While it’s true there are some women that are more likable than others, there are some that will never enjoy spending time together. We all want to be liked, but the reality is, there are some women we don’t like or don’t like us. There is a common reason to why we get along so well with some and not others — it all hinges on behavioral styles.
I am somewhat ashamed to admit there are definitely women I am acquainted with, which I just don’t like — or rather there are certain aspects of their personalities that irk me. I realize this is true about my personality for others as well. Our behavioral styles are different and this comes between us — even if we don’t realize it.
The thing about behavioral styles we need to understand is one way is not the “right way” and the other wrong. We mistakenly tend to judge a whole person and not the individual behavior(s) as what we don’t like. We most often tend to like, and become friends with, those who have the same behavior styles as we do.
Those who are more direct in their communication style and logical in thinking tend to surround themselves with others who are also direct and logical. The same is true for those who are more sensitive and operate more relationally.
There isn’t a problem with either approach and both are equally important in different circumstances. The issue is when the more direct and logical individual disagrees with the approach of the sensitive person.
We tend to view behaviors we don’t personally relate with in a negative way — although sometimes opposites do attract. In these situations, we can learn to appreciate the differences. This is only possible when we choose to put a value on behavior that differs from our own.
Find the Good
It’s easy to point out the things we don’t like about another person. After having a negative encounter, it is difficult to not make that the focus of who a person is. Rarely, will one negative encounter with someone explain who that person is truly. When we are intentional in trying to discover things we like about another person we move the focus from the negative to the positive.
Several years ago I met a woman through a homeless ministry we were both serving. Right away there was friction between us. We both were dominant personalities within the group and had different viewpoints on life, which brought about some disagreement between us.
I felt she was rude and quite negative. I thought she lacked sensitivity when it came to those we were serving. I would need to discover the good aspects regarding her approach to the ministry work we were doing. Despite my disagreement with how direct and strong she approached the group of people we were serving, I did discover and learn to appreciate her ability to manage under great pressure when the ministry went through an unexpected and painful transition of leadership.
When we focus on the good in others we are better able to remain positive and work together in harmony and avoid discord. It is grace that allows us to make this choice.
Looking for commonalities between you can be both good and bad. Sometimes when we decide we don’t like a person it is because they exhibit the same behaviors we dislike the most about ourselves.
On the other hand, finding things that you both have in common, such as interests and hobbies, can be a way to connect. Engaging the person that you dislike through shared enjoyed activities is one of the best ways to break the tension between you.
A woman that I did not get along with very well began running for exercise. At the time, I was training for a half-marathon myself. I would see her at the YMCA almost every day where we both were training. Several times we ended up on treadmills next to one another and began chatting about our common goal of running a certain race in the future. Eventually, we became friendly and even cheered one another on during a race we both were running. Now we continue to cheer each other on in our lives, marriages, and parenting.
When we choose to look past our differences it is much easier to find the commonalities we share. Not every relationship will bud into a friendship, but it makes it much more difficult to hate someone that shares your passions in life.
Gossiping about those we dislike can be an easy thing to fall into. We often cover it as “just getting something off our chest,” but it is not a healthy practice. In fact, instead of gossiping about the person you are having difficulty with, choose to speak only well of them.
Sadly, I have often failed in this area. I am a verbal processor so I have to talk about things to understand them. This is especially true when it comes to negative feelings and circumstances. Sometimes what begins as a re-telling of facts turns into an opinion filled rant about a person or situation I am in disagreement with.
Instead of ranting, if we speak only good about the one we are in opposition with we will more easily begin to see more of the good and lovely that is within them.
We make choices every day to either value and honor those around us — or not. We don’t have to like everything everyone chooses to do around us, but we are called to love them. We can show love by finding the value in each person and in turn our value shines as well.