Credibility killed the Cat (or there lack of)

Recently a close friend of mine came across a killer condo in Yaletown. This place was serious pimp (opposite of ‘falsely pimp’ where the pimp-in-question tries too hard whereas ‘serious pimp’ is au natural and just…flows) with views of False Creek marina to the South and Downtown core to the North. Spacious and bright with an artful decor in a tasteful red, white and black motif, this place had everything a perfect bachelor pad should have; even down to the Heineken Beer-Tender Krups B95. Unfortunately it was short lived. The landlord decided to move back in after less than 2 months tenancy and was ‘evicting’ my friend. Now normally this wouldn’t  have been able to happen according to the BCREA, but there were extenuating circumstances which would be best left to another posting on its own.

 

He found another place in short notice though. This new place was 2 buildings down and was higher and larger. It was leasing for a great rate so there were multiple applicants for the condo. Being a landlord, when multiple people apply to rent your condo, you want to look for several differentiating factors such as: will they pay you on time? Will they trash your place? Will they stay for the term of the lease and not bail early? Applying for a place to rent (or buy) is like applying for a job. You put your best foot forward and hope the interviewer/landlord/mortgage broker likes what they see and deem you better than the rest. As a landlord and manager though, one thing I rely on more so than what the applicant tells me is what their references and experiences tell me. People will often lie for themselves, but other people are less prone to lie for other people.

 

My friend had 3 references on his application. The first reference was his company which he owned. It’s a franchise company and he’s been very successful at building and growing the business to a thriving, self-sustained enterprise. The 2nd reference was a friend whom he’d grown up with who was now an RCMP and his 3rd reference was me. Needless to say, the landlord never made it to calling me as a global company with franchises worldwide and a police officer was good enough. He had enough credibility to beat out the competition and he’d spent a lifetime building that credibility. On the opposite spectrum, I had a friend who wanted to purchase a condo this past month with his girlfriend and was turned down because his credit was horrible; because he didn’t do what he said he would do and pay back the money loaned out to him by the banks. Now, 7 years later like that little Italian kid you used to pick on, it’s come back larger and stronger and kicked his ass.

When you tell your friends that you’ll do something, do they believe you? Do you come through? What about if there is a deadline at work? Do you deliver? Your ability to say what you mean and do what you say. Personally I always do what I say, otherwise I wouldn’t say it. If I’m unsure if I can deliver, I’ll say nothing first until I’m sure. Everybody has that friend who says “I’m going to start a business!” or “I’m going to do this or that!” and never end up doing it. Like the boy who cried wolf, people will eventually tune you out like the bathroom fan that stays running all day. It’s a simple enough principle and one that has been drilled into our heads since we were young but why is it that it’s such a hard concept for some people? I notice that a lot of monkeys will say what they say in the heat of the moment and worry about the consequences later. The thing with credibility though, is that it takes a lifetime to build. Each and every action that we take and every word that we speaks increases our cred meter, both personally and professionally. All we have is our reputation and once that is tainted it takes a long time to build it back so be good with your actions and words, you never know what references you’ll need in the future.

No Regrets

Every Monday the majority of us smash our alarm clocks on average about 3 times, snoozing in a good 20-30 minutes after we’re supposed to wake up. If you’re smart, you’ve set your alarm for 20 minutes earlier the night before, but usually what that does for me is I then end up hitting the snooze 5 times, making me really late anyways. The alarm clock, a daily reminder that we are controlled by someone else, something else, that forces us out of what we want to be doing (sleeping) and what we have to be doing (working). If we all ran by our own clocks, there wouldn’t be a need for the alarm.

We go to work and do our thing. Some of us flip burgers, others sell software. Some lead other people, others are managed. My friends are roofers, IT guys, public relations managers, teachers, sales guys, realtors, delivery drivers, etc. Some of them work 20 hours a week and others work 60 but most of us work for our money. Of course, living in Vancouver, we all know our fair share of DD’s (and if you think I mean designated drivers, I applaud you for your innocence).

One thing that we can get lost in is our work. We immerse ourselves in what we do to better our careers, to get that big bonus or close that big deal. We put in extra hours after work or on weekends, often neglecting our personal lives. We sit in coffee shops at 9pm putting that final touch on the proposal or tweaking the graphics on your clients website so it’s just perfect. Two of my best friends even moved across the continent to a different country to pursue a ‘higher work status’. All this, in hopes to gain credibility and eventually higher paying jobs or more contracts. In the end, what we are doing essentially is simply trading our time (limited) for money (unlimited).

