It has come to my attention that I have a whole new avenue of potential readers these days, simply because our friend Mr. Mystery Man (who remarkably hasn't run screaming from my insanity yet) actually takes an interest in this little corner of cyberspace, and apparently is sharing with others…
Hello FOMMMs!!! (Friends of Mr. Mystery Man)
This particular revelation did give me a momentary pause as I pondered would I start censoring what I post here. Key word in that sentence is MOMENTARY. The answer is nope. Here’s the reason…anyone who knows me even a little knows that I was born with a minor birth defect…the filter between my brain and mouth doesn’t really exist most of the time. Particularly here. I’m working on building one in my everyday life, but that is most assuredly a work in progress. Additionally, I don’t lie. Not because I’m some incredibly saintly woman (Kat, stop laughing), but because I have the WORST MEMORY EVER and keeping track of lies is too hard. Plus, I may have a decent poker face when playing cards, but away from the tables I have more tells than a convention of plumbers has cracks. (Now work on getting THAT mental image out of your head!)
When you combine the lack of filter with an inability to lie and throw it onto a website, you get pure, unvarnished LD. The good, bad and indifferent. I thought about some of the posts here that make me go “Hmmm…not sure you want to read that one…” but then I wondered, why? There is nothing I post here that I don’t mean, and the fact of the matter is that anyone who wants to understand me will get a decent picture by reading here, but I would hope would also take the time to actually get to know ME.
Which leads to my topic tonight – Judging others. How often have you learned something about someone and then built an entire opinion about that person based solely on that one thing you learned? We tend to say that we are open minded people who take others on their merit, but come on…be honest. First impressions mean a lot. And sometimes they are based on things that are partially (or completely) wrong, particularly when the impressions are based on or influenced by something we have heard indirectly.
For example, you have a friend who has told you about a coworker they don’t particularly care for because of some incident that happened. Then you meet that coworker. Your first thought, without knowing ANYTHING else about them, is likely to be negative because of what your friend told you. Never mind that there are three sides to every story (yours, mine and the truth). You’re judging. Or you meet your BFF’s new beau for the first time. If she has been gushing about how wonderful he is, you’re likely to view him in a positive light. But if she has listed out his positives AND his negatives for you and a couple of the negatives strike a particular nerve with you, you are more likely to be like my brother Steve and tell him you have 40-acres, a shotgun and a shovel and don’t think anyone would miss him if he hurt your friend. Oh yeah, that one actually happened.
My point here is that as much as we try our very best to be open to new people and new experiences, they are often colored by what we learn about them long before we actually find ourselves face to face with them. We pre-judge. We form opinions.
And that’s okay.
You read that right. It’s actually okay. What’s NOT okay is to base your opinion on someone solely on what you learn from others. There’s nothing wrong with seeking the advice and counsel of those you trust to gather information, but you should never base your entire feeling of someone on what others tell you. Because YOUR perception is YOUR reality, and so is everyone else’s.
I have a co-worker that I’ve never particularly gotten along with, but two of my dearest friends get along with this person just fabulously. Then there’s a former co-worker that one of work-sisters would just as soon shank as look at, who I still interact with and had lunch with recently. And that’s okay. We all know what the other person likes or doesn’t like, but we have our own independent relationships based on our own experiences. It doesn’t make anyone else’s feelings more or less valid, they’re just different.
It’s important that we all remember that not everyone on the face of the Earth has to like us, nor do we have to like everyone. Everyone DOES need to like me, but that’s just because I’m fabulous. (Again Kat, stop laughing…) But seriously, in addition to not having to like everyone in general, we also need to remember that we don’t have to like everyone that our friends like. Sure, you may want to listen and talk to your friends because it IS possible they see something that you don’t see that could be important. However, the opinions of others are just that…opinions. And like Dirty Harry said, opinions are like a**holes…everybody has one.
It’s imperative that we remember that no everyone is going to be our cup of tea, nor are we going to be everyone’s. It’s a good thing there’s a lot of flavors of tea out there.
Oh, and for the record, yes, I know I mixed a couple of phrases in my title…call me eccentric…or weird…just don’t call me late to the fat lady singing…her shows are great.