Random Thoughts Self Improvement

Misunderstanding: When they don’t get it

Hey you ever been in a situation where you think “oh no! you just don’t understand me!” or you quickly realize that you are being misunderstood as a person? I can think back to so many in my life. Situations where I clearly came off as stupid, rude or something I hope that I never am. It concerns me that complete strangers, friends, family members and neighbors could walk away thinking those things about me seems almost–unfair. I’m worried that people misunderstand me all the time.

Example: A few weeks ago, I went to court to fight a speeding ticket.

Wait, let’s back up. I was speeding. There is no doubt about that. I was driving my husband’s little care, which accelerates much more quickly than mine. I knew the second that I saw that cop that I was in trouble.

He pulled me over, and to avoid creating a scene in front of my 7-year-old, I just took what was coming to me. I figured if he was going to let me go, it was my clean driving record and not my ability to produce tears on demand that would get me out of this situation.

He handed me a ticket and, unknowingly, a new backseat driver who reminds me of the speed limit on every road.

I went to court, purely because I wanted to shed the weight that the two points on my record would cause for me and my husband. I was still wrong. I was speeding. I knew it and the cop knew it.

I was probably the tenth person to go before the magistrate. Before I plead my case, several people went up there and explained to the judge why they were in the wrong but he should still clear the points. As each one told their story, the judge looked at the responding officer and asked if he had anything to add. Each time, the response was the same.

“No you honor, he/she was cooperative and apologetic at the scene.”

Apologetic.

This was one thing I wasn’t to the cop. I didn’t beg for forgiveness. He’s not the one to whom I needed to make amends. I learned my lesson and that was that.

So, when I got up there, I couldn’t stop smiling. Probably nervousness. No, wait, definitely nervous. I also didn’t want to appear stressed out. I told him that I was speeding because I was driving my husband’s small car when I am used to driving a full-size truck. It accelerates faster. The second I saw the cop, I knew I was speeding, but I have learned my lesson and I will never speed again, especially if my children are in the car as they now always remind me of the speed limit.

The judge looked at the cop and asked if he had anything to add. The cop responded, “no your honor.”

Of course he did. I didn’t apologize or act overly remorseful at the scene.

The judge turned to me and asked if I knew how many accidents occurred on the road where I was speeding. He reminded me that the road is very curvey and my speeding could be very dangerous. All very true. But as I stood there grinning at him like a nervous fool, I realized that I was coming off as a smug, spoiled brat. I took my fine and left. While I didn’t get the points, I do feel this thing hanging over my head…this error-filled banner that pegs me as something that I am not.

I’m like the girls wearing the red A in The Scarlet Letter.
I’m like the misunderstood character on a bad sitcom.
I’m the bad kid in class who is acting like a clown because he is attention starved after being ignored at home for most of his life.

Okay, maybe those are a bit extreme but I’m trying to illustrate this point.

I know I’m misunderstood, but now I’m terrified about ruining friendship old and potentionally new in my life because I come off as something I’m not.

I recently went from working full-time in an office to working part-time at home and part-time in an office with an incredibly flexible schedule. This doesn’t mean I’m dogging on full-time working mamas. It also doesn’t mean that I know what it feels like to be a stay at home mom.

I’ve been calling website vendors to find a new one for one of my clients. I have conversations with them regarding what we need and what they can offer. I have a lot of experience in this area, but if they ask me something and I can’t answer it, I immediately feel like I’m losing my credibility.

I can’t yell out “you’ve got me all wrong!” Mostly because I think that would make things worse.

This could be a self-esteem issue. It could be a result of how I see others. I could just need to take up drinking before stressful situations. I don’t know.

I just wish I could always come across as genuine and real. If someone doesn’t like me or doesn’t think I’m competant I have to deal with that and know that I am being the best person I can be in any situation.

But telling myself that isn’t the answer. I need to live to be the best version of myself that I can be every day. Despite headaches or exhaustion. Despite stress or drama. Despite whatever else is going on, I need to be me.

Then I need to not worry about what other people think–but that’s easier said than done.