If you look at all the best moments in your life, they are rarely when you are by yourself. All of the best memories you will ever have, will be with other people.

Time is a limited commodity. In our lives, time is the most non-renewable resource and is the most valuable thing that we could share with another person. As young adults, we don’t really see beyond 5-10 years of our lives and sometimes we take for granted how short a time we’re here to make an impact on other people, on matters and on the world. I once had a conversation with a World War 2 veteran while sitting at the mall. He was probably in his 80’s, tall and carried a pretty big frame on him and we were both waiting for our significant others while they shopped (yes age has no buffers when it comes to accompanying your wife/gf to the mall). When we finished our conversation, he leaned heavily on his cane to stand up and said to me “Enjoy your youth while you still have it son.” I looked at him and thought of him in his younger days. Probably a healthy, active guy, physically and mentally able to do whatever his mind wished him to. Fast forward 40-50 years and all you have is memories of what you did and thoughts of what you could have done.

I’m hoping to have more memories of what I’ve done than thoughts of what I could have, should have, would have… but didn’t do.

It’s easy to get caught up in work and the need to succeed financially. But don’t lose sight of why we work to begin with; to have more freedom to spend time with our circle of people, doing the things we enjoy. I mean, isn’t it all of our goals to make more money so we can have more free time? Don’t let work control you or define who you are, but rather, see it as a means to an end, something that will help enhance your life and not be your life. My job title is Account Executive of Corporate Software Sales. It’s not who I am, but what I do sometimes. I am also a Son, Brother, Friend, Boyfriend, Hockey player, Realtor, Rider, BBQ’er, Writer, Blogger, and the list goes on. The more I can add to that list, the more people I touch in my life. Can you add to your list? Your call.

My Favorite Quotes

Some people work hard now to play hard later, only to realize that while the brain is willing, the body is unable. 

Others play hard now with the thought to work hard later, only to come to the crossroads and realize that they’ve been left behind. 

The best mix is to play hard now and work hard now, to enjoy life if all of its different stages through the years 

With no sacrifice to yesterday or tomorrow. 

-me 

~~

The most successful people are the ones who have failed the most. 

No matter how many times you’ve failed, it won’t be your last. What’s the worst that could happen? Nobody ever died from failure. 

It’s the lack of action after failure that kills people. 

-David Needleman, ex CEO and founder JetBlue Airways, part of Southwest Airlines, WestJet, Azul, and Open Skies – 2002 

~~

The reasonable man adapts to the world. 

The unreasonable man makes the world adapt to him. 

Therefore all progress in the world rests with the unreasonable man. 

-George Bernard Shaw 

~~

Don’t just find a job. Find an opportunity. 

A job is just a job. 

But an opportunity can make you rich. 

-Simon Lu 

~~

Don’t get caught up being too much of a pleaser. I will try my best to keep others happy, 

So long as it doesn’t compromise my own happiness. 

-Brian Budd – Mentor 

 ~~

The international billion dollar corporation has a CEO. 

The beautiful model has a boyfriend. 

The international best selling novel has an author. 

This home has an owner. 

There is no goal that you want, that someone else has not yet achieved, deeming it possible. 

There is no goal that you want, that is unattainable, only perhaps in your mind.

Somebody’s gotta do it. Why not me? 

-me 

~~

New parents sometimes puts so much emphasis on being a good mother or father. 

They forget about being a good wife or husband. 

That’s why there are so many divorces today. 

You need balance. 

-Shannon Hamilton 

~~

Yesterday is History. 

Tomorrow is a Mystery. 

Today, today is a gift. 

That’s why it is called ‘Present’. 

-Sifu – Kung Fu Panda 

~~

Time is all we have. And you may find one day that you have less than you think. 

Randy Pausch (1960-2008) – Author: Last Lecture (Professor diagnosed with pancreatic cancer) 

-one of the best books I’ve read.

