What does it mean? What makes us do what we do?
Look. I’m not the smartest person on the planet, I get that. There are a billion people out there smarter th – . Actually wait. I’d like to think I’m at least like…top 10%. Let me start over.
There are 700 million people out there who are way smarter than me. But you know one thing I’m pretty good at? Understanding people. It’s not an ego thing to admit that. I AM good at understanding people.
Let me explain.
Human beings are constantly at odds with one another. They all behave in different ways. Some people believe one thing, some people believe another. Some people DO one thing, some people do another. And our job, as interpersonal communicators, is to try and navigate our way to forge relationships and otherwise get along with folks considering the aforementioned circumstances.
So how do we do that?
By trying to figure them out. We try to identify people who are compatible with our own personalities. We try (or at least we SHOULD try) to harness the good ones, and block out the bad ones, if you’ll permit me the Happy Gilmore reference.
So how do we do THAT?
Well, it’s easy. All you have to do is ask yourself one question.
Why do people do what they do? What motivates them, as best we can ascertain, to perform the actions they perform? Once we identify that, we can thus make the decision as to whether their why, is congruent with our why. Because that’s essentially the key to successful relationships. You basically need to have the same general motives or character in order to mesh. Otherwise you’re constantly going to be clashing with people.
It really is that easy.
Why. Ask yourself why a person does what they do. Don’t focus on what they SAY. Focus on what they DO. Because as we all know, talk is cheap. Talk can be manipulated, spun, and twisted to cater to our own selfish needs. So don’t pay attention to that. Pay attention to what people DO.
Watch how they treat service personnel. Listen to the way they interact with others. Observe their charitable efforts, should they (hopefully) exist.
Do all those things. But at the same time, make sure you save room for forgiveness. People aren’t perfect. No one, ever, is perfect. Literally every human being on this planet has done things they regret, whether they own up to it or not (speaking of which, take note of the ones who DO own up to it. Because that speaks very largely of their character).
So there you have it. How to Get Along With Folks 101.
…or is it? You be the judge.