Sometimes there are people in life who don’t like you. I find this all the time. People aren’t real thrilled with me, and I completely get that. We will never be BFFs. That’s okay.
(I try to tell myself it’s okay.)
The more difficult thing for me is when I don’t like someone. This seriously rarely happens. There are two people I can think of right now that I actively dislike. Sure, when I was younger the list was much longer, but most of that angst? I’m so over it.
Consider me lazy.
I don’t like wasting energy on actively disliking people.
However, some people I just don’t get.
A situation like this happened:
Take Reid, a handsome, deadly Warrior with a vulnerable center. (We’re using him as an example because he’s the hero from the book I just turned in.) I LOVE Reid. We get along totally well.
Unfortunately, he has this friend named George. (We’re using this name because I don’t know anyone named George and I’m 90% sure I’ve never named a character that.)
I seriously dislike George.
I can’t tell you anything specific about why, but I just don’t get him AT ALL.
Yet Reid insists on being one of his best friends.
I LOVE Reid. I CAN’T STAND George.
The selfish part of me wants Reid to explain himself. If he can’t offer a rational explanation for his acceptance of George, maybe I don’t love Reid as much as I thought. Maybe he’s not the best judge of character.
I’ve told Reid a lot of secrets. I don’t know how to break up with him without offending my heroine. She doesn’t want to live without him or something, which, at the moment, I find completely inconvenient all around.
So Reid and I are in this awkward point in our relationship. We both know something’s wrong. I don’t really want to tell him the truth. All this disliking makes me feel like a bad person. Admitting these words out loud means I can never take them back. Reid will know I’m not as nice as I claim to be.
Then I have this epiphany. Reid chose me as a friend, too. Sure it started out as an author/character relationship, but through this process we’ve formed something meaningful.
Here I am thinking Reid is a bad judge of character, when HE CHOSE ME.
*ponders this further*
I start to realize that if Reid set his bar higher, I might not make the cut.
*the crowd gasps*
I know. Basically, I’m spending all this active energy thinking negative thoughts about someone, and they’re probably a better person than I am. They’re probably just living their life and trying to do good where they can.
I hate that moment of, holy heels, I’m the problem. Have you ever experienced that? You’re like I HATE YOU, WORLD. I HATE YOU, BROKEN COMPUTER. I HATE YOU, BLAH BLAH BLAH (*insert your demon*).
Once your temper cools off, you realize you’re the one who spilled water on the computer. It’s really probably not the inanimate object’s fault. No one is there to monitor you though, so you raise an angry fist and spit curses anyway.
Come on, admit it. You’ve cursed inanimate objects before and then it ended up being user error.
George is not out mugging civilians or committing assault. He’s just bumbling along (I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop myself from using the word bumbling).
This is an example of how there’s multiple sides to every story. We’re not going to understand everyone, and sometimes people will rub us the wrong way. It’s our responsibility to funnel that annoyance into something positive.
Can we all be thankful for characters who are smarter than the author?
Reid totally taught me a valuable lesson, and even though I’ll probably forget with the next annoyance right around the corner, at least I’m a little better person today.
At least I caught myself from placing the blame in the wrong corner. If I can catch myself today, maybe I can catch myself next week. Hopefully, I’ll form a more positive pattern.
At the end of the day, I can’t change idiots, but I can change how I respond to them. Not that George is an idiot… *coughs*
There I go falling back into my old ways!
I am channeling this into something positive… I am channeling… I am channeling…
Did you see what George just—?!
Well. Good thing I don’t claim to be perfect. 😉
Kinley Baker (@kinleybaker)