This Too, Shall Pass

It’s funny how life turns out sometimes. We live so much in what we’re doing now, in today, that often times people don’t realize that tomorrow might be different. We take for granted so many things that make our days the way they are, whether good or bad, until they’re gone or changed. Most recently in the last 2 weeks, I started working at a software company. It’s funny because it’s the same company that sent my boys down to Austin, TX. They made me an offer I couldn’t refuse and so I joined the team and now I’m back in the corporate world. When I said I wanted a dual-income household, I didn’t mean for both incomes to be mine! (Corporate sales rep by day, Realtor by night. 2010 is gonna be busy!) On Tuesday, I was in the lunch room getting coffee and the coffee delivery guy looked at me. He stared at me for a little while…

“Pius?” Says he.
“Yes. I’m sorry, I’m new here.”

It turns out I knew him from High School. He didn’t work for my company, but instead he worked for the company that delivered all the coffee to the Bentall buildings downtown. He has 2 kids and was married now, living in New West. He looked tired, that was the only way to describe him…

I’ve been many things in the stages of my life as I’m sure you have been as well. My timeline can be summarized pretty easily by “the days”…

Elementary School Days: Couldn’t speak English, made no friends, got in trouble with the teachers a lot cuz I was “misunderstood” as one of very few immigrant kids growing up in Coquitlam in the 80’s.

High School Days: Nerdy, awkward Asian kid in a sea of Caucasian kids at Port Moody in the 90’s, athlete who got picked on by his teammates

HotShot/Bamboo Days: Asian-ized. (Gangsta gangsta! Blonde streaked, McD’s golden arches style hair and all) Got in trouble a lot. Got arrested, (somehow managed to graduate university) clubs and parties. Good Ol’ Funktion Fridays at BBB and Purple Onion.

Downtown Days: Yuppie. Suit. downtown,  professional, got property. Carved down my huge entourage to a nice compact group of close and best friends. Worked hard and played harder.

Now…Moved out to Burnaby, started new careers, new relationships.

Each time an ‘era’ ended and a new one started, I didn’t realize that I was in it until months or years later. While you’re in it, you think that this is it, that this is your life forever. You can’t see the future, just as I couldn’t and had no way of realizing that one day my life would be different than it was today. I bet all those Wall Street millionaires never imagined that they’d be flat broke and in debt within a month. A great portrayal of this is the movie “The Wrestler”. If you haven’t seen it, go watch it. It’s pretty somber. While I was in High School and the way I was, I never imagined that I’d be who I was 2 years later. Even today, I’ve come to the realization that even though I might be where I am now, by tomorrow I could be somewhere else and I don’t mean just a career change or a move, but as an entirely different person on a different path.

The coffee guy wasn’t exactly a friend of mine in high school. He was the star running back on my football team, one of my teammates who wasn’t exactly slick rick to me back in the 90’s. I’m sure back in the day, he never thought he’d be where he is today, just as I never would have imagined I’d be where I am today. Now, older, I take the good days and good times and I don’t take them for granted. I’m happy all the time.  I look at the bad days and the bad times as temporary because if you do something about it, you’ll get out of it. No matter how good or bad today is, tomorrow will be different and time won’t pause just because you’re loving life or hating it, cherishing where you’re at or loathing your situation. As Mr. Tolle has enlighteningly said “This too, shall pass.”

Think too much?

People are funny creatures. We are the only creation of God that has free will and action on thought. All other living beings survive on instinct, the behavioral conditioning of their species. Humans are different, we were given the gift of thought, reasoning and stupidity. Instead of acting on instinct every single time, we are able to choose first whether to act on that instinct or not. If you Pavlov your dog to pee every time he heard a bell, he would for the rest of his life ,if properly trained, pee every time he heard a bell. A bunny will perk his ears if he hears something rustling nearby and will hop the f away if he feels endangered. It’s in their genes to do X when Y happens and they will do it. For people, whether it’s a gift or curse, we can choose to do everything and anything between A to Z of Y happens. Why do you think girls keep going out with bad boys even though they’d gotten hurt by the last 5 bad boys. Or why some guys constantly find themselves poor after falling for diggers everytime. “Oh she’s different.” People are idiots.

