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.)