Not Like Me

Let’s talk about something other than real estate.  The purpose of this blog is so that you can get to know me, other than as a real estate agent, after all.  Yeah, there’s a risk that you won’t ask me to be your real estate agent when you read my ‘what’s on my mind’ blogs, but that’s the point.  I’m giving you a chance to know me.

When I first started writing blogs, I found it hard to come up with a subject; but now I find that the ideas impact me like meteors hitting Earth.  Lately, I’ve had several experiences/conversations about people judging other people, harshly and unintelligently, and my view is that it’s sad, pathetic, and a flashing neon sign pointing to what I believe to be a  lack of insight on the part of the ‘judge’.   The people who have mysteriously showed up to talk to me about people judging them…JUST when I needed blog material…are a blessing.  It’s strange how that happens, and thank you.  Even though they were all, to some extent, upset, sad, angry, puzzled, any/all of the above, they got me to thinking…  So my perspective today is about how people judge others because they’re “not like me”, and the effect is has on the ones being judged.  This is a subject near and dear to me as well, because I am often misjudged.  I’m an ISTP, in case you are interested, but I actually fall near the middle of each metric.  So I can ‘go both ways’, as it were.  I’m also intelligent and strong.  I’m left brain dominant, so my risks are always educated and calculated.  And I frustrate the living stuffing out of emotion driven people.

Let me just say how happy I am that everyone is not just like ME, because nobody would ever go to a club, or on a cruise, or to karaoke.  Nobody would hunt, kill animals (but meat would magically appear for dinner); nobody would wear goatees or mullets, nobody would wear pants with words written across the bum.  Nobody would take drugs and everyone would stay as far away from doctors as they could get.  Nobody would tailgate (while on the interstate folks); nobody would practice road rage.  Everyone would watch Pride and Prejudice (With Matthew Macfayden and Keira Knightley only) over and over.  Golf would be mandatory, and adult crybabies would be banned for life.  So listen, if everyone was like me, I could bring down the economy of nightlife and vacationing, change the face of men, and keep a lot of wackos off the road…that one’s okay… and quiet things down a LOT.  And life would be very boring.  So it’s a GOOD thing we’re different. But you wouldn’t know it by how we treat one another.

I had a conversation with a friend this morning, about how much I like people who live their lives in primary colors, the ones who fly off the handle and say stupid things, but apologize a day later in colorful and heartwarming ways; the ones who have no fear of storming into a room and announcing at the top of their lungs that the music is awful, for example; people who throw out the corporate job to go DANCING.  People like that are, in my opinion, brave and colorful. Wacky, but colorful.  I like having them in my life.  Do I want them around all the time?  No way.  They might kill me.  But I admire their moxie.

I find it fascinating when I meet someone so fearful of the unknown that they plan their lives down to the second, leaving no time for spontaneity, or even laziness.  God forbid these folks have to take a risk!  No way!  And I find the high-risk people incredibly interesting, although I might think they’re a little nuts too.  See, the thing is this:  Just because someone is different does not make them bad or stupid.  It just makes them different AND it makes them interesting, like using spices and seasoning in cooking. We all, in our crazy or mysterious ways, make the world BETTER.

Interestingly, some of the characteristics in people that either attract or repel us are a simple (taken in perspective) matter of brain formation…physical…formation.  Sometimes it’s about how this or that part of your brain develops, and over which you had ZERO developmental control, and therefore can take no ownership of it.  And in fact it just might be that any characteristic you name is present in all of us on a sliding scale, not an absolute.  In other words, you have no right to judge me because I don’t do karaoke.  I will watch YOU sing, but no way will I do it and that’s OKAY.  I won’t judge you because you like it.

You’ve all seen people on the beach who are in no way suited to a small Speedo, or even a string bikini, yet they wear them and think they are the MOST desirable form on the beach.  Good for them!! Everyone else may be repulsed, or even laugh at them, but they feel GREAT.  That might be because of a characteristic called ‘ public self awareness’, that has been found to be function of brain development in the anterior cingulate cortex located in the frontal lobe region (I looked that up; I’m not that smart).  Point is, they’re not stupid; their brains just developed differently from yours.  Get over it.   I’m reading about the brain these days, because…well I like reading stuff like that.  On the other hand, that same function can cause someone to be too self-conscious, have low self esteem, the other end of that spectrum.  This point is:  Just be more careful about how you interact or treat them.  They are not boisterous like you, but they are no less worthy of respect.