One of the cons in my mind of this supposedly gift of conscience and choice is that sometimes we just think way too much. Once something is done, it is done and no amount of dwelling or wishing will change what is done. I always say “If you can do something about it, do it. If you can’t, don’t dwell.” Forget wasting time thinking of the could haves. Be like Tiger, just do it. And if you can’t do it, move on and revisit when you can but don’t waste time sitting there crying about it. If you do that, you’ll do nothing else but cry over spilt dairy.*Sigh* I try to tell myself that as I lay awake for the 5th consecutive night, underslept and overthought, dwelling. While I’m guilty of not following my own advice, if I tell myself that it’s a waste of time enough times, I’ll eventually snap out of it and move onto more productive things better worth my time. ‘Did I do well on that interview, Did I get the job, Oh man I should have said this instead of that, I should have this and that…’ ‘Should I call her? Man she pissed me off though and it’s not what I want but what if. What if this and that. I said I’d do that, and it makes sense to, but what if…’ Time is best wasted flip flopping. More times than not, your first gut decision is the right one and for whatever reason you made that choice is the best logical and emotional one. Now I’m not saying thinking is bad. You have to weigh out all your options and possible paths and make the best go-forward plan, but for Christmas’s sake, don’t change your mind more than once unless new options and paths pop up. If you’re flip flopping between the same points more than 2 times, you’re now obsessing. And obsessing is not attractive.

One of the strengths of powerful and successful people is the ability to make a decision and stick with it. All leaders have this trait to be able to confidently decide the best possible path, choose to go down it and see it through to the end. Of course making changes along the way is good as new things come up, but those decisions to change are still followed through until new things pop up and until they do, no more thought is put into it. So many times I’ve found myself lost in thought of decisions I’d already made. I would lay in bed thinking and driving myself crazy over more things that could have happened instead of focusing on what I should make happen. People are funny creatures. Even though we know what we’re doing is detremental and hazardous to our forward moving, better productive psyche, we sometimes just don’t care and keep doing it anyways.

What are you worth?

val·ue

//  (vly)

n. 1. An amount, as of goods, services, or money, considered to be a fair and suitable equivalent for something else; a fair price or return.
tr.v. val·ued, val·u·ing, val·ues 1. To determine or estimate the worth or value of; appraise.

2. To regard highly; esteem. See Synonyms at appreciate.3. To rate according to relative estimate of worth or desirability; evaluate: valued health above money.4. To assign a value to (a unit of currency, for example). val·ue (vly)

 
In our materialistic and consumer driven culture within North America, we always look at objects and determine what it’s worth to us, whether it’s worth the price that’s listed on the tag and whether that price is worth it’s value to us. That’s the beauty and art of sales. Everything has a value to somebody whether it be a $1 chocolate bar to a $2000 laptop to a $240 pair of jeans. While materials are easy to determine their value because they’re all created with a purpose and for an target market, how easy is it to determine the value of a person? How valuable are you?
If you’ve been looking for a pair of jeans that fit comfortably and suit your style and find a pair that costs $240, then you will pay $240 and not fret about the price. But if you just ate and couldn’t stomach another bite, the $1 you spend on the chocolate bar is $1 too much. The value has to match the price or there will be no worth to you. Of course, this is subjective and similar to the rule that applies to opinions, value carries different weight with different people in different circumstances.
The difference with a chocolate bar and you, however, is that the chocolate bar has no sense of self worth. It merely exists for one purpose while you exist for multiple purposes and carry many values, each worth something to someone. To your employer, your skills and experience carry value and they pay you for that. To your friends, your friendship, kindness and loyalty are the value. To your significant other, perhaps your sweetness, sense of humour and support carry weight. The better rounded you are, the more you can provide, the more valuable you are. The problem with value comes in when people wrongly think they have it and flaunt it shamelessly, or flaunt it in the wrong light. If youwork in sales but instead of selling you end up providing great customer service without turning any profits, then you aren’t worth much to your employer. If you’re really hot and attractive, but you’re self-centered and conceited, then you wouldn’t make a very good girlfriend but a great model you’d be.
The value has to match the situation, or there is no worth to whomever you are presenting yourself to. Whether it be your employer, your family, friends or partner, you need to determine what your own strengths are and exhibit them in a light that best showcases your values in a venue that they would prove useful. When you’ve found your niche, that’s when you are most productive and most valuable.

This…Is…HALLOWEEN!

