Maya Angelou said, "When people show you who they are, believe them." That phrase is both simple and profound. I've used it to validate my choices, evaluate relationships, and protect myself. Yet my validating, evaluating, and protecting self still wanted to be more—more unique, more deserving, and quite frankly, more special than the truth. I believed that someone wouldn't treat me the same way that s/he treats everyone else because our relationship, i.e., me, was special. I thought I was special enough to have a more genuine and loving version of someone who may not have even cared to be more genuine or more loving.
If someone is unkind to others, the day will come when she is unkind to you. If someone is careless with other people's feelings, he will have moments when he is careless with yours. The person who gossips, exaggerates, is inconsiderate, disappoints, lies on, ignores, or is selfish with others doesn't do so because everyone, except you, deserves it. When you hear that first whisper, listen. When you feel that gentle tap, take heed. Don't wait for the shout or the shove—and certainly not the brick—to believe people when they show you who they are.