I wasn’t sure how to call this blogpost or how to even start writing it. I just knew I had to blog about this, because it’s so intriguing to me. It’s about how my perception of someone can change instantly when they share one thing about themselves. It doesn’t change who they are, but it does change the way I see them.
Perception is everything. It influences how you see yourself, your life and all the people you meet. It affects how you view certain situations and respond to them. Perception is extremely powerful; it determines your mood and overall happiness. And luckily, it’s entirely under our control.
The most beautiful people
A while ago I blogged about the darker side of life and how it’s important to acknowledge that life has its downsides. It’s not bad at all, it shapes us as people and makes us grateful for everything we have accomplished so far. I want to add an extra dimension to this theory though. I feel like when someone’s been through a dark or difficult time, there’s something ‘special’ about them. You can’t always see it, although sometimes you can, but it’s like an energy surrounds them. It’s like they’ve seen things most people haven’t seen and can come across a little haunted. By the way: I believe this is absolutely BEAUTIFUL. The most beautiful people are haunted people, if you ask me.
I wrote this post because I feel that I am quite judgemental. When I meet someone I immediately have an opinion (I guess that’s human) and it’s not always a good one. I categorize people based on what I see and it’s quite superficial. Most of the time my opinion changes after I get to know someone, but sometimes it changes instantly. I can give you two examples of what I mean.
1. The beautifully haunted girl
The first example is from a while back, when I was doing research at a university hospital. I was given an office with two other girls who were both doing research as well. One girl was slim and beautiful, the other a little heavier and very friendly. See: this is exactly how I labelled them. The beautiful girl was beautiful yet cold, the heavier girl was super friendly. One day I was talking to the beautiful girl and she told me her father was missing. He had been missing for years and nobody knew where he was or if he was even still alive. I got goosebumps while she was telling this story and everything I thought she was disappeared instantly from my mind. All those judgments and opinions were replaced with sympathy, respect and kindness. She was special. She was haunted. I could relate to her.
2. The sad, preoccupied girl
A second example is also from a co-worker, at an internship. This was a girl I kind of looked up to, but never spoke to. She seemed a little arrogant and was always very busy, but we never really worked closely together so I didn’t know her (judgment = she was arrogant). One day we were driving somewhere together and she told me her mother was dying. She had been sick for a while and wasn’t going to get better. BAM, judgment gone, intimidation gone. What was left was a beautiful, vulnerable human being. We spoke for a long time and I realized we had a lot in common. I also realized she wasn’t arrogant at all, she just had a lot on her mind.
Unfortunately I lost touch with both these girls, but in both examples all my judgments I had about them faded that day, all because of one story. That doesn’t mean I only like people who have been through something difficult, but it does somehow make them more interesting and more human. Of course, I also relate to these stories because I lost my father at a young age, which means I feel a bond with anyone who has gone through something similar. But it just goes to show how superficial first impressions are and how we form judgments based on absolutely nothing. It also means that these judgments are empty; they say nothing about the person we judge and everything about ourselves. This is something life has taught me and something I always keep in mind when I meet someone for the first time. I don’t know what haunts them – I don’t know their story. I have no idea what’s behind a face, look, smile, or a frown. So I need to think twice before judging someone.