300 is one of my favorite movies of all time. I’m a huge medieval nerd. If you’ve ever been over to my condo you’ll know by the huge two handed long sword on display in my coffee table. 300 is unique though, with Frank Millers dark comic as a template Gerard Butlers scowl giving the movie a whole new level of coolness. Glory, Pride, 299 Brothers at your back and a ripped 6 pack. Something every guy would be happy to have.

3001

You also get to kick people into holes and tell them where this is. REALLY LOUDLY.

arton1003-74095

It was fun to be a Spartan for a night. I went around yelling at everybody and kicking random people off the dance floor. Here’s my limited PS skills.

thisiss

Turns out, there’s alot of people with just as limited skills. haha! here were some awesome pictures I came across…

300

sparta

this_is_sparta_f_012

picardspartaui0

ThisIsSparta

Who doesn't belong?

 

Gossip

Another year, another Halloween, always good times! A lot of my friends dressed up this year. I remember a few years back nobody would ever get into it (except for Halfer, one year we all said we’d dress up and meet at his place to go set off fireworks but we all showed up wearing black and he was the only one dressed up, full head to toe SpiderMan.)

Saw alot of awesome costumes for girls and I played a judge all night, albiet a silent judge, since the girls didn’t know I was judging them (muahaha)…there were the nurses, french maids, little black riding hoods and cat doll things…(I said that to her..”Gracie, what are you? You look like a cat doll thing….”) but the most creative was the Catch of the Day. With all that rope and netting, that costume looked like it was fun to make and sew together, though sewing isn’t one of my stronger points (Does anybody know how to sew? Cuz these abs are ripped!!)

Until next Halloween, THIS…IS…LIFEOFPI!!!

Dating and Business Tips from a Single Guy: Issue 1

In some of my earlier posts, I said how I think relationships and business are interchangeable when it comes to best practices. As a businessman and a single guy, the two topics really fascinate me. I try to be the best business practitioner I can and become successful by reading, studying and always expanding my knowledge in the world of buying and selling and I also find interaction between people to be wildly interesting. The more I looked into it, the more I found connections between the two, so here’s my new lines of postings! Dating and Business Tips from a Single Guy.

[Easy or Desperate?]

village bicycleThere was a girl I knew a few years back (my ex made me stop being friends with her) who was a slut. I knew at least 8 guys who had been with her and heard stories about a dozen more. Everyone knew her though, and she was a nice girl. She had a few close girlfriends and people generally liked her. There wasn’t anything bad you could say about her, other than she was like Dan Cloutier in the playoffs, everyone gets to score.

There was another girl I knew who always went through boyfriends. I swear she probably scoured Asian Avenue and Facebook and poked every guy available. These guys would always turn out to mistreat her and after a couple months of bad, awkward, make up sex, they’d break up and she’d be on the prowl again hooking up with the first guy to exhale in her direction. Girls would always look at her with sadness in their eyes, claiming that she always found the wrong guy and that she deserved better.

First off, why is it always the guy that gets blamed? I don’t think she’d make a good girlfriend anyway and it takes 2 to do the horizontal tango. Secondly, these two girls have probably slept with the same number of guys except one does it freely and the other hides behind bad relationships to do it when it should have been a one night stand to begin with. One was Easy, the other was Desperate. The two are really interchangeable by definition of action. What makes the difference is the attitude. Desperateness is just sad, but if you’re easy at least it’s a choice. Attitude makes the world of difference and changes perspectives viewed from the outside. If you’re going to give it up, at least do it confidently and proudly.

this-relationship-is-doomedIn the world of business, it’s the same. I look at having a job as being in a relationship, and being unemployed is the same as being single. *Disclaimer: Not that I find being in a relationship a job, but rather that there’s commitment, responsibilities, and accountability involved as well. (Nice save Pi!) If you accept the first job offer that comes your way without thought into your own personal needs and wants from that career, it’s not going to work out in the long run. You need to make sure that both the career is right for you and that you are right for that opportunity and not just take it because it was given to you. At the same time, you shouldn’t apply to every job and then quit after working there a day either. Sooner or later no company will want to hire you because of your track record. Even if you don’t sleep with any of them, all those guys you string along makes you look bad too.

