Wednesday, May 26, 2010

a question of like

It is possible to dislike a person and still be their friend.

Seriously. It is.

People are complicated messes, you know? There are so many nooks and crannies that make up an individual. And each nook and cranny has its own nooks and crannies.

And within each person there is good and there is bad and there is a whole bunch of in-between.

And people will view others' traits or quirks or characteristics differently. Perhaps something that you find to be a positive trait in yourself, others will see as negative. But that doesn't exactly mean they view you negatively.

Every person that you meet, you take them in. You see what they're about. You form opinions about them. And then you decide - Am I willing to accept this person, as they are, good and bad? If the answer is yes, then you move forward together. If the answer is no, then you part ways.

But everything that you think about other people is merely opinion. If you know someone who talks about themselves frequently, you might see that as bragging. Someone else might see it as self-confidence. The actual person might think they are just making conversation.

Because people are complex. They bring so much along with them everywhere they go. And there is so much you will never know about every person you meet.

But at the same time, everyone is fully entitled to their opinions. And if you don't like someones opinion of you, well, that's life. (No one likes to hear that someone thinks something unflattering about them but at the same time, it's unlikely that you have a fully positive opinion of everyone you meet.) You can look at yourself and try to see why they might have that opinion. You might think it's worth it to talk to the other person about it. Or maybe you don't. You might simply decide you don't agree and go on with your life.

But a disagreement, a difference of opinion, doesn't have to be a deal-breaker. It can just be a piece of you. Good, bad, or something in-between.

Because sometimes (lots of times) the sum of the whole is so much greater than the individual pieces themselves.

And it'd be a shame to miss it all because of one little nook.


Kirsten said...

I never really thought of relationships like this before, but it's true. It's like making a list of pros and cons about how you feel about someone. Usually if the pros outweigh the cons, the relationship will continue. Sometimes they don't and, as you said, you move on. And your example of a person who may be viewed as self-confident, bragging, or just making conversation? I love it. Because it takes into consideration the fact that every person is an individual and their own personal history is what brought them to this point and possibly this point of view.

Jade @ Tasting Grace said...

Thank you for sharing this. There is a lot to chew on, and I think I'll be thinking about this for a while. I, too, like your example of the person who might be bragging, confident, or just making conversation. It might even be more complex if the person is actually insecure, but TRYING to be confident. There are lots of reasons we might do the things we do, and usually we don't share them with the world - or it's not always transparent.

And even if the cons outweigh the pros sometimes, it doesn't mean you necessarily have bad feelings towards the person. You might just not get along really well with them, but you still want good things to happen for them and for them to lead a happy, fulfilling life. You may even hope that one day something will change and you'll be at better ease with each other.

Relationships are never really easy. If they were, they might not mean so much to us. But I think it's really beautiful that what you seem to be saying is that it's not easy. But it's okay to be okay with that.

Heart2Heart said...

Well said, leave the judging of the book by it's cover to the author of of life and really get to know the person inside.

Love and Hugs ~~ Kat

Corinne said...

I am so very nosy, I'm dying to know if something happened to put the last two posts into motion! :)
But regardless, this is so well written, such an eloquent essay on friendship and acceptance.