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Surprise.  Have you ever surprised yourself?  Have you ever sized up someone or a situation and found out you were so off target that you were surprised or maybe even shocked?

I have a little story to share with you about this.  My cousin, Ron, whom I adore shared a little story with me about when this happened to him.

Ron was in graduate school.  He was pre med with the intention of becoming a psychiatrist (which is his today).   Ron had a roommate.  Ron did not enjoy life with this roommate.  The roomie was messy.  Ron and the roommate did not click.  Ron is a guy that likes fun.  He is not a stick in the mud.  Ron also enjoys parties.  Despite this Ron did not have a high regard for his roomie.  He thought his roomie was a slacker, a dreamer, a coaster.   Ron also thoughthis roomie had no focus, and perhaps was not particularly “on the ball.”

Ron and his roomie parted company.  Ron was happy to be away from his roomie.  Here comes the shocking, surprising part.  A few years after Ron and his roomie parted Ron went to see a show, Rent.  Ron loved Rent.  he thought it was fresh and entertaining.  Guess who wrote Rent?  Ron’s roomie – the slacker, the coaster. 

For whatever reason Ron, a perceptive guy who is an occupation that requires a deep understanding of people goofed.  He misjudged someone.  Not a big deal, it probably happens all the time.  

So what is going on in your head.  Are you judging people?  Are you misjudging people?  Do you jump to conclusions?  Does this interfere in your relationships with people? 

Here is how this works.  You meet someone, you access them and your mind is made up.  That is okay because you need to protect yourself and some people can be toxic. 

But what about when this happens to people you care about?  Here is how that goes.  You care about someone but they do or say things that bother you.  These things they do or say that bother you sit on your mind.  You start to analyze and editorialize these behaviors.  The truth is you do not know what is going on in someone else’s mind unless they tell you or unless you ask them.

Here is a concrete example.  I have a friend Pam.  She and her husband, Wil,  were planning a vacation.  Pam was going to work on this vacation.  She also wanted to take her kids along.  Wil wanted to do some things alone while Pam was working.  Wil did not want to take the kids along.  These are the facts of the story.

Her comes the jumping to conclusions and judgements.  Pam was annoyed at Wil that he did not want to take the kids.  Pam was annoyed at Wil that he wanted to do some things on the vacation while Pam was working. 

Wil was now bad and selfish in Pam’s mind.  I brought up the idea that maybe Wil wanted to leave the kids home so he could be alone with Pam.  Maybe Wil wanted to leave the kids home so he could pursue what he enjoyed while Pam was working.  Pam shut me down immediately.  Wil was selfish.  Wil wants to do what he wants to do.  No one asked Wil why he felt the way he did.  Pam answered for him.  Th end result was Pam was angry with Wil. 

Somewhere along the line Pam took the facts and editorialized them to fit her judgements.  This is where we get in trouble and make life hard for ourselves.  We jump to conclusions and life gets messy. 

Try ot keep an open mind.  Try to understand what someone is saying to you.  Even if you jump to a conclusion check it out with the other person to see if you are off or on track.  Stop making your life hard and combative.   Give in to the possibility that you don’t know everything about another person.  Give in to the possibility that no matter how well you know someone you can always know them better, deeper, closer. 

Marcia, Your Confidence Coach

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March 21, 2007 - Posted by | self improvement, shortcomings

1 Comment »

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