Ideally you want to work at a company for a few years and build up your experience (You want to be in a relationship that is solid and lets you grow as a person.) Eventually if things don’t work out, you quit/break up because you’re not happy, you deserve better or because you’re underappreciated. If you’ve built up a strong enough resume; meaning you’ve been faithful, you’ve been supportive, people see that your relationship was great and due to circumstances it just didn’t work out, your chances of finding a great next career/relationship is that much better.

But don’t be desperate. And don’t be easy. Employers/Prospective significant others can smell that and instead of getting the call back for a 2nd interview/date, you’ll just be mulling over whether the ringer in your phone was accidently turned onto silent when really, it just didn’t ring.

Inside Outside

When I was a kid, I didn’t fully learn English until I was in Grade 3. I was in ESL for the first few years of school because my parents didn’t speak English at home and no one was able to teach me so I didn’t talk much. Because of this I listened alot, observed everything. I’m a pretty good listener today so alot of my friends come and tell me things. They get someone to talk to and I get to learn from everyones experiences, so it’s a pretty good trade off.

Img2342Today was a pretty chill Sunday. I ran around like a crazy, high-strung crack head yesterday trying to get everything done and was late for all of my appointments so to be able to slow it down today was a good change. (I was ready to crack yesterday.) A sunny patio lunch at Granville Island with my friend turned into another learning experience. We’re always looking for the right person, the one that makes us laugh, listens to us (actually listens instead of just asking and responding by changing the topic), tries the things that we like to do, and so on. But while we’re always focused inwards on what we want, what about focusing outwards? How many of the qualities that we look for in the other person are we actually lacking ourselves? Imagine you were the other person and both of you were looking for the same qualities. My friend was saying how the guys she dates never listens to her and always just talks about themselves. I asked her if she listens to them and after a moments pause, she admitted that she doesn’t really listen that much either. “But only because they never listen to me!” she said. How sad would it be if you finally found a person who fit all of your qualities, but because you’d been so focused on what you wanted, you never realized that you have to be a person that they want too. They’d probably leave you wondering why they’re not calling anymore cuz they’re just not that into you.

To know your faults is a strength. To acknowledge them and want to consciously improve is an admirable trait. I asked some people what the worst trait a person could have and the most common response was selfishness. Imagine if you had a horrible day and wanted to call up your girlfriend/boyfriend to vent and instead of getting a listening ear, you get a “uh huh. That sucks baby. Oh guess what, the [insert story that has nothing to do with what you were saying here]” How frustrating is that? But we all do it, some more than others, some all the time without realizing it. And then you wonder why you’re breaking up when you’ve done ‘nothing’ wrong.

Your EGO has alot to do with it. When you’re so focused inwards and it’s always ME ME ME you tend to forget that there are other people involved . You forget that while you’re looking for the perfect qualities in someone else, that you have to show those qualities too. You can only rely on looks for so long and I’ve learnt that relationships based on physical attractions only last 2 and 3/4 months. Then you start to look deeper for something. We ended lunch today asking how do you look for your own faults when the majority of people seem to think they’re perfect and that they have no faults. Experience is the hard way to learn, but that usually involves stress, deflation of ego and heartache. The easy answer is to look and learn from other people experiences. It’s a bitch usually, that experience teaches you  the lesson after you’ve had the test (and failed), but if you pay attention and learn from others, maybe you can save yourself from heartache. I’m definately learning from my friend today.

How Easy Are You?

To trust or not to trust, that is the question. Whether it’s better or worse to give your trust away openly or make someone earn it. I had dinner with a friend recently and our conversation turned to relationships somehow. It was one of those 2 and a half hour “Woah the restaurant is closing already?” types of conversations that was both engaging and entertaining (I need more of those, dinner next week?). Not only relationships between boys and girls, but between yourself and everything. Wherever you are, you have a relationship with everything around you and that can change your mood and how you feel about your surroundings. Having a bad day? Go sit in the sun on the beach.

She asked me how I view people and give trust or interest, what makes me trust a person, what makes me interested in someone. I think I’m pretty easy going and I told her that I generally trust people right off the swing. I’m easy, it comes free. Maybe because when I was a kid I had no friends and I’ll take whatever I get (I was really good at swings on the playground because that was a solo sport. Who needs a push? Not me. Actually I did, but no one wanted to play with the little Chinese boy so I learned how to swing by myself.) or maybe because I’m a Leo and am just socially accepting, but whatever the reason is, I like to trust people and believe that they have a good core. She was the opposite. You have to earn her trust and earn her interest, she’s skeptical to new people. She said this was so that the people she eventually trusts, she knows she can trust them 100%.

