I am finding it really hard to write this post. There is so much to say, so many ways to say it, and yet I cannot find the words. Forgive me as I ramble on in a desperate attempt to convey this message.
I never realized until recently, how many people watch me. They listen to what I say, witness how I act, and form a conclusion. A conclusion about me, that may or may not be the truth. The question that follows would be, the truth according to whom?
Due to the fact that perception is so subjective, it is hard to say whose truth is the right analysis. However in life, I believe that we form our own opinions about ourselves based on our current characteristics, which constantly evolves, and is counterbalanced by what others think of us. The truth, subjectively speaking, will be based on who we believe we are, which usually is a reasoned opinion unless one is grossly delusional.
It is not until someone comes up to me and tells me something about myself. ‘Oh Georgette, you are really good at these things that’s why I have come to you,’ or ‘Oh, you remember you said this, so after I applied what you said, I did this…’ I then realize that people do listen to me, and sometimes form opinions about myself that I never considered to be true. It may sound stupid and funny but I’m serious. I talk, you talk, but people do really place weight on your words and actions.
Over the summer, being back home in Nigeria, I was shocked by what people took literally, the questions people asked me, the specific idea they had of who I was.
I felt unreasonably judged, and or misunderstood.
I talked to some of my girlfriends (as you do), telling them about my experiences, and they reminded me that people come from different backgrounds and may have a certain opinion already, of how a woman with my background should act or speak like. I was amazed. I keep forgetting that people come from different walks of life and sometimes one has to remember to be patient, to give them time to realize that you are not who they think you are, or that you will not do certain things they expect you to do.
However, I questioned myself. Should I be different? Should I turn into one of those hardened Lagos babes that all the men complain about, but secretly enjoy the challenge these women give them? Maybe that will be the only way they will understand my intentions? My friends loudly echoed, ‘No!’ You are who you are and they will just have to understand and accept that, and you might just have to be a lot more explicit about your views, who you are and what you stand for. It all just sounded exhausting, constantly having to make yourself clear. However, if it saves confusion down the line, maybe it is all for the best.
I guess what I have been slapped in the face with, is how quickly certain people form an opinion with absolutely no concrete evidence. How easily people assume you are a certain type of person based on one conversation.
You know someone once asked me if I ate Okoro soup at home, another was shocked when I said that I could cook, (I can bake too)! I was shocked when another confused my friendliness for something else. I believe I am a nice person, I am very open and I speak freely with almost everyone that I meet. I joke and laugh a lot, however, that does not automatically mean that I dig you romantically! Nigerian men will not kill me oh!
What about you? Have you been a victim of quick judgment?