Naturally Wrong

I recently realized how deep my preconceived notions colors my interactions with other people. I have a knack for learning people. I don’t necessarily learn all people, but I do learn people close to me whom I think of as friends. I learn coworkers and people I greatly respect. I learn their nuances and schedules and routines. I cannot keep track of everything but I keep track of what I can. Most importantly, I do not do any of this intentionally. My head naturally keeps track of it all. I do not understand why my head does it, it just does. A natural part of my personality. 

This is great for me because I know when and how I should best communicate with people and what is going to work best in order to connect with them. 

The major drawback of my tendency to track people is the baggage it creates. If my brain is a cargo ship cruising across the ocean of life, the people my mind tracks get a shipping container in aboard the SS Manning’s Mind. As I have more experiences with a person, I slowly fill their container with information. In the moment, the information is useful and accurate. Long term, not always the case. 

Long term, I end up applying static information to dynamic people. Long term, the people in my mind do not get to grow or change. The information now colors how I see them, what I think about them, and how I interact with them. 

Every time I open their shipping container, I see everything in the container colored by static information. Information in dire need of an update. 

These preconceived notions keep me from allowing people to grow. 

These containers are in a terrible need of some spring cleaning.

What is a natural skill you have? What are some benefits of this skill? What are some drawbacks? How are you compensating for the drawbacks of what you do naturally?