Never, never, never tell another person YOUR ASSESSMENT OF THAT PERSON. (This does not refer to a person’s behavior.)
The fact of life is that one never truly knows enough about a person to do that. Recently, overhearing a couple who have been married for many years, I heard the wife say to her husband, “I didn’t expect you to think that way.” She was pleasantly surprised by her husband’s take on a situation.
In this same vein of never completely knowing another person, a very successful teacher told me that her high school counselor told her that she was not smart enough to go to college.
(Although college does require a minimum of academic skills, perseverance is a far better determiner of college success than innate intelligence.)
Certainly the counselor can explain what success in college entails, but by labeling a person as “not smart enough” (although it can spur some people to prove the other person wrong) too often it has a devastating effect because it removes hope, the basic and necessary ingredient for perseverance and success.
The message we should be giving to a person of any age is the main message of Les Brown, one of the most famous of professional speakers who spent his entire school years in special education classes. His message: Don’t let someone else’s opinion of you shape your reality.
More information on this topic is available at http://marvinmarshall.com.