By: Kate Krassowski, Guest Blogger
I believe anyone can change for the better if given the chance. But I feel a lot of times other people don’t allow that change to happen. Reputation is a dangerous thing. We punish each other for too long for choices we’ve made or for the type of person we have become, when sometimes all anyone needs is help finding their way back.
I’m struggling finding who I used to be. I was always positive and loved being around people. In the last few years things seemed to change. My parents getting divorced was a huge part of it, and because of that, it was hard to be the happy person I was all the time because that energy was spent trying to be the positive one for my family. When my friends wanted me to go out with them or go to a concert I was too exhausted from being the glue in my family that all I wanted to do was stay in and watch a movie. Not that staying in is a bad thing, but I’ve realized just in these last few weeks that all those times I did that are now coming back to haunt me. I have a reputation of being this person that’s not much fun to be around. It hurts to hear those things, especially from people you love. And it hurts even more that those comments are more judgmental than helpful. They’re more heartbreaking than heartfelt. But here I am again, letting people dictate how I react to life, and how I see myself. It upsets me that that is how people think of me. I shouldn’t care what people think, and if they are really my friends and care then they should understand where I was coming from during that time in my life and support me instead of tearing me down, right?
Well, that’s not always the case. Just like I got stuck in my ways of shutting people out and festering in my own problems, people’s perception of you will do the same thing. I want to change, and I want to find that girl I used to be, but it’s interesting how people judge you and have their own opinions about you. Once you change for the worse, people don’t make it so easy for you to change back. This is true not only in my situation, but in most instances, on both sides of the argument, we need to allow people to find their way back, and support them while they’re doing it.
Maybe this doesn’t make sense in your world right now, but in my life it’s a weight that I carry every day. I WANT to be better and always improve myself, but I feel like people in my life keep me in this box of “this is who you’ve become, and this is my unwavering opinion.” We are all here together, and little things like judging someone based on a past event and deciding what someone’s reputation is can ultimately destroy them. When we don’t allow each other to be better versions of ourselves, and when we don’t push each other to greatness, then all we are doing is inhibiting that person’s growth.
My soul will never grow and heal back to that girl I was before if I don’t have people in my life that will help me get there and pick me up when I fall. Surround yourself with like-minded people who won’t leave you feeling like you will never do better, like you will never be greater than who you are right now. Let go of the people in your life who won’t allow you to change and keep those who will push you to find the joy in your soul again. You can’t live this life alone, but you shouldn’t live it with anyone who’s not trying to see the best in you.
Judging is such a drag. We can all be better at showing support and sympathy!
- Next time you're tempted to judge or dismiss, stop yourself, take the time to ask respectful questions, to listen (really listen), and to understand who the person, what they have experienced, what's behind their behaviors. Everyone wins!
She moved to Los Angeles from Cleveland, OH after graduating with a B.A in Film Production from BGSU. She is passionate about speaking out against how women are viewed in the media and being part of changing it.