Chances are I know someone in Revelstoke who knows you, such is the life of a resident in a small town.
Some days it is amazing for having a friend in common makes introductions easier plus. The more people we know, the more stories we hear about.
On other days, I have mixed feelings.
It is much more difficult to leave behind your past when everyone is separated by only one degree.
If I meet someone new I can always reach out to a mutual friend and ask for more information.
Although I always want honest answers and I would never ask for an opinion from someone unless I trusted and valued their opinion, it seems unfair.
Everyone’s experience with another person is different.
Everyone values different things in their friends and acquaintances. Everyone gets annoyed by different things.
Everyone also has bad days. Yes, they may have been rude to you, or perhaps ignored your greeting, but perhaps their mom just died or they are worried about paying their rent next month.
There are so many factors influencing how we treat each other and no one is perfect.
Should I really let someone else’s experience colour how I think of a new person?
On the other hand, if they were hateful or mean to someone I care about, I want to know.
So where do we draw the line?
I don’t want to waste time getting to know someone who everyone knows is a bully so asking about them is a good way to fast track, however, I need to remember to take every opinion with a grain of salt.
If someone was rude to you 20 years ago, you may still hold a grudge. Humans are weird like that. But a lot of growing and changing can be done in 20 years.
I have a friend who was looking for a job last year. She would stop me every time I would say, “I heard that working at this place isn’t great…”
She didn’t want to know. She wanted the chance to be excited about a new job and form her own opinions.
Maybe that is the best way to go?
But I can’t help being a little bit cautious. I tend to trust people quickly and have gotten hurt in the process. It’s not only someone else’s past that influences my decisions.
On another note, I endeavour to say only nice things about people around others I don’t know very well. You never know who could be best friends with the person you are criticizing.