I’m writing this because I know how easy it is to judge and potentially, condemn others based on their actions on people you know and care about. That pack mentality to deride someone because they’ve hurt another/others. To form an opinion based on well, another’s opinion and possibly not on fact because everything in life is so utterly subjective.
Now let me get a disclaimer off my chest here first, because I believe it’s entirely natural to feel you want to be loyal and show support to those you love and the context of this post is not aimed at those who have hurt others in an extreme way.
It’s in response to lighter issues on disputes or simply initial assumptions and judgements made on others too quickly or harshly.
And here’s the thing, in the 36 years I’ve lived on this planet, I’ve come to realise quite how complex relationships and friendships can be. That some are not always as they seem, straight-forward or easy to read. People you thought you knew and trusted can turn or treat you badly, hurt you or worse get passive aggressive on you rather than being honest, saying it like it is and trying to see if things can be resolved.
Remember that since long-gone Facebook relationship status, ‘It’s complicated’, well that can apply to all relationships, and frankly, life.
Look, I’m a fiercely loyal friend but I like to think I’m open minded and fair too. When others come to me with problems and disputes, I try and understand the full story or piece together a less biased overview. I like to try and instil calm rather than incite fire.
That doesn’t mean I don’t understand or appreciate how hurt others are but I try and keep a balanced overview.
I try, where possible to take people as I find them.
You see, all connections in life come down to chemistry (it’s science and you can’t mess with science, right) and some people will just click with you but not work with others, plus the way people treat and react to you is based on the baggage they bring to the table (I remember a girl at uni telling me I looked like someone who’d bullied her at school so she was surprised to find how nice I was)-see, judging a book by it’s cover is normal, we all do it but we’re adults now and need to get real. We need to be the example we want our kids to follow.
The way people behave has a lot to do with what’s going on in their life at the time. Hello PMT you complete and utter (insert the swear word of choice)!
Seriously though, you never know the battles others might be facing. The effort it takes to get up in the morning, to so often survive the day.
People only see half the lives of those on social media so don’t go by that either. Real life in its messy, glorious, mostly messy way can twist and manipulate who people really are and how they behave. That’s not a ‘get out of jail free’ card but it’s a plea to try and understand the shizz others might be tackling and to try and forgive.
Reading The Art of Dramatic Writing by Lajos Egri in my MA filmmaking days, was a real turning point for me. It deconstructs character and simply, why people do the things they do. It offers a fascinating insight into how physiology, sociology and the psychology of a person motivates them and leads to action. It enriched my screenwriting no end and on a very real level, stopped me from judging others so quickly whilst trying to understand others’ behaviour for better or worse.
That book has consistently stopped me from making assumptions about others. From given people chances. For finding friendship in the most unlikely of people.
It didn’t, however, make me a fool.
I’m a forgiving person to the core but those who have consistently hurt me or those I love, I walk away from.
I don’t dwell or let their actions consume me. I move on and don’t look back.
It must be in my DNA as my Aunt Zak and I were just talking about this earlier today on Skype and she too is the same.
I believe profoundly in being honest with others who might hurt me though, as I want the same from those I might hurt myself. Without honesty, things can never be resolved right?
So the moral of the story is…try to understand others’ perspectives where possible, to know that opinion is subjective and whilst sadly some people just aren’t worth your precious time and energy, many deserve a chance, heck everyone deserves a chance, and forgiveness when they mess up, as you, do yourself.
Life shouldn’t ever resemble Mean Girls so please don’t judge others based on people’s own opinions. Even if you respect those people, take a step back and reflect, because everyone deserves to be taken as they’re found.
So please, do just that.
Take people as you find them.