P: But isn’t that kind of a waste of energy? It’s either 0 or 100%? You spend so much time wondering about a person, whether you can trust them or not, waiting for them to make a mistake against your trust. What if they don’t? So you basically assume that you can’t trust a person until they prove you wrong.

J: Yep! Cuz that way I won’t get hurt. If I trust them right away and they end up breaking my trust, that would hurt. If I’m interested in someone I need to know they’re trustworthy. I don’t know how long it takes, just a feeling of comfort that I can trust them! And there’s nothing wrong with assumptions of a person! If the assumptions are wrong, it’ll come up eventually.

P: Ok so, so far all of your assumptions of me have been wrong. So this whole time that you’ve assumed things against me and then seeing if they’re true, couldn’t that time and effort be better spent getting to know how I really am instead of starting on the negative end and then trying to work it’s way back to neutral?

J: No because if you started at neutral, the chances of being hurt are more if my assumptions turned out to be right. I’ve let you in and if you break that trust after I’ve let you in, then you’re an asshole.

Isn’t that kind of a waste of energy? You spend so much time wondering about a person, whether you can trust them or not, waiting for them to make a mistake against your trust. What if they don’t? Then you’ve wasted all that time being skeptical and negative, untrusting and fists up ready to fight. But I see her point. While she doesn’t trust easily, once she lets you in, you know you’re fully in even if it took a lot of “HA! I proved you wrong!” moments. I, however, really don’t believe in wasting energy wondering if a person is good and if I’m interested in someone I assume nothing about them just to protect myself. I raise my chin, bare my neck and hand you a razor. If you wanted to hurt me, you could. But once you do, there’s no way back in. I’m fickle that way and I’ve noticed that it doesn’t really take much to push me over and cut you from my inner circle. I guess while her trust is hard to earn, it’s easy to keep. Mine is easy to earn, but hard to stay.

P: So if your trust is that way, what if you’re interested in someone? Does it take a lot for you to be interested in someone?

J: Yeah it’s the same. I might be interested in someone, but it takes a lot for me to actually like them. Until they prove that they’re worthy of my liking! Then I fall head over heels. What about you?

P: I’m hella picky, but I think when you meet someone and open up to them, it’s so much easier to get to know them. There’s no preconceived assumptions, no ‘I heard this about them so I’m gonna be wary…’. Vancouver’s so small, everybody knows everybody and not everybody is going to like everybody so there’s always trash to be heard. What part is true? Who knows. I’ll find out for myself and the only way to do that is to start from neutral. I’m funny though, I know that I might be head over heels liking somebody but if they do something that makes me go “hmmm…wow…that’s…not cool.” I can switch directions faster than a starving lion chasing a 100 handicapped antelopes. I’m still friends with the person, but now that’s it. I’ll never ‘like’ them again. The bad thing is that this comes without warning sometimes…I can’t help how I feel, I just feel it.

J: How many times have you been hurt because you’d trusted someone too quick and they messed up? How many times have you been interested in someone only to have them turn out to be not the person you thought they’d be?

P: The number of times I’ve been hurt cuz my trust was broken are far fewer than the times where my openness was worth it. I think for every 20 people I trust, 1 turns out to be unworthy. So I deal with that 1 case when it comes up. But for you, you have to deal with all 20 and be wary of all 20 until they prove it. Wouldn’t only dealing with 1 when it actually happens, be a lot easier than dealing with 20 possibilities? What do you think?

In the end, her and I have the same end results so we agreed to disagree. The people that are really worthy of your attention will get it, but how they get there is different. In her words “I’ve been on a few dates lately, and there’s a lot of crap out there. Some guys just want you for your looks, some are bums with no futures, some are creeps and most are assholes.” And it’s true (applied to girls too!). I remember when I was younger, I thought that there was a huge selection of amazing people to meet and be friends with, start relationships with. As I got older and met everybody in Vancouver, I realized that while good people are everywhere, great people are hard to find. So if you know some great people, don’t let them go. There’s a lot less of them then you think.