Have you ever made up a nickname for someone you don’t know? Maybe you and your coworkers have a name for someone you see around, or a neighbor you discuss with your partner that you refer to by some characteristic?
I went to a fairly small, state university and saw the same people repeatedly in my dorm, at the cafeteria, or in the library. There were a couple of girls, roommates, a year behind me , and it was clear we were mutually annoyed by each other, although we’d never met.
The next year we ended up living next door to each other. I couldn’t believe it. But then we got to know each other and, lo and behold, we liked each other! After some time, they told me that they’d had a nickname for me – the girl who never smiles. I had no idea I gave that impression!
Our friendships lasted beyond college and the whole experience taught me a lot about not making assumptions about people, as well as the need to smile more if I didn’t want people to think I’m a grouch. 🙂