I love making new friends and I respect people for a lot of different reasons.
As I got older and somewhat wiser I realized that I was often too quick to judge other people. As time wore on and as I learned to pay more attention to the people I met along the way I discovered that most had a lot to offer. Lately I have come to appreciate the friendship of people that in the past I probably would just have ignored on the basis of a mistaken impression, some are now close friends.
If we invest in really knowing the people we meet we stand the best chance of growing friendships.
Here is a piece from the Positively Present blog that can help make a difference in the relationships we make.
How to find the good in others
Finding the good in others is such an important part of living a positively present life, but it’s often one of life’s greatest challenges. Even when it comes to those we love and choose to have in our lives, finding the good in them can sometimes be difficult. Here are some of the best ways to find the good in others (both in those you love and those you could do without…):
One of the quickest ways to find fault in others is to compare them to someone else (or to yourself). Everyone is unique and if you’re looking for someone to be just like you or someone else, you’re going to have a difficult time finding the good in that individual and appreciating who s/he is. This is especially important when it comes to significant others. If you’re constantly comparing your current love to someone you’ve loved before, how are you ever going to truly find the good in your current relationship? (Hint: you won’t.) The less you compare, the easier it is to find the good.
FOCUS ON THE PRESENT
Dwelling on what someone has done in the past can make it difficult to focus on who they are now. This doesn’t mean you should forget what someone has done, but if someone has made positive progress or atoned for any sins committed against you, it does no good for the relationship (or you!) to continue holding a grudge in the present. People change and one way to find the good in them is to pay attention to how they act right now, not to harp on how they’ve behaved in the past.
DROP YOUR ASSUMPTIONS
When you make assumptions (particularly about someone you don’t know), finding the good can be a challenge. The best way to stop making assumptions is to keep your mind and heart open to what people are actually doing and saying. Try your hardest not to label people into “good” or “bad” categories because, just because someone has behaved badly once doesn’t mean they’ll behave that way again. Also, if you label someone, it can be hard to mentally shake that label. For example, if you think, “Ugh, my coworker is so annoying,” you’re going to be looking for the ways she annoys you, which will make it really hard to see her good traits.
If you want to find the good in others, it helps to be interested in them. Keep your mind (and ears! and eyes!) open and you’ll be surprised by what you might discover. This ties in with dropping your assumptions. Instead of guessing what someone else is thinking or how they feel about something, ask. One of the best ways to find goodness in others is to ask lots and lots of questions. The more you know about others (especially personal details, like the fact that your boss adores his cat or your dentist has two kids), the easier it is to connect with them and notice the positive aspects.
EXPECT THE BEST INTENTIONS
Another great way to find the good in others is to imagine that every single person is looking out for your best interest. This is very hard to do when someone cuts you off in traffic or your partner says something that enrages you, but the more you focus on how people might be looking out for you, the easier it becomes to find the good in them. More often than not, people do have the best of intentions (even if it might not always seem that way) and, even if they aren’t specifically looking out for you, they’re not likely looking to hurt you. Keeping this in mind will help you when you’re struggling to find the good in difficult people.
APPRECIATE THE FLAWS
Each and every one of us is flawed in some way. We all have emotional baggage that we drag around with us. We’ve all been hurt by someone. We’ve all been born with unique personality traits that are sometimes less-than-ideal. Appreciating flaws might sound negative, but it’s actually a very positive thing to do when it comes to finding the good in others. Keeping in mind that we all — including you! — have our stuff (emotions, personalities, etc.) makes it easier to be compassionate and empathetic when others aren’t showing their best sides, allowing us to find the good even when things aren’t great.
Getting people to like you is merely the other side of liking them.
Norman Vincent Peale
Stumpy’s English teacher was a perfectionist and demanded the very best of his pupils. So it was only to be expected that he would get furious when Little Stumpy handed in a poor paper.
“This is the worst essay it has ever been my misfortune to read,” ranted the teacher.
“It has too many mistakes. I can’t understand how one person would have made all these mistakes.”
“One person didn’t,” replied Little Stumpy defensively. “My dad helped me.
Ever notice how ignorance picks-up confidence as it goes along.
Lawyer: I have some good news and some bad news.
Client: Well, give me the bad news first.
Lawyer: The bad news is that the DNA tests showed that it was your blood they found all over the crime scene
Client: Oh no! I’m ruined! What’s the good news?
Lawyer: The good news is your cholesterol is down to 130!
“What kind of job do you do?” a lady passenger asked the man traveling in her compartment. “I’m a naval surgeon,” he replied.
“Goodness!” said the lady, “How you doctors specialize these days.”
Shortly after the 911 emergency number became available, an elderly and quite ill lady appeared in a Rochester hospital emergency room, having driven herself to the hospital and barely managing to stagger in from the parking lot. The horrified nurse said, “Why didn’t you call the 911 number and get an ambulance?” The lady said, “My phone doesn’t have an eleven.”
Last week I forgot how to ride a bicycle.
A Duke was hunting in the forest with his men-at-arms and servants when he came across a tree. Upon it, archery targets were painted and smack in the middle of each was an arrow. “Who is this incredibly fine archer?” cried the duke. “I must find him!”
After continuing through the forest for a few miles he came across a small boy carrying a bow and arrow. Eventually the boy admitted that it was he who shot the arrows plumb in the center of all the targets.
“You didn’t just walk up to the targets and hammer the arrows into the middle, did you?” asked the duke worriedly.
“No my lord. I shot them from a hundred paces. I swear it by all that I hold holy.”
“That is truly astonishing,” said the duke. “I hereby admit you into my service.” The boy thanked him profusely.
“But I must ask one favor in return,” the duke continued.
“You must tell me how you came to be such an outstanding shot.”
“Well,” said the boy, “first I fire the arrow at the tree……and then I paint the target around it.”
“A positive attitude from you tends to produce a positive attitude toward you.”
Stay well, do good work, and have fun.
Management is not responsible for duplicates from previous dailies. The editor is somewhat senile.
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