Prompt: You know how it goes, some people you like, and some you just don’t. From the preface of Susan Lewis’s Forgive Me
As a rule, I like most people. That is my nature. However, there are a few instances where I find myself backing slowly away. Call it self-protection or simply being discerning, but there are situations where I sense the person I’m getting to know is not going to end up in my close friend category.
I consider it a red flag when I meet a person who repeatedly uses the expression, “In my experience…”. It’s not that I mind hearing how someone might have learned something from his/her experience, it’s just that if they use the phrase a lot, it often means that person thinks they know better than others, based on their unique “experience.” I try to give people the benefit of the doubt on this unless I start noticing that they follow that phrase each time with a litany of reasons a situation should have been handled differently. If that’s the case, then I suspect that I’m in the presence of a hypercritical person and I steer clear. After all, it will only be a matter of time before they turn their judgemental eye on me and that is not going to feel good.
Other characteristics of people who will probably never move into best friend status with me are those who are fond of using the collective “we” often in their conversations. For example, “We all know, don’t we, how a person should behave.” Not that I am overly fond of misbehavior, but I am especially unfond of having someone inform me how “we” or rather I should feel. I would respond better to a very blunt, “I think that guy’s a jerk,” and I can decide (and say) if I agree or disagree.
I am also not going to cozy up to people who purse their lips a lot, look disapprovingly at how I, or those I love, are living, or say phrases such as, “I believe humor is usually thinly-veiled anger.” I am in the camp where humor makes life fun, and belly laughing is the best therapy ever. I also am not interested in spending lots of time with bigots of any ilk, and also overly-officious people who believe things need to be done “just so.”
Give me the fun-loving, the open, the sensitive, the artistic, the oddball, the person who leads with his/her heart, the nature lover. We don’t have to agree on everything or even many things as long as we have a core understanding that humans as a rule are decent and doing the best they can on any given day. With that in mind, we’ll have lots to talk about and, hopefully, lots to laugh about too.
These are the people I like. They are also typically the people who like me.