Push back on old narratives and learn to write your own identity.
Have you heard of Narrative Psychology before? It's a form of research arguing that people define themselves through a shaped memory of past and present events as well as projections of future ones. This can simply mean that close friends or family members have can peg people as a certain way and may have unknowingly convinced them into thinking that they are this way and cannot change.
Some narratives can be positive. For instance, people might call you an "energizer bunny" because you are always getting stuff done at work, the gym, or around the house. Other narratives can be hurtful. You may have been called "emotional," "lazy," or "obsessive compulsive." But these narratives need only be as accurate as you want them to be.
And I would like to argue that the people around you play a huge role in shaping your identity. These narratives may hold some truth. You may have been very organized as a student and employee, for example. But, they become blanket statements that can carryover into different seasons of life, where you might want to change or feel stretched out of your old narrative. They can hinder you from feeling free to make the choice to change.
Being able to open your mind to the possibility that you did not get here all on your own gives you the clarity to step out of your old narrative and begin writing a new one. Opening your mind to this possibility may incite grief or frustration that a close loved one would contribute to a false or narrow-minded narrative. But ultimately it can help you have a healthier understanding of who you are and a better grip on your control over this identity.
Whether or not you tell this person that they hurt you, you can begin to heal from it and look at life with a refreshed sense of freedom. No longer do you have to stay trapped in your falsely constructed identity, but you can embrace your desire to step outside the box. It is no longer stuck on repeat from past hurts and behaviors. You hold the pen.
With all of that to say, just take a moment to ponder over how you think others perceive you. Is this narrative accurate? Does it drive you to feel motivated or trapped? Does that encourage you or burden you?
Maybe, and this only comes if you are willing to put in the work, you can share a little bit of the pain with your loved ones. That doesn’t even mean you have to tell them, but just mentally drop some of own guilt over into the metaphorical buckets of those who have shamed you or hurt you.
Sharing this pain will free you to move out of the need and self-expectation to fix yourself and help you realize that you are more free to be as you please than you might think. Push back on that stereotype and be the person you want to be.