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People Change

Date - 30 April 2016/ Category - Facts Of Life
Facts of life

I’ve spoken before that there isn’t a fine line between good and evil, the world is just a melting pot of good things, bad things and questionable things that pretty much paints a picture in grey.

The amazing thing about good and bad is the ability of rich and successful people to paint over the bits they don’t like, usually with the media’s help to create a heightened reality of themselves. It’s why we think celebrities are amazing in comparison to ourselves and yet they aren’t, they face the same struggles day in day out.

If we ignore then that some people who do amazing things also do very bad things, we find ourselves with a lot of people who do some good and some bad, with the general consensus that society has thrived because we do more good than bad overall.

Let’s look at your friends and colleagues then, amongst them will be some great people that you respect because of the things that they have done or the way they act. Well I’ve got news for you, some of these people are going to change and do bad things, it’s only natural.

Now when I say bad, that doesn’t mean evil. I mean the guy who wants to buy you a round every Friday might become a scrooge who never wants to help you out, or the friend that doesn’t mind covering for you when you need to leave early will one day drop you in it to get a leg up themselves.

I know you’re probably thinking this is a very cynical way of viewing the world but it’s not and here’s why. If you were going to go to a casino and bet on red, you’d be a fool for thinking it would always come out red.

Yet this is what we do, we assume your friends will always come out red, but they can’t because there are so many factors in life that we both can and can’t see that affect other people and their behaviours that one day they will come out black.

This isn’t a lecture to say be careful of these people, it’s more a way of saying forgive them, this stuff happens. The key is how they react and if they will get over it and go back to red.

I’ll give you a few examples. A friend of mine recommended a floor guy to do some work on my house, and when the work was done the friend came round and spotted a fault. So I rang the floor guy and told him about this. The friend immediately felt betrayed and I can see why, I dropped them in it.

This made me look bad. I could have left them out of it, and now I had created tension between him and his friend the floor guy. My solution was to own up and say sorry. We moved on.

In another example, I used to have this kind of mentor, in fact I signed his leaving card to Yoda (Star Wars). He was this really humble, great guy who had loads of ideas and was there for me when I moved to the Isle of Man and started my first job there. Anyhow after a while he left to go to a competitor and that was it, like a lifeline he’d gone. I spent the next two years wondering why my work colleague had never come back for me, he knew I was capable I had heard the competitor was doing some big things but an approach to even chat never came.

A few years later I went to set up a company for the owner of that business and on my first day I came across yoda. He greeted me in a hugely patronising way, going on the talk about how I’d fail and he couldn’t understand why they would want me.

It turned out that two years back he’d actually taken a job that was more suited to my skills than his, hence not coming back for me. He was protecting his own station. Things hadn’t gone great, despite a huge pay rise for him, and because of this when it was announced that I was setting up a new rival, rather than greeting me as a friend he greeted me as a threat.

Now I know deep down this guy is a good person, but his reaction on that day and every day since had been one that’s both patronising and cold.

I never thought that my relationship with this person, someone whom I had held aloft as one of the good guys could ever be a negative one, and yet here I am to this day unable to rectify it.

It’s a sad but true fact that the pressures on him to provide for his family through maintaining his earnings, perhaps save face in the presence of someone he knows can do the job better and obviously the stress he’s under to maintain performance has changed his outward behaviour from red to black.

His saving grace though is that I understand this. Most people would react negatively to him but I didn’t. I see his pain and I understand the effect it’s having on him. This makes me the better man.

Chapter Summary:

• People are a mixture of good and bad but we often choose to focus only on one side
• Friends come and go
• Peoples behaviours are influenced by multiple factors and as we all have different factors affecting our lives it’s hard for like minded people to remain the same

Read our next blog post “You can’t help everyone”.