Let’s Discuss: Reputation or Experience

file000162092220(Let’s discuss is a new category of posts with a problem I’d like your help to solve/question to answer/etc. I often try to post what I know/believe to be true, but- let’s be honest- that’s rather limiting. So- help me out- what do you know? Let’s discuss…)


This is kind of twofold, but how do you know/decide what is most important when it comes to people: Their REPUTATION or Your personal EXPERIENCE of them?

So what happens when you have a good relationship with someone and another person you also have a good relationship with has a TERRIBLE experience with that same person? Say… in school, you get along great with a teacher who your friend can’t stand. Or a relative that you get along with but other relatives don’t? And I don’t just mean the totally reasonable “we just don’t click” conflict. I mean, genuine wrong/bad things happened in their interaction that you did not personally experience, but they did. My sister’s father abused me. That is not my sister’s experience of him. So, if I refuse to attend an even where he is present and she is upset?

How do you navigate that?

Even think about faith. A faith I love leaves others cold. Or worse, others have experienced abuse by the faith that saved me.


I gotta’ say, I think it matters.

And here’s the second situation about reputation or experience, what if you hear something bad about a person? How much do you listen? I know it seems like you have to go with your own experience, but at what point do you honor and pay attention to what you’re being told? With my first husband, I was given some information just prior to our wedding that I took as a part of the past (before me) and what he and I were building together, well, that was the future.

Yet…later, that past came to gobble my future with him right up. What if I had just listened- really listened- to what I had been told? If we only go off personal experience, are we setting ourselves by not letting the experience of others’ matter? If we go by what others say, then are we limiting ourselves from new relationships?

It’s like getting a bad reference from a past employer. At what point do you assume people can have a fresh start and what point do you let others’ be your guide and possibly prevent a lot of problems?

So…I’ll pour the drinks, and fill me in. What do you think? Have you experienced something like this in your life? Let’s Discuss!