Monday, February 16, 2009

Life's Lessons

Sometimes when I write posts like the one I wrote on Saturday, I think, "You readers must think I don't like anyone." I can assure you, that is not true. But I can also say I don't automatically like people. In the past, I have judged too quickly and have probably missed out on knowing some really great people. I have struggled with this forever. There are many characteristics I have a hard time getting along with, including people who are high maintenance, overly sensitive, fake, bubbly for no reason, those who don't hesitate to tell you about how they have the "best" ________(best husband, best children, best house, best schools, best parents, blah, blah, blah...). I could go on. I also know that when I do make friends with someone, I am loyal and dedicated. There is almost nothing I won't do for them (However, I do draw the line at cleaning your house if you have surgery or other difficulties. I hate that job and I won't do it. I will, however, pay for someone else to do it! I have also been known to fill the freezers of friends in need with yummy, homemade meals!)

I realized this many years ago and have made a conscious effort to not allow myself to fall into this judgemental trap anymore. The story goes like this.

It was approximately 10 years ago, a friend of Chris's was killed. Andy was riding his bycicle on a rural road in Columbus and a car hit him and drove away, resulting in his death. I am the first to admit, Andy was one of my least favorite people ever. He was a foul-mouthed, offensive, pot head drunk. Honestly, it was his crude behavior that I disliked the most. The rest of it I could handle. I don't ever remember a time where I thought I might actually like him. I hesitated going to his funeral under these circumstances but decided to go to support my husband and our friends. Andy's mother gave the eulogy. It was beautiful. Granted, she is his mother and she may not have known the Andy that I did, but at one point, I received a "slap" in the face. I realized I did not know the Andy that SHE did. What did I miss? What if I didn't give him the chance to show his true self to me or I chose to ignore it because of my initial judgement? At that very moment in time, I promised myself not to do that anymore. To give everyone I meet more leniency, to not be so harsh, so quick to determine who they are.

You know what the result of that one conscious decision has been? I have met some really neat people. I have made wonderful friends, who, in the past, I would have totally blown off after that first introduction. I don't force myself to like people. I wouldn't do that to myself or another person. I also realize there are many people out there who don't like me. But I am thankful for my "aha" moment. Otherwise I would have been very lonely when we moved from Ohio to the Kansas City area in 2004. I would have shunned a lot of people because of my quick and often snotty judgements. Instead, I opened my mind and my heart and I met some of the most wonderful friends I could ever have. Now that we are back in Ohio and I meet new people on a regular basis, I constantly remind myself to not judge. I have met some neat people here, too. I do still meet people, who after several interactions with them, I just don't like or care to spend time with. But at least I know I didn't make that decision based on one encounter.

So with my rather serious entry for today, I leave you with a rather funny video. This drug would be perfect for those "overly bubbly" people who drive me nuts. It's less than two minutes and IT.IS.DAMN. FUNNY. (You'll need to pause the music.)

13 comments:

  1. I have been accused of being the overly sensitve, bubbly for no reason type, so I'm glad you looked twice!

    Speaking of looking twice, I like your new page design!

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. First off, I LOVE your new background.. it is so cool beans, I can't wait to share it with everyone I know. I mean I looked at it and squealed with delight.. wow I need some Despondex.. but I do like the new page

    It's weird how the death of someone we didn't think mattered can teach us soooooo much about ourselves. It is said that people are in your life for a reason. Once they have served their purpose, they are out of your life. It is great that you were able to recognize that quality in yourself and were able to change it.

    ReplyDelete
  4. The first thing I noticed is your layout. It looks great!
    What a great post. I did make an initial judgment on someone years ago. She goes to my church so I see her at least weekly. The last couple of years she has been going through a hard time and so I had tried to change my outlook on her and not judge her for her behavior years ago. And nope just couldn't do it. She just rubs me the wrong way. I guess that's something I need to deal with.

    ReplyDelete
  5. That was a very good post. As I get older I have become more tolerant of other people. There are only a couple that make me feel like I am hearing nails down a chalkboard when they speak.

    You have always been very good to me and my family. Even when I could have used the Despondex. I remember when you would come in to BF Big E at the school. You would sit in the crib room in the dark listening and observing the wacky moms. Your laugh and comments after they left would have all of us rolling.
    P.S.-LOVE the new layout!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Love the new look over here! I wasn't sure where I was at first. Change is hard for me:)
    I've never thought you didn't like people! And I think we are all guilty of being a little judgmental - I know I need to work on that.

    ReplyDelete
  7. 1st, anyone who brags that their husband/kids/hoochie coochie is "the best" is code for wacko to steer clear of. So, good instinct, Jo.
    As for the obnoxiously chipper types, well, Scandy is guilty as charged!! I drive the other scandies C-R-A-Z-Y with my energy levels and some PTA types think I'm on crank. Is it so wrong to be high on booze, I mean, life?

    ReplyDelete
  8. Gosh I could have written that post although I am still opening up. I really try hard not to judge and be open.

    There are many characteristics I have a hard time getting along with, including people who are high maintenance, overly sensitive, fake, bubbly for no reason, those who don't hesitate to tell you about how they have the "best" ________(best husband, best children, best house, best schools, best parents, blah, blah, blah...)
    I am the same way and cannot fake my true feelings when confronted by one of these people. I usually just get really quiet and try and back away.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Great video!
    My aha moment was when a member of my family committed suicide. Losing someone really makes you re-evaluate how you treat peple doesn't it?

    ReplyDelete
  10. this is an important post for me to read. i have SORT OF the opposite problem... i am very open to people in the beginning, but as time goes on, i start to judge them more and more. i am currently wearing a little bead bracelet to remind me to show compassion for others, and i have been able to consciously stop myself from judgmental thoughts occasionally, but man, is it hard.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh my gosh! Thanks for the laughs. That video was so funny - they made it seem so legit, too. Hilarious.

    ReplyDelete
  12. What a great post, and a great reminder that we don't always know what's going on behind the doors of another person we might not even consider on initial passing. I, too, have had the pleasure of making friends with people I might not have thought to approach, and it's meaningful.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Kim - that is a great post. I'm glad you said all that to give me some more insight into how you tick. I love that.

    Now I want you to do a post about this blog frog thing I'm looking at over here on my left. What is it?

    Love the new look too - you are just keeping things fresh over here!!

    ReplyDelete