The Good, The Bad, and the Fallout
October 12, 2016
It's been a helluva summer. I've made new friends, lost cherished friends, and found out just what some fair weather friends think of me. It was definitely an eye-opener. But what have I learned from all of this? What can I take away from the experience to make me a better person?
This spawned an entire afternoon of contemplation...
The Good Person - is truthful, honest, caring, compassionate, friendly, not intrusive, sympathetic, altruistic, wise...this is just a small list. However, everyone has that gray area - truthful unless it's hurtful; honest unless it will cause harm; caring and compassionate can become enabling; friendly but not intrusive is a fine line for everyone to balance; sympathetic but not gushing and false sounding; altruistic, but with caution so as not to be taken advantage of; wise...well, that depends on what you might need that wisdom for.
The Bad Person - self-serving, narcissistic, mean, dishonest, unfeeling, rude, aggressive, anti-social, abusive...I could go on. But even in this there is the gray area - self-serving and narcissistic to some may be simply a question of how their actions are perceived; mean or rude depends on how the receiver may also be feeling at the moment; Aggressive or abusive again depends on how the receiver feels about the action in the moment, such as masochists enjoy pain; antisocial may simply be a shy or introverted person.
So what was the fallout? Well, here's the thing - we are all human, with good traits and bad traits. The most we can do is to try and improve ourselves by recognizing this simple fact. if we screw up, then apologize. Whether or not that apology is accepted is not your call. If we hurt someone through a thoughtless act, apologize and try to correct that behavior. However, do not beat yourself up about it. How others perceive you is not your worry. As a friend once told me, what looks good on paper, may not be so great in real life. People make mistakes; they make promises they can't keep; they change their minds; they may misconstrue your words or actions - forgive them.
And forgive yourself.
After all, we are human. We are constantly evolving; constantly changing; constantly improving. Sometimes we are the heroes. Sometimes we are the victims. And sometimes, yes, we are the bad guy.
If we recognize this fact, then we are one step closer to understanding ourselves and each other.