If you don't like me; try, try again
The first day of University in a new city in Europe. I was young and nervous. A girl caught my attention in many of my classes, she looked interesting, and I thought maybe she could be a friend, an ally at Uni. As I hopped on the bus that afternoon I saw her sitting at the back gazing out the window; there was a spot free next to her, and I made a beeline towards her.
I sat down and smiled; she did not look. I decided to speak, "I think you were sitting in many of my classes, my name is Allison, I am new here."
A look, a smile and then the answer, "I was in your classes, my name is Bettina, I have friends and don't need any more if that is what you are looking for." She then proceeded to stare out the window completley disregarding my presence..
I was horrified and thought, "What an arrogant jerk!" I wasn't planning on speaking to her again.
As time passed, we were put in work groups, seminars and had to solve case studies. We got to know each other; within six months we were friends, and we still are. I was lucky enough to be forced to work with her; otherwise, she would have remained "that jerk on the bus" for life.
Some my favorite people I didn't like when I first met them, and sometimes I disagree with them; however, they are my friends, and I adore them.
This holiday season, reach out to someone you might find different, arrogant or someone you don't always appreciate and see if you might have judged them wrong. Tell them a good story, listen to one of theirs, open your mind and your heart. You might get hurt, they might ignore you, but then again you might just be surprised.
Tis the season of giving and what better gift than the gift of understanding and a good ear. Oh and P.S. if you don't like me please do try, try again.
–Allison Ochs, Social Worker M.S.W. , Coach, Expat, Mother of three, Wife