Lately, I find myself enjoying word puzzles, aka cryptograms. For those that don't know what that is, it's when a person writes a phrase or a message and then depending on how they want to, the writer codes it by scrambling the letters, using symbols, hiding a standard message in another format, etc.
Anyways, while running through some cryptograms, I came across this quote that immediately, I fell in love with:
"I shiver, thinking how easy it is to be totally wrong about people-to see one tiny part of them and confuse it for the whole, to see the cause and think it's the effect or vice versa." - Lauren Oliver
This quote not only resonates with me but also has embedded itself into my mind. This obsession with it caused me to write this short sequence.
Below are the varying one-sided opinions and perceptions from multiple people about one fictional girl. All of them are real statements made by real people. I merely collected some out of a very long list and combined them into one. I shall let you decide what you take away from it.
Read. Reflect. Grow.
"God, I can't stand her. She's such a know it all. Literally, all she cares about is correcting people. Like, let me make a mistake."
"She's the brightest student I have. She's always taking the initiative, turns her work in on time, and scores well. I love having her in class."
"She is a whore. I mean she lives with guys. Even the neighbors see her flirting with her roommates all the time. I bet she has an STD."
"I absolutely love my life with you. It's modest but not small. It's full of love, laughter, adventure, and you. Everything is enhanced because I love you, and you love me. with you, I see happiness everywhere."
"My family is in town, and we're sitting out here arguing. You always do this. You always ruin their visits. You don't like my family; you put me down, you are so mean to me. I don't want you to come out because you are going to ruin it like always. Christ, you are so mean and excuse it by saying that I don't spend enough time with you. Well, I'm in medical school. What else do you want from me? I'm sorry my family is more important than you."
"You are going to change the world. We need more people like you, truly honest not brutally honest, even if it isn't what people want to hear. I'm sure you get a lot of backlash from the things you say, but that's because people struggle with self-reflection."
"You're such a little bitch."
"She's an amazing friend. Literally, no matter what I need or when she stops what she's doing and helps me."
"I can't believe you would say that to him. You lack empathy. You don't care about anyone or anything."
"I have never met anyone with as much empathy as you. You don't even get upset with people because you're too busy justifying the way they acted or the words they said. You have this innate ability to understand anyone and anything. It's remarkable and great but also allows you to get taken advantage of, you know?"
"What a skinny bitch."
"I love how light you are, that I can just pick you up like that."
"She's literally psychotic. Who gets mad at their boyfriend for wanting to see their family."
"Do you realize how many people looked at you when we entered this room? When you walk into a room, you light it up. You have this power of controlling the way the people around you feel in a good way. They want to know you because you radiate this energy. I don't know how else to explain it."
"This isn't about how I speak to you; this is about how others perceive you. You make these comments that are so off color. Multiple people have complained that they feel uncomfortable. You come across as unprofessional. I know everyone here banters back and forth, but you're inappropriate. You also always look angry, which makes people feel that you're unapproachable too. You need to change how you act. We'll be highering important people soon, and they won't put up with your behavior."
"We want to offer you a promotion because you are such a hard worker. You work late, get in early, help with duties outside your job description. You pick up extra shifts and are great with the people. We love having you here with us."
"Everyone in our department gave you high marks. One even said she struggled to suggest any improvements. But, higher-ups outside our department feel you're uptight. You don't smile enough, and unfortunately, this gives off the air that you don't want to be here. Until your attitude changes, I can only offer you a 2% raise, no promotion."
"You're desirable and dangerous. You make me want things that I know I shouldn't have and all with your words."
"You don't like authority. However, I am your boss, and you need to do what I say. You're in here today requesting a raise, but what can you offer me? You need to do something for me in return."
"You are so different — Unique in an indescribable way. How do you do it? Keep me entirely enthralled yet utterly unsure of who you are. You're a public mystery."
"You're cold. I feel like I can't connect with you. Every time I try to open up to you, it seems like you don't care. You say you're just listening, but it feels like you're holding my mistakes over my head. You really need to work on your warmth."
"I have never met anyone who puts as much work into improving themselves than you, truly. You put yourself through the wringer, and relieve trauma just to learn from it. So it doesn't have control of you. I find it inspiring. Shit, I can't even bring myself to see someone, and yet you do it every week."
"People say that you're 'honest,' but you're not. You're just mean. You use the word honesty to cover the horrific things you say. It's a justification for making people feel like shit."
"You are mentally the strongest person I have ever met."
"You are what's wrong with people in the world. What a self-centered person you are. I can't believe I ever thought you were something special."
"Thank you for always making sure to remind me of my worth. So many people wait until someone is dead to tell them how they feel. I'm glad you do it frequently while alive."
"You should kill yourself. The world would be better off you disgusting fat pig."
"Please don't hurt yourself anymore. I know you don't feel important, but the world needs you in it. I need you in it because you make me want to better."
"I hate you."
"I love you."