Welcome to Ask April, a no-nonsense advice column focusing on what it is you can do to correct things that need correcting. While we all know much in life is out of our control, and sometimes, our reaction is all we CAN control, we really do have a lot of personal power, thankfully. Our will is just as important as the wills of others around us, and while we need to be considerate, we also need to make sure others are equally considerate of us. It is my hope that when you write in to me, asking advice that I can help you make a good decision that somehow improves whatever situation you’ve found yourself in. As with anything I share, I recommend people don’t automatically take my word for anything, but include my advice in with the rest of the things that help them make a decision. I wish you well. Read on.
This week’s advice column is not in orthodox question and answer style.
It is the result of a conversation I had. A confidential one, but one that raised an issue worth sharing simply because it is an issue so many people struggle with.
Somebody had a bad feeling about somebody else and wanted my input because they were worried maybe they were being unfair to the person who they found off putting.
Due to the need for confidentiality, I will not share the very valid reasons there were a lot of red flags, and the things other people had to say about it. The fact is, it really does not matter what other people said that validated what my friend was concerned about. My friend found said individual worrisome. It was a gut instinct telling my friend to stay away, but without understanding why, the logical side made her question her intuition.
My gut has saved me countless times. My friend is a good hearted person, and wants to make the World a better place. She does this is small ways and in large ways as well. To me, that should have been enough for my friend to send the individual away.
Unfortunately, many of us don’t trust our guts. We suffer from the illusion that we have to give everybody a chance no matter what. Unfortunately, though, some people demonstrate chances are wasted on them. Listening to that initial “send the fucker away” would save us all a lot of time and trouble.
I’ll give an unrelated example.
I used to shop at a Borders Bookstore in Columbus, Ohio back in the good old days when it was still open. I was engaged, and the fiancée and I were probably there at least once a week, sometimes even twice a week.
There was this guy who also shopped there, who just gave me the creeps the first time I saw him, and I just couldn’t tell you why. He was not attractive, but I was not single.
He just looked yucky.
I could not understand why because he was clean and dressed decently. He just looked like a damn slime ball.
And of course, he wanted to talk to me. I didn’t fucking want to, but I fought my initial desire to run like hell from him because I wanted to be a nice person and give him a chance.
It turned out he wanted to talk sex. I did not want to, and no matter how many times I said so, he always brought the topic up. Because I tried to be “nice and give him a chance”, it took a screaming fit to finally get him to stay away. To this day, I throw up in my mouth a little when I think of the creep.
Human beings are blessed with a little warning mechanism inside our guts that tells us to stay the fuck away from certain things or certain people.
The problem is we either decide it might be fun to “be bad” and see how far we can push fate, or we just don’t want to hurt somebody’s feelings and explain we don’t want to communicate with them.
What if they are not trouble and we just dislike their personality even if they would not harm us? Is it wrong to not want to be around then? Absolutely not. There are an estimated 7.4 billion people in the world. If you don’t want to be around them, they have PLENTY of other people to choose from.
I would just like to see more of us listen to ourselves about other people. It’s okay to, and there is no need to feel guilty. Believe me, there are other people put off by each of us the first time they meet us as well, and they don’t stifle their impulse to stay away.
It’s okay for them, and it’s okay for us. Follow your gut.