I am pretty sure that I am not alone when I say that some times it is very difficult to allow people I know to change. I develop an opinion of a person and that prevails no matter what events take place after the opinion is developed. Now, I do not do this in all circumstances but I must admit that there are some individuals that this is how I handle them. It is not something that I am proud of and it is something that I strive to be very mindful of as I interact with individuals, especially over a period of time.
There are many factors that influence my formation of an opinion regarding a person’s character. One of the major factors is my observation of their behavior towards others and myself. If I have a series of negative encounters with the individual, my opinion of them seems to be negative. Another factor is the way they engage in conversations. If they seem combative or arrogant in the conversations, then I tend to form a negative opinion of them. If I have been made aware of hurtful actions on their part, then I have a negative view of them.
However, lately I have become more mindful of the unfairness of my maintaining of a negative opinion toward another person. Especially if the factors that had led me to a negative opinion no longer exist. I am not allowing the individual to change. Since I believe that all people have the ability to change and transform into something better than where they currently are, my beliefs do not seem to align with my behavior. Each of us are dealing with a multitude of situations in our lives. These situations can have an impact upon our behaviors. Over time, the situations may change and therefore we are open to a change in our behavior. A change in behavior should allow others to have an opportunity to change their opinion of us.
I know that in my life, there have been a lot of changes. My viewpoints on situations have changed. I have matured as I have been exposed to a broader range of viewpoints, opinions, and experiences. These changes have led to a change in how I interact with people, what I view as important, how I respond to situations. If I have experienced this, what could lead me to believe that others have not experienced this. If they have changed, why should I keep the same opinion of them as I did in previous interactions and relationships.
So today, I am challenged to make sure that I am allowing people to change. I am challenged that I do not leave individuals in the pigeon holes that I placed them on earlier encounters. I am going to strive to view people who I may have known a short amount of time or that I have known for years to change. That is what I would want them to do for me.