It's usually not a pleasant experience to overhear somebody talking about you. People can be cruel.
But every once in awhile, that experience actually turns out okay. Sometimes, you actually overhear something really sweet and kind. People do like you, after all.
Here were some of the answers.
Certain Kinds Of PeopleGiphy
I'll go first, a couple months ago, at a party, a couple friends of mine were outside when it was starting to die down. We were just talking about random stuff and we brushed the topic of friendship. I learned that a mutual friend of ours thought of me as the best kind of friend you could have, being kind, fun, down to earth and never having drama. And when I was told that, most of the friends present agreed. Never knew I could hold such praise.
I have been really down lately. My marriage is falling apart. I work in amazing department. My coworkers have been worried about me because my behavior has changed so drastically. I'm usually smiling and joking and laughing and super energetic. I haven't been for the last two months.
One girl I work with who started just this year has gone out of her way to be supportive and kind to me even though she doesn't know what's going on. She has invited me to lunch with her when I wasn't eating. She has been so incredibly lovely to me.
The ones who do know what's going on have been so good to me. One brings me food every day (I honestly wouldn't have eaten if it wasn't for her). I am truly blessed.
Others who don't know have said to me, I know something is wrong. You don't have to tell me. Just know I'm here.
I have never worked in such a supportive environment in my life. I am so lucky.
Who I Wanna Be
I overheard a few of my students saying that I was an amazing teacher and a teacher you could talk to about other stuff and he wouldn't judge you but give awesome advice. I walked on air that day.
Sweet Little Kids
I'm a primary teacher. I was pretty sick a couple of weeks ago and took 4 days off work.
Since then, like half the parents/kids in my class told me they missed me. Parents were telling me that their child didn't want to come to school because I wouldn't be there. I normally get hugs from some of the girls, but some of the boys were hugging me when I came back. I had so many pictures and cards made they take up the whole "picture wall" in our classroom.
I didn't know I was making such a difference. I was really taken aback, 4 days must have felt so long to year ones.
-Guitar Riffs Here-
I picked up the nickname of Iron Man, and I had no idea why. Finally I asked and it turned out that my coworkers thought I look like Robert Downy Jr. I don't see the resemblance at all, but it was nice to know they were comparing me to a movie star.
Healing A Bond
Several years ago, a friend came to me, a friend who like most of my friend group doesn't open up often.
He'd had this big bust-up with his girlfriend and was asking me about how to deal with it. I didn't have a girlfriend and hadn't had one before but he said, "I needed empathy, and I thought to myself 'who gets empathy? DeepSpaceWhine does!'.
I really had no idea he held my emotional intelligence in such high regard. I gave him my advice and, well, they got married in November.
I've Been Wung
I was at a party and was showing interest in a girl. I went to get another drink and came back to see my best mate (who is a player) chatting to her. I reluctantly went over, ready to accept that he had won her over but instead he was bigging me up to her loads! Best wingman ever.
Students Love When Nobody Else Will
I was away from work for a few days. Am a teacher. Came back to find every board in the room and a picture of me either thanking me or saying "we love you" from different kids handwritings. I get pretty severe appreciation from all of my students. Yet no family and no friends. It's quite the dichotomy.
I started a new job recently after a very toxic previous one.
After weeks of disagreeing with multiple different teams on what they owe for the last 8 months of invoices (because the previous person in my position didn't collect since August) I finally had a face to face meeting with all 3 different coaches. They all mentioned how professional I have been during this transition process and how they can already see the change in the department since I started in March.
One of the managers that I oversee has told me that I have totally changed the mood in the department, and my facility director has praised me to our County's Parks and Recreation Director, other facility directors, and our Risk Management Director, and it feels really good.
My last job at this level ended up being a forced resignation where my manager made up a bunch of things so she could justify firing me and did the same to my replacement, and was just controlling, rude, and manipulative, so this has been a really nice and uplifting change.
This Is What Success Looks LikeGiphy
I lived with three other girls freshman year of college, chosen by chance from the University. My one roommate was shy and never went out or did much - I'm fairly certain she had depression. I would always invite her along with me with whatever plans I had, or even just to watch movies in the common room. She always declined, but I still asked every time.
Years after graduation two other friends ran into her during alumni week. She told them I was the main reason she got through freshman year because I always tried to include her and made her feel important. She never told me that directly, but hearing it secondhand means even more.
Lesson learned is that even if people aren't taking you up on your offers, doesn't mean that they don't appreciate what you're doing or that they don't like you. You never know what seemingly simple acts might mean the world to someone.
Subverting My Own Feelings
In a one to one meeting (which, hey, ended up in a promotion), I was told by my usually matter-of-fact manager that when asking random people about me, there was nothing but good words - no matter whether they were asking interns up to directors. (Small company, for reference.) That I was always happy to help and I would wade through anything to get a solution in place.
Seeing as I'm convinced I'm a grumpy *sshole, and that I'm often frustrated where I hit a hurdle that I literally cannot get over (sometimes IT is like that, especially when relying on external suppliers and a limited budget), this was surprising and actually made me tear up a little bit.
This Went Better Than Expected
Team lunch with coworkers. I was having trouble getting along with a manager from the office who was not present, and commented off-handedly about it, "I am pretty sure he just doesn't like me."
Another girl, with whom I've worked very little, heard me and replies, "What are you talking about, Gsusruls, everyone at the office likes you."
I don't need to be validated - sometimes people just have differences in personality - but everything from her timing, to her word choice, to her tone, really just made my day.
When Everyone Can Notice YouGiphy
At my college, we have a "Senior Recognition Brunch", to recognize those seniors who have quietly made a difference on campus, usually nominated by a boss or professor.
My boss nominated me. She actually told me she was doing so. I later found out, she usually only does this for the student managers. I was not a student manager, just a dedicated worker trying to do my best.
At the brunch, I was given a card that told me some of the words that she used to describe me - awesome, trustworthy, team-player, and optimistic. It wasn't until I read this that I realized I had such an impact at my job.
Even General Physicians Notice
I went to my GP for a routine check up. Out of the blue he says, "it's always nice to see you. You have such a positive vibe about you. You always have a smile on your face."
I wasn't expecting that at all, and always thought of myself as an ugly overweight man. I had no idea how to respond to that and just blurted out an awkward Thank you.
Ya Got Purty Hair
That my hair is pretty. I know it sounds stupid but I've always hated my hair. It's a curly/wavy mess that goes down to my waist. I had my headphones in while shopping (not listening to anything) and heard a girl say "her hair is so pretty" to her friend and it literally made my week. I told my friends what I heard and they were like yeah we all love your hair. A huge confidence boost.
It's When The Little Things Matter
I've had chronic depression for over a decade and I'm acutely aware of how arduous it is accommodating me at home for my mother who perseverance, magnanimity, and indomitable affection is unstipulated. She had no delusions of a miraculous recovery and understands it's incremental. Her ministrations during my university years are the only reason I attained anything.
I heard her say to my brother in the kitchen one morning, "She tries for us. Do you have any idea what it's like to see your daughter struggle with this but she gets up every morning because depression hasn't stolen her love for us?"
Even the apathy induced by depression could not suppress the gratitude that my mother had enough empathy to understand something I've tried to convey through effort.