Growing up, we are coddled... Shielded from the idea that there are people out there that are anything short of kindhearted. As we get older, we find ourselves having to learn to accept things that we never knew existed. For example, the fact that it truly is impossible to please everyone.
This first started for me when I was in my sophomore year of high school. It was about my second month of school and one of my teachers asked me to stay back after class.
There were clusters of “OOHs” and “AHHs,", but for the most part, my nerves were kept at bay. My grades were average and I always showed up on time... So it could only possibly be either a question or positive reassurance, right?
Assumptions like this were always first to come to mind.
I strolled over to her after dismissal... She opened her mouth and out came the words,
"Caroline, you never shut up.”
I was baffled. I had never had an adult be so blunt with me. The expression on my face was nothing short of astonishment as she went on a tangent about how much she hated my talkative nature.
She explained that there is a line between being personable, and being unnecessarily chatty, and I "clearly hadn’t known the difference." She went on to say that my talking was negative, and that in her mind, this negative outweighed any of my possible positives.
I was confronted in a way that made it seem like she truly disliked me. I had never come to be face to face with someone that felt such a strong distaste towards me.
I didn’t know how to handle it. I cried. I cried in front of her.
I’ve had people that weren’t fond of me... I know that you can’t make everyone like you, that there are bound to be people out there that would choose to not be around me. I just never expected it to be like this...
I went on to have this teacher again for the second year in a row and the hatred she held for me didn’t fade.
Although at the time it seemed more like an attack than an aid, situations like these are what make me feel more and more like an adult.
That woman was a witch, a blemish to my school, but she was right.
I spoke too much in the wrong situations and as much as I'd like to say she had it out for me for no reason, that isn't the case.
I stopped talking. Because of my teacher's blunt confrontations, I learned the time and place to speak.
I owe her a thank you for two life lessons she taught me:
1. Pick your moments to speak.
2. It isn't humanly possible to please everyone.
There were more confrontations like this, and by the last one, I walked away with pride. I walked away with dry eyes.
It took awhile to accept, but I learned that people will dislike you.
I was kind to her, respectful to my teacher. I wouldn't dare question her method of teaching or discipline. I made it understood that I knew the different between teacher and student. But even with all of this, she hated me.
She showed me that no matter how much you succeed, no matter how kind you are, you can not please everyone.
And that's okay.
As long as you keep a personal pride, the opinion of one person will never destroy you.