We love, love, love our friends! Especially at this time of the year. Especially those bearing gifts. Heck, we even extend our love to those who might not have the friend label who are bearing gifts. ‘Tis the season to be friendly.
Only Scrooge would hold a deep grudge and admit that some people, no matter what they say after the fact, we are just never going to like. Which is perfectly OK – no one is required to like 100% of the population, 100% of the time.
But what about those people that don’t like YOU, that you’ve offended in some way, even some unknown way, but that you really need to get along with? And get along with better than you are currently getting along. (your MIL? your boss? Mr. Big Prospect?
Those key people that you need, for whatever reason, and you need to fix whatever went wrong, even after apologizing profusely. Or maybe you’ve done nothing offensive whatsoever (that you know about) and you’re simply being ignored by a key individual and need to get on their radar.
Let’s figure out how to do just that. We start by looking at what traits our favorite people have that make them so special to us. Those qualities are: personality, style, wit, and a drop of a fatal flaw (which we overlook because, well, we like them).
Personality – everyone has one, but what is it in a nutshell? We all fall into 1 of 4 broad categories: God, Nurse, Accountant, or Cheerleader. You can pretty much figure out the good and the bad (that fatal flaw) qualities just by reading the category names.
Yes, we all are all 4 to some degree, but one of the 4 is dominant in all of us. And because we all have all 4, we can pull any one out to a greater degree when needed. And you need it when you need the person to like you.
We all like people who are like us. So when you need to be liked, make yourself more like the other person in personality. They’ll like you more because of it.
Style – we all have one, but it’s not as compact to nail down as personality is. And no, I’m not talking about style in the fashion here. Style as in introverted or extroverted. Style as in uptight and harried or more easygoing. Style as in upbeat and cheerful or sullen and moody. And all the myriad degrees of each of these characteristics.
With style, you shouldn’t try to change to the style of the person you need to like you. But you can recognize that there is a style difference and meet them where they are. Yes, try to accommodate their style “needs”, tone your boisterous style down or wind your shy style up, depending on the other person in front of you. You’re never going to change who you are (nor do you necessarily want to), but you can make the effort to modify your style in moderate degrees. You will be less likely to be overlooked if you do.
Wit – which is not humor. Wit delights; humor can offend, depending who’s the butt of the joke. Wit is the turn of a phrase, the unique perspective that expresses something in a different way. Humor is a bad joke that elicits a groan, or a laugh if the other person is exactly in tune to your brand of funny. But humor is a risk not worth taking with someone who you need to like you, unless you’re a standup comedian and people pay to hear you poke fun. Wit is never in bad taste.
Fatal flaw – i.e. our humanness. We’re not perfect, everyone knows it. It’s endearing when someone admits it and is readily accepted as part of the friend equation. Puts you on the same playing field (you overlook my flaws and I’ll overlook yours). As long as the flaw(s) isn’t extreme, in which case, it could be a fatal blow to a friendship.
There you have it. Now go out and get on the Favorite People list of that person you need to warm up to. Or at least get on their Good People list, if the Favorites list is full. You need to be liked or noticed by someone important to you; likability makes the world go round and allows good things to happen.
Next time the topic is: Holiday Hello! communication – cards, digital song and dances, and oh, those annoying letters…
Comments on your favs, of the human variety.