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Small town problems

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musiclovingmom posted 1/27/2014 14:51 PM

If you've ever lived in a small town for any length of time, you know you've got them. The connections between people are so complex because there are so few of us. Sometimes I wish I lived somewhere bigger so I could meet people without instantly having associations for them. Take, for example, my SIL's new boyfriend. I've never met him. But, because I know some of his friends, I already have a pre-disposed view of the kind of person he must be. It isn't fair. We are all more than the people we associate with, and since SIL likes him, I feel obligated to give him a shot - it just won't be a fair one. He's already got a hole to climb out of before I've even met him.

Lionne posted 1/27/2014 15:30 PM

Of course you do, it's human nature to pre judge, sub consciously. But that's what sets us apart from animals, the ability to look past our animalistic brain and judge people on their behavior, their actions, their words.

I live in a larger community, about 25,000. But it has a small town feel in many ways, everybody knows everyone's business. Good in some ways, if there is an illness or other trouble the town mobilizes to help very quickly. On the other hand, everyone knows everyone's business....

BeyondBreaking posted 1/27/2014 16:01 PM

I know the feeling.

I do not live in a small town- but I grew up in the same home my parents live in now, in a community where few people have moved. Most of my parentís ďgood family friendsĒ are neighbors and people I have known since I was a little kid. I graduated high school with tons and tons of people I knew since kindergarten and my mom is still friends with a lot of their parents. So the social circle is small-town like in so many ways.

I didnít like my brotherís girlfriend for the longest time, mostly because I knew and didnít like a lot of her friends. I didnít know her specifically, but her friends went to school with me and were a bad crowd. This was years and years agoÖmaybe all of those people are wonderful and nice now. But I remember them how they were 9 years ago, and completely judged my brotherís girlfriend unfairly based on that. She is a perfectly nice, awesome person- but it did take a while for me to get rid of my initial judgment.

Itís so hard- but now that you are aware, you can do your best to talk yourself out if it when you feel that way. Here's to hoping that this guy is wonderful and everything that your SIL sees!

musiclovingmom posted 1/27/2014 16:24 PM

We aren't as small as we seem. My actual town has a population of just over 5,000, but the area I live in has closer to 50,000. The 3 towns are technically separated by the county, but they kind of all bleed together. I always feel a little weird about saying we are a small town when I think about that, but the truth is, we still FEEL like a small town. Just like my home church has 1,200 regular attendees now, but still FEELS like the small church it was when I joined as a teen. And, people fluctuate in and out, but we all seem to come back. There is just seemingly less and less separation as out town gets bigger. Sometimes my head spins if I try to figure out some of the relationships.
The crux of this is that I know how badly some of his friends behave, because they're MY friends or friends of friends (which makes it even more unbelievable that we haven't met). I feel like such a jerk for essentially saying that I can handle these people, but questioning him because of those same people.

Sad in AZ posted 1/27/2014 17:58 PM

You're not going to like this, but the problem is not your 'small' town it's you. You know what you're doing, so stop.

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