Who knew paper could be so sharp?
In the blink of an eye it can ninja-slice your finger and leave you with the agony of its sting. Papercuts are almost invisible – unless you look really, really, really closely for them. They don’t tend to bleed, so you are stripped of your right to take a picture of it and send it to your friends for sympathy. They hurt like hell, but you can’t moan about it without sounding like a wimp.
Papercuts are annoying, stealthy and unexpected. Fact.
Have you ever seen someone from across the room and their apparent demeanour just puts you off?
Have you ever met someone and for reasons you can’t quite pinpoint, you find yourself not wanting anything serious to do with them?
Have you ever used the phrases, “I just don’t think we’ll get along“, “they just don’t seem like a good character, you know?” or “they just seem to rub me up the wrong way” without really spending any significant amount of time or effort to get to know someone?
Just like that insidious papercut, you have emotions that you are pinning onto this new person, without giving them a chance. We are all guilty of it, unfortunately. We make an initial judgement before we get too close – it’s a defence mechanism. In an effort not to expose ourselves and be vulnerable to the external world, we put on our metaphorical Google glasses and collect data about the other person even before we truly interact with them. From a distance, we inspect their behaviour, the way they react to those around them, how they laugh, how they talk – the list is endless, and exhausting. How creepy is that? I would hate it if someone monitored me like that, and then decided a category and label for me.
Let’s just ease up on the weirdo-creepy attitude, and give people a chance. When you drop your guard and cross your imaginary moat you may actually surprise yourself by making a new friend or forming a new relationship. Of course, we don’t all live in Cloud Cuckoo Land and we may also find that the people we interact with aren’t pleasant – but at least you gave it a shot! In a world where a lot of information about you and I is available for public viewing on the internet, we can fall into the trap of feeling entitled to judge someone with all the data we can collect about them from a distance, rather than waiting for a real conversation to occur. The age of technology has made personal interaction even more fun and an adventure than ever before, so enjoy it. Whether your experiences are good or not so good, at least you let go of your previous hang-ups and stinging papercuts so that you could live the human experience for that moment in time.