a parade of red flags

I’m doing an isolation journal prompt series and welcome you to join! I’m only sharing responses to prompts that feel acceptable enough to share (don’t involve others for example).

Prompt

Write about a time where you were dead wrong about someone.

I have major lacunae in my judgment of others. I’m adept at finding rare, lovely souls and horrible at realizing rotten ones. I’m regularly wrong about people and it’s never in a positive way. The vast majority of people sit in the “generally good” pile in my mind with a small group reaching near mental sainthood. That “generally good” label shouldn’t apply to everyone though and from time to time I suddenly realize I’ve gotten a bit too close to people with a parade of red flags. In some cases, it’s been with folks that I thought were lovely and rare. How did this happen again? I seem to have a form of emotional colorblindness leading to these red flags being hidden from me. In a way, I love this innocent part of me that would rather see most people as generally good rather than spending time finding the folks to avoid. It reflects my default desire to find reasons to connect. At least now that I’m older, I can laugh and sigh when I’m wrong rather than be a mess of disappointment and disbelief like I was growing up! I’m a quick learner and trust myself now when the red flags appear.

2 comments

  1. I was forever falling in “like” with my IDEA’s of who others were. Not the actual person, but that artificial extract. They were nice people according to situation and that’s contingent. I gave up on that. I like people but will never actually know anyone because we are not singularities but ever changing and often mercurial in nature no matter what is presented. I have to add that I am, of course, the same. There are a number of people who liked me at first and then ended up the opposite.
    Thanks for this post. Most interesting!

    1. YES! I hear you there. I’ve very much been there. I think often of the work needing to be done to re-learn even long term friends and, at the same time, offering the chance for others to re-learn you rather than get frustrated. In any case, another quote for you 🙂

      “We are not the same persons this year as last; nor are those we love. It is a happy chance if we, changing, continue to love a changed person.” – W. Somerset Maugham

      I wish for you to have many happy chances.

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