Rule 40/40/20

“If you walk into a room, 40 percent of the occupants will like you, 40 percent dislike you, and the remaining 20 percent will be indifferent.” While I can’t vouch for the accuracy of this statement–I overheard it at a meeting–I find it noteworthy nonetheless.

How many of us have met people we are instantly attracted to even before they open their mouths?  Conversely, there are others we’d like to punch in the face because they have purple hair, the “wrong” color skin, are too old, too young, etc. And before you shake your head yes that you’ve met these people, remember there are just as many across the fence that either love or hate you for a number of silly reasons–reasons you have no control over. Maybe it’s the bizarre mannerisms you use due to a mental illness or maybe it’s just your nose is too big.

Oftentimes, when we get to know someone, he or she may become more than that object of oddity from our first impression and our feelings shift. And this shift may fly into the stratosphere, morph, and come back as something new. That handsome guy may later utter something offensive and become a jerk, or you, in turn, may become the jerk. But given time, that sentiment may change over and over. People are damn complicated, and I guess that adage “Don’t judge a book by its cover” has some value. And I’ll add my own two cents to my own opinion: if you can’t love someone, like him/her; if you can’t like him, respect him; if you can’t respect him, leave him be. We are all struggling to get by. Our tragedies may not be identical but pain is pain. And that also goes for our personal joys and successes.  We share so much more in our lives than we do in our differences.


About waywardweed

I am a consumer and parent of two sons, one with a mental illness and the other a third-year law student.
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4 Responses to Rule 40/40/20

  1. ntexas99 says:

    Hi there …thank you for stopping by my blog and liking the Almost Infamous – Pt 4 blog post. I look forward to rummaging through your archives when I have a bit more time, but wanted to take a moment to say that I like the way you write. Your 40/40/20 observation is a good one … one of my sons is completely covered in tattoos, and the other one is clean cut and otherwise average in appearance. I can’t tell you the number of times people have reacted negatively to the son covered in tattoos, only to find out after meeting him that he is kind, considerate, intelligent and pretty darn funny, too. Similarly, many people look through me or past me because I am overweight, and then, once they actually meet me, they are surprised to find that I can carry on a rather reasonable and interesting conversation. We’ve all been guilty of judging a book by its cover, but when we live in a family where a person is regularly persecuted because of their differences, it tends to make us more aware of our own filters, and we make an effort to dispel those initial judgments. Or at least, that has been my experience, and it sounds like you do the same. As you said yourself, “we share so much more in life than we do our differences.”

    • ntexas99 says:

      hi there … thanks for the compliment about my writing … it must be difficult to deal with all the ramifications of SAD, especially when there is little you can do that has any bearing on his actions or choices … although it surely must bring you an immense amount of pride to also have a son in law school … thanks again for the friendly comment!

  2. I was hated by 80%, tolerated by 19%, liked by 1%. People are strange creatures, they put on fronts and yet their they are, saying one thing, and stabbing you in the back at the same time. And then they have the cheek to deny it.

    I guess the adage, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer is very true, but that comes with a caveat, friends are not always what they seem.

    People for the most part cannot be trusted, do not rely on anyone. I have learnt the hard way, that it is better to not expect anyone to do anything nice, if they do something nice, there is a snake in the grass, and it will bite you when you least expect it.

    Telling the company where you work a secret about your life is the 3rd most difficult thing you can do, so you find someone you can trust, who’s judgement you can trust, and then you say what needs to be said…examples..” I am gay” or “I am transgender” or “I have cancer”.. things that will affect how others perceive you. You ask for advice from trusted co-worker/boss and he/she gives what seems like sound useful advice, and you then proceed to inform.

    Only for said trusted co-worker/boss [aka snake in the grass] to then make vicious statements about your performance… You then loose your job/income, and what recourse do you have????

    Sorry….a rant…
    huggs, enjoy 2012..

  3. waywardweed says:

    Hi Justine,
    I still believe that most people have good intent. However, there are some who obviously do not. I would be especially careful in what I divulged to co-workers as you found out the hard way. That said, I choose to look for the good. Of course I’ve been let down and I’ve done the same to others, mostly inadvertently. But I’ve made my mistakes and hopefully learned from them. There are things I would do over but I can’t so to those I have hurt I ask for forgiveness and to those who have hurt me I accept sincere apologies.

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