Listen, that’s a vast oversimplification of a complex (to say the least) subject, but the point is that sometimes people are the way they are because of their PHYSICAL brain.  It’s not to annoy you; it’s not to manipulate you and it in no way gives you the right to judge them, aka hurt them.  If someone’s right leg is shorter than the left, you wouldn’t say they’re a bad person, would you?  Then why would you judge someone harshly because they like a different kind of music than you or because their view of the world is different?  It just makes no sense.  When you sit down with your friends to shred this person you find to be horrible, think about this stuff, if you can wrap your brain around it.  Some folks don’t have the physical brain development to be aware of their internal self anyway.  See, isn’t life interesting?

It is no secret that the left brain/right brain phenomena have been studied and well documented.  AND YET, there are those who literally HATE one another because they’re simply DIFFERENT.  This ASTOUNDS me.  Hate is a strong emotion, and dangerous.  The reality is that left brain dominant people will be frustrated with right brainers, and visa versa.  But instead of studying one another and considering the points of view, we take the easy way out and we judge and we hate.  One ‘type’ is more likely to use emotion over logic; that’s SCIENTIFICALLY documented.  Yet, we judge and we hate and we refuse to own our own ‘type’.  Why own it?  Because you may want to temper some of the behaviors that drive the others nuts.  If you have an interest in peace and respect, that is.

Hatred like that is wrong.  It’s disrespectful and undignified.  But MOSTLY…it shows that you have never studied anything about brain development, about influence styles (like Meyers-Briggs), about personality types, or about how the brain actually approaches problem solving, for example.  I studied this problem solving stuff in college and man, was I shocked into reality.  At the time, I was married to a man who built stuff while running down the road from the hardware store, bolts and nuts bouncing all around, and the project coming into formation as he ran.  Picture that.  I, on the other hand, spent months deciding and planning, thinking and budgeting…you know, the boring stuff.  Big surprise.  Once I finally said, “You know I think I like this one,” my husband was running out the door before the sentence was complete.  And you know, he ended up building the most beautiful fence, with just the right amount  of wood and nails and paint and concrete.  And he figured it all out while he ran.  That was because he used a different STYLE than me; we were in different QUADRANTS on the ‘brain’ chart.  Amazing.  I trusted him more after that for project work.  I still thought he was a bit nuts (and I was right) but I believed in his project planning after that.  More importantly I learned that just because he didn’t do it MY way, didn’t mean it would be substandard work.

I think the biggest impact of all of this is the effect the judging has on the ones being judged.  See, people of a certain ‘type’ tend to clump together.  That’s so they won’t kill each other.  Sometimes they marry each other.  And then they divorce each other. hahaha.  But the bottom line is this:  If you can open your mind even a little TINY bit, just know that your tendency to judge everyone who is not just like you is arrogant and uneducated and it’s just not smart.  It’s narrow minded and unwise.  Know that you hurt people you misjudge, because these ‘other’ people are doing what they believe to be right, what they believe to be kind, what they believe to be good.  They do it every day, all day, with the best intentions.  And then you come along and labeled them as bad, or wrong.  And you were wrong about them.  Sad thing?  You have NO idea what you’re doing.

And just because they are NOT LIKE YOU, you make the unintelligent and narrow minded judgment that they are bad and they are wrong, when in FACT, judge, it is YOU who are wrong.  Learn something about humanity if you intend to live within it.  Learn that someone being different that you is actually GOOD.  If you have the intellectual capacity and interest, you can find out what communication style works best with others who are not just like you and you may find that you have more in common than you ever thought possible.

I have a lot of friends who are very different than me, and they give my life interest and joy, laughter and experiences I’d never have otherwise.  They add spice and sparkle and flavor and color, and I love that.  Life is better if you open the doors and more importantly your mind.