Like People First
Posted on Jan 25, 2011 by Hayley Daniels-Lake
Have you ever noticed how it's always the friendliest of people that have the most friends. This is such a standard thing in every day life that it almost seems dumb to start out this post with that statement but it's no coincidence.
Think about two people you know, one who always takes a genuine interest in you and what you have been doing since you last spoke and another who never really seems that interest, if they do happen to talk to you it's only out of politeness, nothing more. How do these two people make you feel? I'm willing to bet that you're more likely to make friends with and take an interest in the first. This is because they have taken an interest in you, they like you and so in turn, you like them and take an interest in them.
Too often, when people have low self-esteem or have problems in their lives they shut themselves away from other people; even when they do spend time around others they are very introverted and keep themselves to themselves. This is usually out of fear, they feel bad about themselves and therefore they are worried that others will have the same perception. However, because they appear distant and uninterested in those around them, they get the same reaction back to them. Instead of seeing others as merely reacting to the way they are being they see it as yet more proof that their perceptions are in fact the truth. This creates a vicious circle in which they feel bad about themselves they therefore withdraw around others which leads to others withdrawing around them and this leads to them feeling even worse about themselves.
The solution to this is simply to show an interest in others, listen to what they say, be an active part of any conversation and take an interest in their lives. They will then do the same for you. I realize this isn't as easy as I'm making it sound but I challenge you to try it with just one person in one conversation and see what a difference it can make to you.