Dreading a change in schools recently, my eldest daughter shared with me a negative comment repeated to her by one of her peers of which was overheard from an adult, regarding her soon to be school. Such a comment had her (my daughter) very much uneasy about the new school environment.
To her comment I answered “Do not allow the opinions of others to become your opinion before you have had your own experience with a particular person, place or thing”. Why? Because your favor is different from their favor…..the environment, the atmosphere, certain personalities will respond to you entirely different than it would/will to another individual. These were not just words of comfort for my dear child but words of which I truly live by.
Prime example, have you ever had a negative experience with a person, place or thing and shared that experience with someone else who had also encountered the same person, place or thing? Only to realize that their experience was 100% positive? In that moment of sharing, you probably found yourself trying to justify your negative experience as not only the norm but to convince the other person to see things the way that you – experienced it.
Outside of that moment, once you have had the time to reflect, what did you ask yourself? Hopefully one or two of the following;
What were my motives for sharing this negative experience?
Can this individual/audience handle this negative experience? Consider this especially in the realm of young people.
Was my experience the overwhelmingly consistent “norm” regarding this person, place or thing?