Attitude is so very important, especially in our relationships with people. It's hard to be around someone we don't agree with or even worse - that we don't like.
Yet, unless we are living in a relational cocoon, you and I will be around people who we have a hard time being around.
One of the tools to overcoming that stigma with those who are "hard to like" people is to begin to add value to their lives. Having the right attitude toward them. Seeing them as a person to love and accept and not a project to change.
Lets Giblin once said, "You can't make the other fellow feel important in your presence if you secretly feel that he is a nobody."
That is very, very true.
Don't you find it difficult to do something kind for people when you dislike them?
A lot of it comes back to perception. How we view them. How we see them.
Are they simply people to be tolerated, nuisances along your path to getting what you want? Are you motivating those around you or manipulating them to get your own way?
Sydney J. Harris said, "People want to be appreciated, no impressed. They want to be regarded as human beings, not as sounding boards for other people's egos. They want to be treated as an end in themselves, not as a means towards the gratification of another's vanity."
Here's a thought: We must value people over being right.
The following story from author Leonard Sweet highlights the importance of valuing our relationships with other people:
"Tom Wiles served a stint as university chaplain at Grand Canyon University in Phoenix, Arizona. A few years ago, he picked me up at the Phoenix airport in his new Ford pickup and whisked me away to keynote a leadership conference at the university.
Since I was still mourning the trade-in of my Dodge truck, we immediately bonded, sharing truck stories and laughing at the bumper-sticker truism: "Nothing is more beautiful than a man and his truck."
As I climbed into his 2002 Ranger for the ride back to the airport a day later, I noticed two big scrapes by the passenger door. "What happened here?" I asked.
"My neighbor's basketball post fell and left those dents and white scars," Tom replied with a downcast voice.
"You're kidding! How awful," I commiserated. "This truck is so new I can smell it."
"What's even worse is my neighbor doesn't feel responsible for the damage."
Rising to my newfound friend's defense, I said, "Did you contact your insurance company? How are you going to get him to pay for it?"
"This has been a real spiritual journey for me," Tom replied. "After a lot of soul-searching and discussions with my wife about hiring an attorney, it came down to this: I can either be in the right, or I can be in a relationship with my neighbor.
Since my neighbor will probably be with me longer than this truck, I decided that I'd rather be in a relationship than be right. Besides, trucks are meant to be banged up, so I got mine initiated into the real world a bit earlier than I expected."
How do I let those around me know that I appreciate them and value them as a human being?
I let them know that they are more valuable than the project I am working on.
I realize that I can't change anybody. Only God can change people.
Our role is simply to accept people as they are and work within the parameters of their personality.
I've often said that one of the ways that people get along in Carlsbad, New Mexico (a small town), where we worked for 3 years, is that they have a saying:
"Well, that's just the way, Joe is. That's just the way Sally is."
A general acceptance of people around us.
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