Monday, September 05, 2011

Changing a Reputation

We have our expectations. When a cheerful person is quiet and moody, we accept the mood as an anomaly and expect the pleasant disposition next time we see Miss Sunshine. When a cranky person works on being kinder, we're always on guard around him; it takes only one episode of snippiness before we assume that Mr Grumpy has resurfaced.

So how does a person change his reputation? How long does it take? It's hard to realize that other people still expect you to respond in ways you used to respond, even if you seldom or never do those things any more. Those old attitudes and behaviors and responses are still part of your reputation.

So (short of being absolutely perfect, constantly, for a few years) is there anything we can do when we realize that some people have ugly impressions of us? And is there anything we can do to beat back our negative impressions of someone else in order to better believe the new&improved reputation?


  1. This is going to sound really simple, but to better one's reputation, show sincere repentance for the things done that sullied the reputation. Live with actions that show.

    To accept the change in another, simply love the neighbor as a fellow sinner who has and will again fall short.

    Both living the repentant life and loving the sinful neighbor take lots of time, patience and practice. Perhaps a very good discipline for all of us to work with.

    Pam kirk

  2. Pam, I agree with you. But what I'm wondering, with us sinful humans, is how long it takes before our opinions of someone really, truly, fully change. Also I expect that we change our opinion to the negative more quickly than changing to the positive. It may take years to change a positive impression of somebody to a negative impression, but I suspect it takes many more years to change a negative impression to a positive one.