There are plenty of backstabbers and those who are purported "friends" throwing you under the bus to save their reputation.
Who knows what else is being said about you behind your back? Is that paranoia? Perhaps.
When we're feeling insecure, we tend to assume the worst about the people we include in our circle. Maybe it's time to stop that.
Because as it turns out, for the most part, people are kinder than we give them credit for, and not everything being discussed about you behind your back are always bad.
Curious to hear examples in which strangers online have been pleasantly surprised, Redditor El_patronus asked:
"What's the most kind/beautiful thing you've overheard about yourself by accident?"
We all strive to do better, be good people.
It appears some people, like in the examples below, have already achieved that goal.
"Not me, but my daughter."
"We used to live next door to a couple that was a 'triage' foster family: when law enforcement had to remove kids from a home, theirs was on the short list of approved foster homes to place the kids in right away. My daughter was in elementary school at the time, and she would go out of her way to introduce herself to the kids and take time to play with them. Several groups of kids came and went before we moved to another state."
"Several months after we moved, we were in town visiting, and bumped into the mom of one of my daughter's classmates. This mom is a child psychologist and she said, 'I just wanted you to know- I work a lot with the kids in foster care. And I kept hearing different kids talk about their friend <daughter's name>. I looked at these kids' paperwork and saw they had been placed in a home next door to where you all lived. It dawned on me that they were talking about your daughter. Just so you know, she made a lot of difference in helping these kids recover from their trauma."
"Kiddo is a freshman in high school, now, and still looks to help others."
"Once at college I was hanging out with a couple of friends in an art class, and right after I left I heard one turn to the other and say 'he is such a nice guy', and the other girl replied with an enthusiastic 'I know! He really is' People complimenting you behind your back is, in my opinion, the best form of compliment."
"A few months ago, I was hanging out with a girl one day who was showing interest in me, and I was kinda on board myself. I accidentally saw that she had posted about me in her group chat, and it was something along the lines of 'This is the kinda guy I want.'"
"Even better, her friend, who also happened to be my coworker, responded to that by saying, 'He's honestly so nice.' This made me feel even better because I honestly thought that girl couldn't stand me."
"It gave me a giant, giant boost of confidence."
"My wife's family said I was the rock in their family."
These Redditors were heard compliments that made their day.
"i'm a longtime drummer. been playing in bands for over 20 years. recently just joined a new band and after our first gig together, i overheard the singer talking with someone about the set and sound of the new lineup. the singer was saying that i'm a 'born drummer. this guy was totally meant to play drums. i'm so stoked he's in my band.' probably the coolest thing i accidentally overheard about myself."
"Several weeks ago I overheard the technician of the neighboring lab telling some fellow grad students 'she knows so much, I am astonished'. I'm still hyped up about it."
A Teacher's Advice
"I teach middle school, and I try to intentionally say something positive about a student when he/she thinks I don’t know they’re nearby. The change in a kid’s whole attitude is remarkable. Even kids who seem pretty self confident get a boost, but the kids who are struggling... it really makes a huge difference."
"At a party I overheard my SO bragging to the others about my pasta and my cooking in general, like they should be jealous he gets to eat my food regularly."
"It made me happy. I know he likes my cooking, but him telling others about it when I'm not in the room was a big confidence boost."
It pays to employ nice people.
"I worked in a call center for a while and we weren't meant to hang up first (the system saw calls where we hung up as fishy and would need to be reviewed, so they messed up our stats) and one day after setting a lady up with a cheaper than subscription she didn't hang up properly and I heard her say 'that lady was really lovely!'"
"I had to go away from the calls for a minute cus it made me really emotional. That job was tough so it was nice to see I wasn't becoming a d*ck."
"I work in a call center for a cable company. It's hell. We're told we can't give people promotions, just drop their tv packages down... it's hell. I hate not being able to help people, and then we can see our after call surveys which have all been full of negative comments about the prices. Yesterday, I got one back that said I was super nice and helpful and the company needs to hire more people like me. I almost cried."
"I was visiting my old workplace after leaving a couple years prior. As I was walking away from on old employee, I overheard a new person ask who I was. She replied 'That’s guamie, he is the reason I was able to become a manager.'”
"I am an HR Manager by trade...that almost made me cry on the spot."
They say if you don't have anything nice to say about someone, don't say it.
But it would nice if people actually verbalized the positive things they thought about a person.
You never know what kind of day someone is having, and giving them a nice compliment can really make them feel special when they least expect it.
That being said, overhearing people praising you has got to be one of the greatest affirmations that you're doing alright and that you make a good impression on others just by being you.