The other day, during a mock interview, I realized something about myself, and how I express myself in person, that I hadn’t before.
But first, a wee bit of background.
I’ve been unemployed for a while now. I took a year-long course to start a new career, and since graduating, I’ve been looking for employment in this new field. My cover letter is good, my resume is spot-on, but I needed some work on my interviewing techniques. My employment counselor suggested I do a mock interview with one of the women working there who specializes in such things, among other jobs. She picked a job posting in my new field and I went in for an “interview”.
Although she was very polite and diplomatic, she was also straight forward. In short, my interview skills needed improvement. I had all the components that made me attractive as an employee, but my interview responses and delivery needed serious work. Thanks to her, I have the tool and ideas to fix what needs fixing.
At one point during the interview, she asked about anything in my personal life that would give an example of the kind of person/worker I would be. The exact wording of the word, or how she asked it escapes me, but that was the basic point of her question.
My first response was, “I’m a writer. I finished a novel and some scripts…” then I added something dismissive.
After the interview, she asked me about my writing, and I went into more detail. When I finished, she was intrigued about what I had done. She also told me how I had responded to the same subject during our interview. How I had made it sound unimportant, and that it wasn’t a big accomplishment, when the truth is, it IS a big accomplishment!
When she asked me why I was dismissive about something that I was obviously so passionate about, and had put so much work, time, and effort into, I told her that that was what I was used to.
This is where the point of my blog appears! Ta-da!
Despite the few people in my life who have been supportive of my writing, and have encouraged me to continue, everyone hasn’t. The majority who haven’t given two shits about the most important thing in my life have been dismissive, uninterested, or oblivious. When I’ve confronted them about this, they respond that they “don’t understand.” In my opinion, that’s a cop-out. If you want to understand something, you ask about it. That is, if you actually want to know about it. If you don’t, well, ignorance is bliss.
Honestly, I can forgive the important people in my life who treat my dreams and goals with indifference. But there is a problem with how others act. It can affect us in a subliminal way.
For example, if you hang around with a group of peers or friends who continually mention how stupid you are, like telling stories of something stupid you did, or said, then in time, you begin to think they are right. If it was total strangers saying it, you could blow it off. But when it is the people you are closest to, that begins to have an effect. You may not notice it at first, but over time, you start to question yourself, second guessing your own intelligence. Eventually, you start to wonder if these people who care about are right. Maybe you are stupid.
In my case, if the people closest to me don’t care about my writing, then maybe it isn’t anything important. Maybe it IS just a hobby, like one of them once said to me. If they dismiss it enough times, it loses its value, for them and for me.
It may sound ridiculous, but I think there is something there. Maybe it was the reason that I was dismissive about my writing in the interview, but when asked again, I expanded on it, and showed my true feelings about it. I showed my love for my writing, my passion! In doing so, I reminded myself of its importance.
That is something that many people, whether they are writers or not, need to do. They have to remind themselves that whether it is knitting, painting, something creative or indulgent that allows you to find some peace, take that time for yourself, and always do what you love to do. Finding that happiness is vitally important!
As for those who are dismissive, indifferent, or ignorant, there isn’t much you can do to change their minds. Condemning them doesn’t help either. Your best weapon is yourself. If you find success in what you love to do, whether it be personal and/or financial, then maybe they’ll open their eyes. Even if they don’t, so long as you are happy and at peace, then that is all that really matters.
Oh, and don’t forget the people who stood by you through it all. The ones who understood, who weren’t dismissive, indifferent, or ignorant. Never forget them, because they saw the person you could be, instead of the person they wanted you to be.
So, if you have dismissive, indifferent, or ignorant people in you life, don’t treat them like they have treated you. But take anything they say with a grain of salt, because they probably don’t understand you, and they probably never will.