I’ll be the first to admit that I have a tendency to make a quick judgement on people when I first see or meet them. I’m pretty sure I’m not alone in that either. As I’ve grown more in the past handful of years though, I’ve made a real effort to give people the benefit of the doubt because maybe there’s a story going on that I’m not aware of…
Maybe that $%^&* driver is not just some reckless, haphazard driver, but is rushing to get to the hospital for some major emergency. It’s quite possible that the obese person doesn’t eat too much – maybe there’s actually a medical reason behind it. What about the person that seems like every decision they make is illogical… could there actually be a sound reason that they’re making those decisions that I don’t know about?
It’s tough not to judge a book by its cover, but it’s also important to remember that it’s not usually the whole story.
Everyone’s got something going on in their life and we don’t usually know what that is. Most of us tend to just focus on what we see without even questioning that it might not be the truth.
On my quest for finding out a little more about people, I thought it would make sense to do a little bit of self-examination and throw out some of my quirky issues. Here are some things that people don’t necessarily know about me and might judge me for before they get to know me:
- I make conversation with people I don’t know. For some reason, I feel the need to make conversation with strangers. Whether it’s customers or employees at the grocery store, waitresses or bartenders at restaurants and bars, or other parents at our daughter’s school, I just go into social mode and start making some conversation. Doesn’t sound that unusual, right? But here’s why this is a great example of not judging… I’m not a people person. Yes, we have a good number of friends and I enjoy hanging out with
allmost of them, but for the most part, I really don’t like people as a whole. So why do I do it? Not sure… maybe it’s a problem with being insecure, but who knows? I’m pretty good at being personable though and you would never know that I’m not really a people person.
- I don’t care about clothes. That’s a tough one for a lot of people – some people feel that clothes make the man. That doesn’t do it for me. Sure I’ll wear a nice suit for a wedding or on a formal night when on a cruise, but chances are, you’ll find me in either a T-shirt and shorts or in jeans and a hoodie. And the zinger is that it’s usually a free shirt I’ve gotten somewhere or a Christmas gift or something. Otherwise, it’s me buying maybe one or two things a year from Walmart. And I really don’t care about style – if I wear something long enough, I figure that it’ll come back around eventually.
- Fancy cars are not important to me. Yes, I read Consumer Reports and find the best “American” car that I should buy. I bought a new Chevy Malibu back in 2009 and plan on driving it until it dies. Recently, I decided that I will never buy another new car again – all you do is lose a ton of money as soon as you drive it off the lot. I’ll still buy the recommended car from Consumer Reports, except now it will be a car that’s a year or two old… and I’ll still run it into the ground.
- I’m a better driver than everyone on the road. Yup, I’m one of those people who complains that the people I’m following are driving too slow and the people on my butt are driving too fast. Ask my wife and she’ll tell you – she spends a lot of time rolling her eyes at me in the car. I will say that back in the day I used to be a much more aggressive driver than I am nowadays. For the past handful of years now since we’ve moved into our current house, the majority of my driving is to and from work and is a nice mellow drive through some back roads and the park, so that’s helped to make me a little less crazy.
- I don’t believe in keeping up with the Joneses. We live in a pretty nice middle-class suburban house in a big development – nothing fancy, but still a nice house. However, people might look at it and think we’re living all high and mighty. What they don’t know is that we got it at a fantastic price and they would be very surprised to find that we don’t have any fancy furniture/decor and have cheap linoleum flooring in the kitchen. I do make small improvements as we’re going… I’ve changed out all the brass decor and light fixtures with nickel after about six years, but chances of us doing any remodeling, putting in a new patio, etc. is just not going to happen. I watch people spend a fortune working on their house and it drives me bonkers. It’s not a matter of if this is right or wrong – it’s just the way my mind works.
Yes, the majority of my issues revolve around money. It’s not that I don’t like fancy junk like sports cars and I could easily afford one – it’s more that I don’t care about that stuff. For me, if it’s going to hinder my path to financial independence, then I would prefer to skip that. If I had a few million dollars in the bank would I be driving a fancier car? Probably not. I might continue to buy new after running mine into the ground, but that’s really about it. We do tend to spend a little more money on experiences though – like vacations and cruises, camping, and other small trips.
But for people who first meet me, they might think look at me and think I’m just another schlub that is working his way in a dead-end job and can’t afford any “nice things.” If you didn’t know who Warren Buffet was, you would think he’s just a poor old man living in some cheap house. He bought the house he lived in for most of his life in 1958 in Omaha Nebraska for $31,500. As of this writing, he’s worth $68.5 billion!! And I’m no Warren Buffet, but my point is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. People do know who Warren Buffet is and how much he’s worth, so they don’t look down at him because they know he could buy whatever his heart desires.
Everyone’s got issues and everyone’s got problems, but more importantly, everyone’s got a story. My goal is to find out what that story is. So I thought I would start with my readers…
Please take a minute and share a little bit about yourself and what your story is (doesn’t have to be related to finances either)!
I would love to get to know you guys and your story!
Thanks for reading!!