I want to believe the best in others. In fact, anytime I meet someone knew I give them the benefit of the doubt, even if I’ve heard things about them that might give others pause. I guess I’m just naive maybe, but I think I should get to know someone myself before judging them. Too often I think we tend to judge others based on hearsay instead of talking to them first.
I’ll admit I’m not perfect. Maybe that’s why I want to give others a chance, because I wish they wouldn’t pre-judge me. That’s one of the glories of human nature, though, and too many have bought into the theory that if enough people say something that makes it true. Too often those mistaken beliefs will cloud our vision. That’s not to say that sometimes those rumours and assertions aren’t true, because, yes, sometimes they are, but let me find that out for myself.
Perhaps that’s why I have several friends who don’t seem to have any other friends besides me. Which is okay by me. It’s like finding diamonds in the rough, like I have a secret society of superheroes who have powers others simply don’t appreciate. Now, that doesn’t mean I let people walk all over me. Don’t mistake my kindness for weakness, but I do give people that benefit of the doubt. I believe wholeheartedly in the adage, “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
But romantic relationships are different, though, right? We guard our hearts like a vault. But I will admit I haven’t. I’ve given the women I’ve been attracted to even more leeway to destroy my heart. My relationships have tended to end badly because I fell relatively fast for each and every one of those women without taking the time necessary to truly know them, to see if our personalities truly meshed or if it was just physical chemistry. I have always looked for those reasons to believe.
I don’t blame them, either. They were being themselves. I just didn’t realize what I was really looking for, so when I saw one piece of the puzzle that fit I thought the entire thing was perfect. As time evolved in each situation, though, there were cracks in the foundation that showed up and overwhelmed me. Too often my heart was tied up in it already, and I overlooked those cracks until the water seeping in became a deluge that threatened to drown me in its ferocity.
You see, it’s never black and white. Those reasons to believe exist in many shades of gray, and which ones to trust are more difficult to figure out than the weather in upstate New York. It’s true of potential friendships, of possible lovers, or of anyone you happen to meet for the first time. Sometimes you can search and search, and give people the benefit of the doubt, but in the end those reasons just aren’t there. Then you have to let them go, no matter how much you’ve invested in them, because you have to think of yourself and your state of mind foremost.
It’s your life. Believe the best in others, but don’t turn a blind eye to potential issues. It’s what’s best for you without cutting yourself off completely from others because people in your past abused your trust. Human nature is a complicated thing, but no more complicated than you allow it to be. I try to keep that in mind when it comes to my own friends, and I think it helps to remember that in the end I’m in control of what I let myself believe.