all sides of a story to piece together the full picture. It requires not taking things at face value, putting aside ego to realize your view may not be entirely correct, and having genuine curiosity about someone else’s perspective.
I also want to talk about the times when we know with absolute certainty that someone’s experience is absolute bullshit. Simply, there are some people who always need to be the victim so they create some kind of an excuse to not see the full picture while spreading a story of victimhood. Often those people tell a narrative that wouldn’t hold up if all sides were heard. They will avoid the other parties involved in order to maintain their story. In most cases I still say let them be. When it comes to the reputation of other people, or putting an in appropriate label on someone, then I say all bets are off. There comes a time when you are sharing a story that people might not believe, and then there are times it’s an outright lie. When the story you tell to make yourself feel better becomes malicious, then the line is drawn.
I have a close relationship with someone who always needs an excuse to feel left out or to feel like the victim. I noticed it when they would start sharing their side of events for things we experienced together and I didn’t remember it at all as they said. The first couple times I let it go because there is an age difference between us so I let myself believe I had room for error (IE I was so young maybe I don’t remember it right). Then the stories moved into an age range where I clearly remembered everything—and I still didn’t remember it the same way they relayed. It hit me that they are either content with lying or their brain is completely different than mine. They had no capacity for an objective viewpoint, only their own.
There comes a point when you recognize that people are choosing to appear a certain way and that no matter what the narrative is, you can’t support it. Beyond that, there is a point when those are no longer stories, they are lies. It’s also true there isn’t a damn thing you can do about it because they have convinced themselves that their version is the truth. Whatever those around you choose to believe is their choice so the decision becomes is it worth having this person in your life. What value do they bring if they are choosing to distort reality? Make the choice to carry other people’s opinions lightly and stand firmly in your truth.