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when i was a kid, i always felt like there was something wrong with me. aside from my sexuality, i seemed to care about things many others didn't. i had no interest in boys (or girls for that matter). no interest in partying. no interest in small talk. no interest in imaginary play. i cared about what was real. i cared about feelings. i cared about people's stories. i believed, and still believe, that you can get almost anyone to open up to you if you ask the right questions.

and that's something i did. and still do. i ask questions. hard questions. i ask because i'm not afraid of the answer. i ask to challenge; to assist others in considering things from an alternate perspective. but this sort of probing can be confrontational. it can be threatening to people who aren't ready to be questioned. people take it as a threat to their identity, to their character rather than welcoming it as an opportunity for growth and self-reflection.

and often, that's what people have misperceived me as: a threat. instead of being viewed as someone with a curious mind seeking to understand, i've often been labelled as judgemental, preachy, and too deep/emotional. my sports psychologist in the states introduced me to the concept of a walking mirror - someone who, unintentionally by the way they live their life, holds a mirror up to others which highlights their inadequacies, their insecurities. and instead of people reflecting on these feelings, they project their defensiveness onto the person holding the mirror. the person who has done nothing other than be themselves.

this is what i have experienced on more than one occasion. i have been the target for hatred, for betrayal, for nastiness. i have had rumours started and spread about me that have destroyed relationships. i have had many things said about me that completely contradict the person that i am and the person i try to be. and that hurts. it hurts when the things we pride ourselves the most on, on being understanding and compassionate, are used against you. and as much as i consciously know and reason that this is a reflection of others rather than me, i can't deny the pain still hurts. and i can't deny it feels invalidating of the person i am.

so the next time you dislike someone - ask yourself why. what is it about that person you dislike? what feelings are they bringing up within you? what we dislike about others is usually highlighting a deficiency within ourselves - identify that. admit that. get curious about that. all hatred stems from jealousy and all jealousy stems from insecurity. so, what are you feeling insecure about?

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