To my disappointment someone here recently wrote a Take with a very similar title, though I know they couldn’t have known that. I point this out because I don’t want it to seem like I hopped on a bandwagon and followed along like how everyone else here does. This Take has actually been in the making for a while now.
At first I was going to write about all the things I’ve learned in life so far period - and still plan to - but felt like saying what I’ve learned about people was more important at the moment, because we actually do learn the most in life from who we meet and how people are. I’ve discussed here before that I’m very observant when it comes to people. I know how to read the way someone is. Of course I’m wrong sometimes like everyone is, but the older I get the more right I am. I’ve become a lot more perceptive of people’s characters and behaviors, and I think that could be due to the fact that I’ve experienced many different kinds of people in my life, from the very good to the very bad, and all oddballs and unexplainables in between.
I don’t pretend to know so much more than anyone else or present some image that I’m the wisest, I’m just talking about what I’ve seen and learned.
I also am somewhat clairvoyant, which actually is something I don’t really talk about and I’m not gonna talk about it in full detail here either, but I tend to have a certain kind of sense about people at times that goes beyond just normal instincts. Like knowing what someone’s name is before they even tell me. Or knowing where they’re from just from looking at them. And on the Internet it’s even scarier. Many, many times I have an image of what someone on the other side of the screen looks like if they don’t show themselves, and even they’re surprised when they tell me it’s correct. If they wear glasses. If they’re a redhead. If they’re Asian. If they’re in the military. Even some sexual details I get right too sometimes.
So here's my list of things I've learned about people so far in my life, and some of it is what a lot of people miss about others. Because the truth is people aren’t very deep in their thought processes or observations. They can’t see further than the surface. They get fooled - we all do at one point or another, in fact I got fooled last week and learned more because of it. Folks are just naive. They would say that paying attention to people or noticing their actions and character is unimportant or overthinking it. And I would say they’re not thinking on it enough.
- A good conversation can change anyone's bad mood.
- Some generalizations about people really are true.
- Conversations with foreigners makes your world bigger.
- Social workers - especially the kind ones - seem to be the only people in the government who really understand the problems in main stream America.
- Making a female smile can even brighten your own day.
- Sometimes your instincts aren't wrong about that person. Sometimes you can judge a book by it’s cover. Sometimes they do give you a good or bad feeling from the start. Sometimes what you see really is what you get.
- Walking away isn't always being the bigger person, but sometimes the opposite.
- Sexual experience really is the way a lot of people determine if someone is naive, smart, or experienced in life where sex doesn't apply.
- I can understand how white people can get tired of being called racist sometimes, or thought to be racist.
- Never try to work things out with someone who says what they want but doesn't want to hear your side, ending it with: "And that's all I have to say about it. I'm done with this discussion."
- The ones who really hear you out are rare. Hold 'em close.
- People get awkward and quiet when you talk about poor and less fortunate people, or talk about how you've been poor before.
- Laughter is sometimes a cover for anger, sadness, fear, or fear of weakness. A false show of strength, bravado, or indifference.
- Black men (and I am one) have a way of talking over or around you if you're in a group and don't relate to what they're talking about, similar to being the only guy in a group of chicks.
- You can tell a lot about a person by the things they DON'T say and DON'T do.
- Most people have their own definition of what a "good person" is, and it's almost never the right one.
- The more you think you know the less you really do; the smarter you think you are the more you have to learn.
- Most men don't really want most women.
- People who really connect are the ones who can have quiet moments together and not feel awkward.
- Some people can open up to you about their situation if you've been open about yours.
- People seem to think there's a deeper reason for our actions than there always is.
- Some are afraid of the quiet because silence makes them have to look inward and they don't want to, so they're always listening to music, always on the phone, watching TV, etc.
- Women who choose to hang around way more females than males and feel more comfortable talking to them about things than their own boyfriends or husbands are not some of the best people to meet.
- Sometimes the little things can tell you a lot about a person.
- People who are all fun and games and tell you to lighten up or not take things so seriously really just want to bring you down to their level because they can see you have more depth.
- It feels good when a female is really relaxed, open, and comfortable around only you in a friendly way.
- Sarcasm is the only way some people know how to express themselves. It's also often a defense mechanism for people who aren't very secure in themselves. They see it is witty intelligence when it's really just rudeness.
- Older Hispanics tend to appreciate you speaking Spanish with them more often than the younger ones.
- Most people are just as selective at listening as they are with reading.
- The wisest people in life are the ones who are aware of everything, not being naive and just "focusing on the good."
- Some people see it as weakness to meet you halfway or level with you.
- Hispanic women tend to have less prejudices towards blacks than Hispanic men.
- Therapists, counselors, and psychiatrists have more problems than you do.
- Guys are much more attracted to their female co-workers, neighbors, and teachers than to a hot random chick at a bust stop, the mall, or the Internet.
- Popular people and crowd leaders fear being hated and alone more than any of us.
- Naivety is natural in kids, but adults tend to choose it.
- Most people more often remember when you do something bad or stupid than when you do good.
- You can't let people stop you from living.
I think this quote of my own that I posted on Google+ sums that up best:
What have you learned about people so far? Take note as you go along on the road of life. Don't let your experiences pass by without learning something. People can be some of the most interesting things you will ever experience or gain knowledge from or about. But at the same time, they are all flawed, moody, temporary, and expendable. Some people still haven't learned not to have high expectations yet. Some still get disappointed. Although humans can be rather interesting, at the end of the day the way we are is not surprising.