The first time you meet someone with whom you have mutual friends, they tend to tell you a bit of background information about them, right? Sometimes it’s just superficial stuff – lives here, went to that school, does this job, etc. That’s pretty standard. But when it goes further than that – something that might cause you to judge them without truly knowing them, that’s when I think it goes a step too far.
As a race (i.e. humans) we love to gossip. Fact. A whole industry has been built up around this pastime. Hell, we’ve all done it, I have. And generally it seems like harmless chit chat, correct?
Well the other day I got to thinking. The amount of times I’ve met someone and a friend has told me ‘oh they really get around’, ‘their mum/dad died last year’, ‘they had a breakdown last month’, whatever. You get the picture. Maybe they’re trying to warn you about the person, or nudge you to act with more caution… But surely that should be something you decide for yourself? Maybe they’ve made mistakes in their past, maybe they have certain personal issues that they struggle with. Yet that doesn’t mean that’s who they are now. It doesn’t define them.
I was particularly inspired when I read this beautiful post from someone who’s husband is autistic. Many people would just pack up and leave in what I can imagine to be an incredibly confusing situation. But she carried on through and did what was right, for her. We are all so different afterall.
Hell, I dread to think what would happen if someone was presented with a bunch of facts about me, and my past. I’d hardly be warming to me as a friend. But, in real life? I get on pretty well with me.
So maybe, the next time you meet someone new, just take a step back. Push those facts out of your head, and get to know the person instead, how they are now. Judge them on how they treat you. We all make mistakes. We all have a history. We shouldn’t have to live with that hanging over us forever, let’s cut some slack.
Disclamer: if someone tells you that that person’s an axe-murderer I wouldn’t recommend getting to know them ‘just to see’ J
Do you think we can be too quick to judge?