The amusing responses to my new title How To Get Along With Everyone are worth sharing.
“Oh, I know a lot of people who need to read that book”; I really need to read that;”
“I need 10 copies”, fast. One gal had a full list: “I have several people for which I need understanding--a friend at church, my ex mate, several bosses from where I used to work. Would like to connect positively with my sisters and brothers. My current husband can be a handful, and a couple of cousins are sometimes wearing. We all have some thing for which we can stand to improve. I need fresh angles to approach stale relationships.”
But the one that surprised me most was when I responded to a cheerful sounding inquiry “How’s your book”? “It’s published now.” “The one about getting along with everyone?” she questioned. “That’s it”, I said excitedly. “Well, I’m not interested”, she said flatly. “I don’t want to get along with everyone, especially those I don’t like.” “Sometimes it’s good to discover why you don’t care for someone,” I gently coached”. “I don’t care to know.” she said.
Then a doctor’s response threw me a curve. With skeptical narrowed eyes he asked seriously “How can I get along with difficult people?” I casually offered that we try to understand their approach on life. Be aware that God designed every personality-type. Most of us aren’t comfortable with certain other designs.”
“What if it’s my wife?”
“That’s a serious matter. You’re wise to appreciate her special God-design and focus on her contribution to others, if not to you. It’s true that opposites attract. But what impresses us in the beginning may drive us up the wall later. Limit your comparisons as much as possible because she probably feels the same way about you. Our goal is not to think alike but together, and our approach is to celebrate differences rather than criticize.”
Because of his question, I began a casual survey--What people would you like to avoid?--which garnered such enthusiastic replies I thought blog-readers would find amusing and maybe helpful.
- Same stories-repeaters
- Overbearing—loud and/or soft
- Non-stop talkers
- Personal question-askers
- Everlasting excusers
- Soft-speakers no hearing aid would help
- Withholding opinions until after the fact
- Drop-ins who say “surprise”. I don’t like surprises.
- Interrupters with no emergency
- Non listeners
- Rude talk-overs
If your pet peeve wasn’t listed, include it in a comment.
On the other side of the coin are those we admire and wish we could be more like. Secretly, though, most us think the world would be a better place if others were more like our design. We can’t change who others are or who we are, but we can soften our approach and celebrate and encourage others for performing or speaking what we dislike or are unable to do. Don’t we all have ragged edges? And doesn’t the bible say to love those you don’t understand?