Writer, Church leader, Eccentric Nut, Marketer

I'm Church Leader, Writer, Speaker, Marketer, Kindness Project Founder, Broadcaster and Superhero. But most important I'm a Husband, Father and a worshiper of Jesus.

7 November 2008

How many people actually KNOW you?

"I don't know half of you half as well as I should like, and I like less than half of you half as well as you deserve"
Bilbo Baggins

I was thinking about this question today. How many people really know me?

I think I can say that the only person who REALLY knows me is my wife. I can think of maybe 4 others who are in the next concentric circle. And from there? People's perception's of me is mostly case based on inexact pieces of circumstantial evidence. Not that I'm deep, dark and complicated... or that I hide myself from people (anymore)... it's just the way it is with most of us.

I used to spend a great deal of time frustrated that people didn't understand me. Truth is that I didn't understand much about myself. Those who do know me now... I treasure... because their understanding helps me to learn... to be me.

Blog Dave... is not Dave.
Freedom House Dave... is not Dave.
Work Dave... is not Dave.

They are bits and pieces of me that you see.
Shakespeare wisely said:

"All the world's a stage, and all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts"

And that's an OK thing. It's not hiding or being disingenuous. But we need people to know us, helping us to become us... so that we can play our parts with legitimacy, transparency, and effectiveness. We should never forget though... that with most people; we just see the role they're playing in our lives... not the whole character. Their character is deep, multi-layered, and precious as refined gold. And finding someone who you can trust with your character... can't be over-valued. There is such freedom that comes from sharing our lives with others.

How many people actually KNOW you?


Anonymous said...

One - my husband. My children are getting to know me, but even some things are kept from them that my husband is privy to. Yep. One.

Good post Blog Dave.

Blog Heidi

melanie said...

I can relate to this, re. the frustraton of others not undrestanding me, B/C of the 'not knowing me' & vice versa...its a struggle esp. in situations where we SHOULD know eachother by now.
But yeah its human nature too...to build views/perceptions of ppl off first impressions, or the roles in life youre talking about.
i guess there's only a few ways to get to know others then?...by spending time with them & listening to their views but on the otherhand we too must be open to others, others OUT of our 'circles'.
And sometimes that is hard b/c its risky, to our ego/self esteem/pride...when I was leading youth at Shiloh/Southgate & had our weekly games/movie night at our house, I had to leave my comfort zone & Re-train my "Introvert" brain to approach & invite new young people, & help smooth the transition/introducton to this new group of people by involving them right away in our group conversations/games as if they'd been there from teh beginning. The other youth were taught too, to really basically show an interest in what everyone had to say, how they felt, & trying to be open & real with them;
It was cool to see my youth respect & relate to eachother & include new kids & bond with eachother; I remember thinkin "geez, im better at teaching it, than actually doing it myself!" somethin aint right there:P
The youth inspired me & challenged me quite a bit, but now thats said & done...Ive admittingly reverted to my old ways to some degree, lol...after a a VERY OPEN friend of mine welcomed an older stranger into her life & he molested her son, I am really leery who I reveal any information to.

Dave Carrol said...

You know I don't even think that it bothers me that most people don't know me (as long as those I trust do). I think you SHOULD be mindful of what you share and who you share it to.

In fact... I find it interesting to analyze the way that I'm judged in various areas. Because I (personally as an overthinker) KNOW how I want to be seen in various circles. I do it intentionally. I know most people in most areas won't really know me so I decide on what would point to Jesus the best in a specific area. (be all things to all men to win some)

in each area of life, there will be those who like you and don't. That's not the issue. But I think you can learn from those who do criticize and judge you.

"if person X thinks that I'm irreverent... that's OK because I'm trying to communicate Jesus that way anyway" ... that type thing.

melanie said...

& it may be a bit exhausting & headspinning to try & get everyone to like us!
yes i agree about learning from criticism...one area I am sensitive to, but always end up considering, for corrections sake. I jsut want to be the daughter/witness that pleases God; & I know i fail at it miserably sometimes, so in a sense, I need to hear critism...I think we all do.
Its when the 'reasons' for others' disapproval arent revealed that make things tricky.

Paul Wilkinson said...

The real me only surfaces for a few days each year while we're on holidays, far, far away.

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