There's this person at work who's been driving me nuts for the last month or so. There's no need to get into all the gory details here, of course. Let's just say it seemed he was constantly interfering and trying to control. I've always had trouble getting along with controlling, interfering types — I'm far too independent for that — and I was getting really frustrated with him.
I had a meeting with him today. I was ready to be all over him. I even had stuff I'd printed out to document all the things he'd been doing wrong. Fortunately, I let him go first.
You know what?
Turns out he had no idea he was being such a jerk. He was completely unaware of how mad I was at him. He thought much better of me than I realized and was taken aback when he found out I thought he had a bad attitude toward me.
There were a few things that needed to be cleared up. I did have one or two legitimate complaints. But he's not a big green monster. A lot of the problem was my own misunderstanding. I just didn't have all the facts. I'd gotten emotional and let my imagination run loose. It ran in the wrong direction.
"Jerks usually don't know they're being jerks," Dad told me once. I didn't take him seriously at the time. The jerk in question should have known better, as far as I was concerned. That "jerk" and I are now getting along again as coworkers.
This isn't the first time I've had this happen. I realized a long time ago that my perceptions can be deceptive, and when my emotions start heating up this way, I need to be careful. No question, I've encountered a few truly nasty people. But most folks are just ordinary folks, and if I give them a chance, usually we can work things out.
Once again I'm reminded:
Don't jump to conclusions. And don't ever write people off until they prove they really deserve it.