I have always been someone who says “three strikes and you’re out” – as in, if people cause a major issue or cross boundaries I have set, I have allowed them two more chances before I write them off forever – that means I “defriend” them and have nothing more to do with them..
Looking back across my 39 years, any time I have given someone a first chance, they have taken that second and third chance and if I have given them the opportunity, a fourth and fifth chance! Then I have had to remove them from my life, sometimes having to make difficult changes in my life in order to do this.
Sometimes the time between the first and third occasions can be a matter of years, which makes the “defriend” -ing difficult.
So, why on earth am I giving people a second and third chance? It has been my experience that the first chance tells me everything I need to know about what their future behaviour will be. Why put myself through the turmoil?
I now believe I have to rethink my three strikes policy, going forward. I think I have to change it to a “when people show you who they are, believe them” policy.
Does that mean in future I should stop at one chance?
I think what it really means is – one strike and I am very wary, two strikes, we’re done.
I’m just thinking about this in preparation for going back to school because I will meet new people there and I want to give them a decent opportunity to show me who they are. When they do, I intend to believe them the first time.