I like to think of myself as open minded, even with overwhelming evidence to to the contrary. When irritable or annoyed I become fixed. I'll reduce things to binaries and declare where I stand in a harsh and declaratory way. I am less fixed when angry, but that's because I have taught myself to be cautious when angry. Absurd things seem reasonable and I don't want to have to apologize when I calm down.
I spent Friday and Saturday with B, and she put to shame my idea of myself as open minded. B is very sociable, very kind, appears and probably are completely sincere. She gives compliments easy, cheer people on, enjoys talking to strangers, has an extremely active social life with people who really love her. She has friends all over the world, because she was quite nomadic when she was younger. These friends still keep rooms in their houses for her.
And it's not that she doesn't judge, she just doesn't write people off. But she has boundaries. A friend called and B after she's taken enough pills to kill herself. B being nowhere close called an ambulance, and the suicide was aborted. The friend felt betrayed and became abusive. B decided not to contact her after that. When the friend called B years later B was genuinely happy to hear from her. The friend concluded sheepishly that B wasn't going to take any shit, was she?
B agreed; she said I am here for you anytime, as long as you treat me like a human being.
I wish i had that, all of it, the ability to set and enforce boundaries, the ability to try again, the ability to wipe the slate clean, the ability to enjoy talking to strangers, the ability to smile and laugh and infect others with happiness.
The ability to empathize with people who behave awfully without letting them walk all over me.
But the important part is this: B is an positive, outgoing person, who is friendly with all her neighbors even tho they called the cops on her several times because the dog was barking like crazy. She makes people feel good, she makes them smile. She is a walking, talking antidepressant, and so, so, popular for it.