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On Giving People a Chance

Wednesday, December 28, 2016
For most of my life, I hung out with the same types of people. The calm ones, the smart ones, the "restrained" ones -- basically, people who were like me. With them, I felt safe, and while the time I spent with them was fantastic, I never got the chance to expose myself to different kinds of groups. Because, honestly, I was kind of a judgmental bitch back then. 

I'll admit that I once believed in stereotypes. I would quickly turn my head when I'd hear something about a certain someone, especially when it would contradict my "standards". Looking at it now, I was a pretty frigid bitch when it came to "assessing" people. I'm more than happy that it's not that way anymore.

Recently, I was separated from my group of friends. I was forced to enter classes where I either knew absolutely no one, or knew some people but previously judged them wrong. Anyway, for the first couple of days, I had decided that I would brave the semester alone. I had no intention of getting to know my new environment. I was still pretty judgy.

Then I realized that I was completely wrong.

Call it adapting to the environment or whatever, but I started to warm up to my new classmates. Hellos upgraded into how-are-yous. How-are-yous turned into small talk. Small talk turned into disclosure. I decided that, okay, maybe it's time I gave other people a chance. Maybe if I just go with the flow and see how things go, I'll actually be surprised at how great they can be. 

And things did turn out great.

If you had asked me years ago if I could imagine myself hanging out with the friends I have now, my old (and awful) self would have rolled her eyes. The old me makes the new me want to punch her in the face, TBH. Allow me to be cheesy for a moment, but the friends I have now have really changed me positively. By allowing myself to step outside my "safe zone", I got to discover (and set free) the crazier sides of myself. 

And I got to open my heart, too. The judgmental bitch was dead. I started to smile more. I started to like being around people more. Being with people who were the exact opposites of me made me see myself clearly, made me see that I just needed to break the cage I had built around myself all these years.

I'm not saying that I dreaded my life before I learned to give people a chance. I was more than happy, but I think now, I've just become a better version of myself. These "new" people helped me unlock traits I never would have discovered if I stayed inside my cage.  I've become someone who's more open. More positive. More empathetic. 

I guess the clear lesson here is this: don't judge people without getting to know them first. Don't believe in the "high school movie" clique rule. Be friends with all kinds of people. Cliche as it sounds, people can surprise you. I mean, they surprised me.

Give people a chance. People aren't flat pieces of paper. Look beyond what can be seen. They're made of layers and layers of good and nasty stuff, and that makes them even more interesting. 

Photo credit: Michael Discenza 
3 comments on "On Giving People a Chance"
  1. you mentioned some valid points about the life. But after all, you have to face some ups and downs. OH wait, my uncle just found a paperstock review for me. thanks for sharing!!


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