Recently I accepted a friend request from a guy I knew in school. We never spoke to each other so it wouldn’t be appropriate to say we weren’t in touch anymore. Lets just say that the last time we sat in proximity of eachother (due to being in the same class ) was in grade ninth. Today I’m almost a graduate (another few months, hopefully). I have a strict policy of adding very few people on Facebook, yet I added him. Largely my decision was driven by intrigue. No, there is nothing romantic about what is going to follow from here.
I was inquisitive because he always seemed a little weird. He was simultaneously strange and brilliant. I was baffled by how he’s good at every subject. It was as if he had a natural aptitude for myriad, varied and absolutely different disciplines. He was as good at History as he was at Maths or Hindi for that matter. He was unbelievably energetic and restless. What he lacked was interpersonal skills (maybe more than that). His intelligence was forgotten or overshadowed by his absurd behavior. He couldn’t communicate properly. He hardly had friends and his speech rate was so fast that it rendered what he was saying incomprehensible. Make no mistake, he is not that shy and left out kid one sympathizes with. I would use my words more carefully now, but at that time he seemed like a highly functioning sociopath. He was mean, rude and unconcerned about what he said to both classmates and teachers. He seemed to be amoral and was absolutely apathetic towards norms of any kind. He also seemed to have impulse control problems.
Do you see something strange here? No, not about the person. About the rendering of the piece. I began with telling you how little I know him and I’ve followed that with a detailed (mostly disturbing) description about him. I’ve probably filled in blanks to my observations (since I’ve never interacted with the person I’ve methodically described).
Voyeurism took over me and I began stalking this rather different person. He seemed quite ‘normal’ even cool for that matter. I didn’t take into consideration that I barely knew him before I labelled him. I didn’t even think that even if he was like that he could’ve changed over so many years.
It made me wonder what people who know me from that age and have never interacted with me since would’ve labelled me as. Shy? Boring? (I mean I could be fun you never talked to me, right? ), socially awkward? Clumsy? Devoid of any personal charm… (Seems unfair 😦 )
Question your labels. Give people a SECOND CHANCE. Yes, all this stemmed from accepting a friend request. Yes, I do think a lot about everything.