Think about one of the worst days you’ve ever had. Now, imagine that on that same day someone meets you for the first time. If they were to form their opinion of you based solely on that encounter, would their impression of you be accurate? Probably not.
But seeing as how they don’t know any different, they immediately judge your character and leave with the mindset that you are a rude, angry person. In reality, you’re just having a bad day and anyone who really knows you could easily testify of your true character.
I endeavor to think this way whenever I run across people who are behaving in an unfriendly manner. Maybe they were just given bad news, had an argument with a spouse, lost a loved one, a job, their home. Fact is, is that we don’t know what people are going through or what’s causing them to behave a certain way. Because of that, it is unfair of us to form an opinion of them based on nothing more than that first encounter.
We should give people chances. Several, if necessary. For one particular woman who I see frequently, I have done just that.
The first time I encountered her, she was extremely rude toward me. Maybe she was having a bad day? Second chance – She rolled her eyes at someone who was trying to make friendly conversation with her. Maybe she’s still having a bad day? Third chance – She snapped at an elderly lady who was doing nothing, but being gentle and sweet. Bad day or not, there is never an excuse for that.
Even still, I gave her more chances to prove me wrong about her character. Fast forward several months …nothing has changed. She’s consistently rude. Every day to everyone.
I tried to like her. But her behavior won’t allow me to.
I’m a firm believer in that everyone should be given the benefit of the doubt. People have bad days, but those days shouldn’t define their character. So it’s very disappointing to me that this woman’s character is defined by her bad days – because bad days are all I’ve ever seen her have.
Even more disappointing is that people allow themselves to live such miserable lives. Life is too short to be angry all the time. Be happy. Smile.
Most of all, be true to your character. If you’re kind, be kind. If you’re loving, love. If you’re mean…change.