I've been thinking about this for a while now, but just kind of pulled it all together into a cohesive thought over the past week.
Have you seen the movie... What About Bob?
Bill Murray plays a man with problems, however through a series of often humorous events, Bob helps his psychologist, a somewhat uptight, yet brilliant character played by Richard Dreyfus, and his family overcome some of their problems as well. I'd highly recommend the movie.
Anyway, at one point Bob is speaking to the good doctor's daughter about difficult people, and Bob uses the analogy of a bad connection on the telephone. Sometimes you just get a bad connection with people and the best course of action is to hang up and try again, rather than just assuming that the connection will always be bad.
It's good advice. I've found that most people of basically good and decent folks. Everyone has bad days, and I think we're all entitled to bad days, so before you judge anyone too harshly try hanging up and calling again.
Sometimes though, you just get a bad connection every time you call... This is where my snake theory comes in.
I for one happen to like snakes. Few creatures can match their beauty and what I only see as incredibly graceful movements. They're incredibly efficient hunters and I love to sit and watch them. However with all that said I have very healthy respect for them. Growing up in a county with spitting cobra's and black & green mamba's, I think a healthy respect for these amazing creatures is required.
Sometimes we meet people who are like snakes. Good at what they do, but at the same time, the relationship isn't the most cozy. They might mistake you for a threat, and in turn they provide a very real threat to you and your family. That's not to say that they aren't good people, but just that a healthy level of respect is required, and just like snakes, sometimes it's better for all involved if you just keep your distance.