Anyone can say anything they want to say about you, but you don’t have to let that in. I realize now that it’s easy to be persuaded by what someone thinks they know about you, but it does not have to mean that that is all there is to you.
I realized this when I was listening to different sides of one issue. For each person that I listened to, I felt each had a valid point and I left each person appreciating them more. However, when I listened to each person discussing the other I became doubtful about the authenticity of the person they were discussing. My take away from that is, to never allow someone to determine how I treat another person, no matter what they say or how persuasive they sound. I remember my grandmother use to tell me that any disagreement she had with an adult, was none of my business and she instructed me to greet them and have “manners” to them. However, lessons learned at a young age, are often forgotten until we reap the consequences of forgetting.
I have never been someone who likes to blindly follows what others say or think. But sometimes, in an effort to remain in everyone’s good graces I have gone along with what everyone or the majority seems to be saying. Whether it were about a person or an issue and I would see it as just the way things were. However, being in that situation the other day made me question how quick I have been in the past to judge someone based on what others have said. If you are friends with someone I do not believe you have to agree with all they say or what they do, and you should be confident enough to say so to their faces. If not, doesn’t that make you a hypocrite – just going along with what they say, even though in your mind you are shouting at the top of your lungs all the reasons why they are wrong?
Your definition of a problematic person may differ from others, but consider, we are all problematic in some way to someone. We all have things about us that cause people to look at us funny, to at least one time, question if they even know us by the things we say or do. Therefore, we all deserve the right to be heard and accepted for the point of view that we have. Because if we think about it, the things I may see as a problem in that person, could be an improvement on what they were like last year. Check them next year, they may not be at the same place.
We always have room to grow, to evolve, to change, to be whatever we want to be. What we need to do is to stop expecting people to be exactly what we want them to be. Stop defining people by our standards and let them be who they are in that moment. The behavior that you see as problematic, may be an idiosyncrasy that you don’t know about. Let’s really have the highest esteem for others by allowing their story to evolve and not write them off.