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  • Writer's pictureStephanie Cooper

What's your rep?

So how many times have you "heard" what was REALLY being said about you? You know what I'm referring to. You yourself have participated in it yourself countless times. Talking about someone what you normally wouldn't say about that person to their face. Those "little" or maybe big things that if that individual knew what you were saying, they would be highly upset.

It happens in families, friendships, workplaces, and relationships. You may assume that it's harmless. You may not think anything of it. So if it's so harmless or innocent why not say those same things about said individual to their face? Let me don't want the drama right? The person whom you're talking about won't like or appreciate it. They may cry or get angry. They may stop talking to you, or stop dealing with you altogether. So in other're scared.

Why? Finish what you started. Don't stop talking now. Say what you have to say. Be man or woman about it!

I know you won't do it so I'm not expecting you to. Honesty isn't what people want to hear. Some prefer the lie. So what if what is being said about you isn't true? Then what? As per my usual, I'll use myself as the example of transparency. I do this not to lie or anything. Just like you, I've been thru some things. If what has happened to me will help in any way, I'm glad to help. So in keeping with that, let's get into it. I'm going to give a relationship example and a friendship example.

In the relationship example I'm going back over a decade to where I was in a relationship with my kids father. We were living at his mother's house. We were raising our son together. I had moved from the Midwest to the East coast where he lived. Before I had moved, I was pretty stable. I had a job, I had my son and was looking forward to going back to school. I had my own car and my own place. I also had a support system to help out with my son whenever I had to work. I gave all of that up on a chance to try to work things out with my son's father so that we could possibly have a future.

We had talked at length about it and had made plans. Problem was, he had plans that didn't include myself and our child. He also didn't bother to tell me either. The long and the short of it...he was cheating with several different women. Of course I was devastated when I found out. I had moved cross-country and this is what I got in return for giving up everything. But what really hurt and made me angry is what I found out what was bing SAID about me. I was contacted by one of the women he had cheated with. She told me what he had told her about me. He had told her that I was a a hoe, that the only reason we were living together was because of our child and that I had no other place to go. He told another woman that he didn't want me or our son to live on the streets so he was "helping me out". By the time I received this information, I was pregnant with our 2nd child. The last one to get in touch with me told me that he had denied paternity of our unborn child and that he had doubts that our son was his. So not only was I devastated, but I knew I couldn't stay there any longer. We officially broke up not too long after that. I moved back home and resumed my life as a single mom.

My rep was not only tarnished but even worse, my friends and family didn't have many comforting words either. My rep with them was also messed up. I went from being someone who was devastated to someone who was defending their self, just to give clarification to my actions and decisions.

Clarification-I didn't cheat nor lie to my ex about the paternity of his kids.

Defense- I did what I did to try to make a relationship work and my kids a stable home. At the time it didn't h happen.

Over the years I had to re-build what was broken and polish what was tarnished. This definitely hurt my rep and men either thought that I was easy or they away from me altogether. Fixing my rep wasn't an overnight fix. It's also still a work in progress. As for the infamous ex, he's STILL tarnishing my rep whenever it fits his narrative. All I can say is oh well. The truth always has a way of coming out.

Now here's the friendship example. I had a group of friends that I had known since middle

school. We each grew up in different backgrounds and each had a unique type of upbringing. We all went to the same school and even graduated the same year. We all went our separate ways as far as college and adult life went, but for the most part we all kept in touch whether it was in person or via social media. Well life happens and we finally reconnected to where were could hang out more often in person. We stared hanging out more, comparing relationships, breakups, parenting tips and stories basically adult bonding. Well during this time my health was up and down. I was in and out of the hospital a lot. I was experiencing kidney issues. For 3 years I dealt with countless hospital visits, surgeries, doctor appointments, you name it. Well during one particular hospital stay, I was told some really bad news and required emergency surgery the next day. This happened during Covid times and my husband couldn't stay with me so I was alone. I sent a group text asking if we could do a video chat. I explained that I was in the hospital. Well one friend said yes. One friend said no and the other never responded. I ended up video chatting with the one friend. Then a few minutes later, I found out why the other two didn't want to video chat. They were at one of their homes with a few of their other friends on Facebook live doing karaoke.

Hurt didn't even describe how I was feeling. I wanted to go off SOO bad, but I didn't. I just scrolled past and then got off social media so I could focus on my surgery the next day. I then started wondering if I had said or done something to warrant them acting like that towards me. I got my answers a few months later. According to one of my friends, they had all been getting together on several occasions without me to hangout because they didn't want to hang out with me. They were also upset with me because they felt that I was "too judgmental " or a "know it all".

This was my rep with my friends whom I had known since were were 12. To learn that this how they truly felt about me was hurtful and humbling. It was hurtful because I have always told them they could talk to me no matter what...good or bad. I have always encouraged it. It was humbling because here I thought that I was helping whenever I gave advice, but my help wasn't wanted. Just like here on my show, I keep it honest. What I learned is not everyone wants or will appreciate your honesty.

So what happened? Long story short, I'm no longer friends with one of them, and my relationship with one isn't the same. I also found out how they were speaking about me to their new friends (people I don't even know) and I'm being portrayed as an uncaring, judgmental person.

Your rep can be everything.

Honestly after the revelations I learned about my rep, I had to develop as Tasha Mack says "emotional walls". The only rep I need to be concerned with is the one that I have with the Most High.

Proverbs 14:25-26:" A true witness deliverth souls, but a deceitful witness spreaketh lies. In the fear of the Most High, is strong confidence and his children shall have a place of refuge."

Basically, in both examples I learned what my rep really was. I learned what people thought of me. I also learned that some people saw right thru the lies and b.s. and were truthful with me to make me aware, but were also mature enough to tell me the truth. To those individuals, you have my respect and thank you for your integrity.

When you find out what your true rep is, don't go off. Don't be petty and clap back.

Proverbs 14:29: "He that is slow to wrath is of great understanding, but he that is hasty of spirit exalts folly."

Let it go. Keep it moving. Focus on your rep with the Most High. Your rep with hims is what counts.

You weren't expecting that...

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