Litmus, litmus on the wall, who is the most acidic one of all?

Today, a strange concept was introduced to us,  daily prompt writers: come up with one question, the answer to which would determine whether or not you could be friends with a person you’ve just met.

This prompt could inspire you to write a post about several different subjects: the issues you care most about, or the traits you appreciate most in your friends. I am a bit confused by the idea though. I think it’s a strange idea that by asking just one question, you could decide whether somebody could be your friend or not. Although I’m a awLitmus Paperare of the power of a first impression, I do try not to judge people right away. (Okay, let’s be honest: I have an inclination to judge, but stopped expressing it out loud as not to harm anyone.)

A few weeks ago, a new colleague joined our team. At first I thought she was a bit young, lacking experience, and I wondered if she would fit in with the rest of us. She is a bit different than most of us and she and I don’t share the same beliefs and religious values. It’s only been two weeks, but I do think she’s a great addition to the team. She’s as open minded as any of us, good at her job and taking up the new tasks very quickly. I now realise my first impression was rather unfair.  It is important for our team to have different points of view and she definitely has a fresh perspective! I like her for that and think we could be friends as well as colleagues.

Imagine what would have happened if I had asked her some ‘most important question’ about her belief systems, and she had given the wrong answer and we could not be friends for that reason. That would have been a missed opportunity.

I don’t think we should have litmus tests (or questions) for people we’ve just met.


6 thoughts on “Litmus, litmus on the wall, who is the most acidic one of all?

  1. Nice colour-scheme and great post! I agree, that we shouldn’t be quick to judge others as quite often first impressions are wrong. And even if an answer to our most important question is different to what we would have said, does that matter? Diversity is a good thing.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I turned 55 on my last birthday and this seems to have triggered a need for discernment in my friendship choices. I agree with you that first impressions need to be allowed to develop past a knee-jerk reaction based on prejudices and self-protection. But maybe three times having coffee or a conversation is sufficient. I meet a lot of people and I don’t have time for them all.

    An example: a neighbor helped me move out of my boyfriends house so I decided to try to form a friendship. A second meeting had me drive to her house where she would not let me inside but insisted we meet outside in a dog-filled yard. Odd, but ok. The third time I noticed she talked non-stop about her dogs and all the animals she rescues. At a party of many cool people she did the same thing. Hmmm. Then, my fifth encounter was a phone call on my birthday during which she never wished me happy birthday and instead went on and on about her animals. Perhaps, upon meeting her, a discerning question might have been: what do you spend your spare time doing? Or, who do you spend the most time with? A lady who prefers animals and uses their rescue like a shield to intimacy is not a person to include in my inner circle.

    However, being kind and gently turning aside social offers, I’ve found, is all that is really needed. Relationships that you don’t water die away naturally. Good topic.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thank you for sharing your story. I think it happens to all of us. You try to form a friendship, but there isn’t a ‘connection’. That happens. In the end friendship is about give and take. Of course, if a friend is in need you’ll give way more than you take. But if – overall – someone just talks about themselves and is not interested in you, it’s just not worth investing in, is it? I like your remark about not watering these type of relationships: it is a painless solution.

      Liked by 2 people

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