February 15, 2015

Best Reasons to Relate to Other People

Different personality types, modes of thinking, and lifestyles spice up our lives. Yet, they also provide obstacles. Overcoming such complications calls for patience and understanding; this can be a tall order. 

For instance, I have a couple of friends who are in the process of divorcing. From the beginning, their temperaments have been polar opposites. He is fun-loving and stubborn. She loves rules; and, she’s persistent in her own way. I’m not sure they ever tried to truly understand each other.

Often, we won’t be aware of the motivation behind certain behavior. Therefore, we might criticize or misunderstand it. It’s often hard to relate to people with varying attitudes. However, we can close the communication gap if we attempt to find a common ground. 

The following is a direct quote from my book, Accept No Trash Talk: Overcoming the Odds:

My Family--In the 1970’s, my family and I were having lunch together. Somebody read aloud a children’s riddle: “What’s purple and rides a white horse?” The answer is “The Lone Grape”. Initially, there were only a few polite titters in response to the joke. Then, my late mother started guffawing. She didn’t stop for about 10 minutes. By the time she had stopped, the rest of the family was doubled over with laughter as well. So, my mother started laughing again.

The laughter went on for about 15 minutes this time. However, my mother was the person who appreciated the pun the most. The bottom line is this: if we’re confused, or offended, it might help to ask ourselves if the motivation of the offender was to hurt us, or to have fun.

Tanya is another example of how the definition of humor may vary from person to person. She’s a teenager whose first priority in life is fun. She is willing to work hard at school, on her terms, because she knows that’s the only way that she’ll get good grades. However, outside of school, she goes out of her way to entertain herself constantly, or to find the humor in every situation. For example, she loves to bluntly point out every mistake people make. In addition, she finds it amusing when people get physically hurt, or do something socially awkward. In the end, this girl’s motivation is not offense, but self-amusement.

Morgan Freeman is an American actor who walks in the shoes of the characters that he plays. He stringently researches every role; therefore, he is more able to portray the character accurately. I understand he extensively followed around two public figures he was going to portray in two different films. By the time he had finished shadowing the celebrities, he had mastered even their gestures and mannerisms. He was actually thinking and acting like the men he was portraying. I’m sure such a deep connection allowed the actor to uncover many of the men’s deeper motivations.

My Conclusion

How well do you connect with people?

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