Friends behind a sunset

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.

stunning sky

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.

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Take People As You Find Them

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25 Responses

  1. Catherine, Not Dressed As Lamb

    Oh wow Vicki this is so, so on point… A lot of people could do very well to read and remember this!

    Trying to understand others’ POVs is so important – it can be very time-consuming and TIRING to dismiss people and think ill of them for no valid reason because ultimately it only makes you miserable. Beautifully written post – thanks for the reminder that everyone deserves a chance 🙂

    Catherine x

  2. Rebecca

    So much love for this <3 I try to be honest and it has got me into trouble a few times as some people don't like to be told the truth even if they know it deep down. I have lost friendships that I thought were strong simply because they knew I would tell them what they didn't want to hear as I cared about them and felt they were being mistreated and needed to know… friendships are complicated but as long as you know you've been the best and most honest and caring you can be sometimes its best to walk away if your not appreciated #brilliantblogposts

    • Honest Mum

      So true, real friendship is cemented on being honest, having others’ best interests at heart and being true to them and you x

  3. stacey oakes

    I always try to see the point of all involved when drama happens. I prefer to reserve judgement and I would never take the gossip for gospel. I have been the victim of that pack mentality where one person dislikes you and because it’s easier to agree with them rather than side with me who is more amiable then I was outcast. It hurts but you get over it hey! #Brilliantblogs

  4. Lauren

    Love your point about life not resembling Mean Girls – it can feel a bit like that sometimes! Great post!
    Lauren xx Elle Bloggs

  5. Hayley - Downs Side Up

    Like you I am forgiving way beyond what I should often be, but when it goes too far I draw a neat line in the sand, move on and never look back. Those lines cannot be blurred.
    I did discourse analysis in linguistics at uni and like your book insights, it taught me to understand the thoughts behind what people say, how phrases leak deeply held beliefs. Great post honey x

    • Honest Mum

      That course sounds incredible, understanding motivation and the reasons behind character allows you to be more empathetic but also wiser than ever hey. Thanks for your comment xx

  6. Alex

    Really wise words. It can be so hard to take people as you find them, and keeping an open mind is really important. Likewise knowing when enough is enough and its time to walk away is crucial too. Oooh, I like a bit of food for thought in the mornings!

  7. jodie filogomo

    Great way to put it—because no one can imagine all of the circumstances others are going through. Yet that shouldn’t make it okay for others to hurt us over and over. The occasional? Sure. But we have to take care of ourselves first! And give others a chance!

  8. Over a Cuppa

    Totally this! I always think you blog name is very apt for you x

    Strangely you came up last night at my WI (young version) meeting whilst making Christmas wreaths quite randomly!

    My friend Tamara, made the Autumn Foxy necklace (her stuff is beautiful!) that you picked from All By Mama. She is so thrilled you did xx it is a small world indeed.

  9. Susan Mann

    A lovely post. Sound advice and I try not to judge, we all do sometimes, but you are right. We should take people as we find them x

  10. Tin

    Really enjoyed this post, good food for thought! So important to give people a chance rather than judge a book by its cover or to take other people’s impressions over your own.


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