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3-Turnoffs for friendship

As described in my earlier post on How to Treat People, I have started to observe people closely on their behaviours. It is a subject that really intrigues me.

My recent observation prompted me to come out with 3 major turnoffs of building close relationship with friends and family.

No. 3 - Complaining & Blaming

When people complain, it emanates negativity. It also influences those around them to feel as negative as them.

Usually, people who complain is also those who blame others. You seldom see people complaining about themselves. Mostly, people are complaining about other people (their bosses, their friends, their partners, etc.) or things that are done by others. Well, there are people who complain about things that are mostly their own faults but they will refuse to take responsibilities. For e.g. a boss complaining about staffs that are not good when he is the one who hire them in the first place.

One thing that really turn me off is people who complain about things that will be better if they themselves do something about it, instead of just complaining. For e.g. when things do not turn out well in a trip where the organizer make some wrong bookings or forgotten somethings, some people will tend to complain about this and blame it solely on the organizer. But, they never offer themselves to help in organizing the trip, demand this and that as well as expect all their demands to be fullfilled. When bad things happen, it is partially their faults that they do not offer enough help. The least they can do is to keep from complaining and appreciate the efforts put in by the others who do not have obligation to do some much for them.

Bad or unwanted things do happen anytime whether we want it or not. Ask yourself these questions the next time something bad happen and you want to open your mouth and complain.

1. Does the bad things affect you very much? If no, keep your mouth shut. If yes, proceed to next question.

2. Will you make the same mistakes if you are in the person's shoe? If yes, keep your mouth shut. If no, proceed to next question.

3. Do you, even in very small way, cause this to happen (you do something, make a choice or you have done nothing at all)? If yes, keep your mouth shut. If no, proceed to next question.

4. Do the person who cause this have done a lot of other things and have tried very hard to prevent this? If yes, keep your mouth shut. If no, proceed to next question.

5. Do the person that you are complaining to has a high view of the things or persons you are complaining? For e.g., you should not complain about your boyfriend's mother to your boyfriend. If yes, keep your mouth shut. If no, proceed but keep in mind that your complaining can hurt others and make you the devil at that moment. :).

I am guilty of complaining also. Sometimes, I got carried away and wanted to join in the conversations. I always regretted afterwards. It will be better for my soul to just keep quiet and become an outcast of a group, rather than join the inappropriate complaining session and create negativities in myself.

No. 2 - Boastful

Personally, this is not a very big turnoff for me. But I know it does to many other people. Usually, when someone is boasting or showing off, I either treat them as joking or I try to believe what they say and not questioning how true is it. I always try to give them the benefit of doubt. Maybe they are right.

For most people, to mix with people who is boastful turn out to be a very sour experience. The boastful one always demand a grand presence. It is always "I am the greatest". This really turn people off as no one wants to feel lowly. Boastful people is also usually not sincere. They talk about things that are nonsensical and not considerate for other feelings.

From MCP (Male chauvinist pig) remark like "It is so hard for men to make money. " (as if women do not make money) to I-am-so-rich remark like "I change my handphone every half year anyway.", even to I-am-so-clever remark like "I have managed to solve the problem. It is so easy." (speaking to people who have not solve the problem yet.).

Fortunately, it is very easy for complaining and boastful poeple to solve their problems, that is to keep their mouth shut if they have nothing important to say.

Anyway, one can always learn more things by listening than talking.

No 1 - Selfish

No. 1 biggest turnoff for me is people who always think of themselves first and not being considerate to others. They do not repay other people kindness. They do not hesitate to trouble others if that can bring them comfort or they get want they want. They never contribute to others if they are not getting the benefit from it. They tend to do what they like without thinking of the consequences to others. Their world is about "me, me and me". If you leave them out or ignore them, they will ask "How about me?". If something bad happen to them, they will ask "Why me?" (even though the same thing might have happened to you).

They never learn to exist happily with others. For e.g., if they are sharing rooms with others, they will not care whether you are asleep or not and they will turn on the light, make noises doing their own chores. They always want to pick the best things for themselves. They are unwilling to pay their shares if they do not utilize the things. (In a group outing, sometimes it is easier to have everyone pay equally eventhough some use more than the others.)

What worst, some selfish person can do the talking but no action. For e.g. they apologize when they trouble you but they do not actually do anything to correct that. And they trouble you again and again.

A selfish person can also be annoying. It is because what they talk mostly are about themselves. What they ask are questions about themselves. For e.g. "Should I do this? Should I do that? What if, this thing happen, then what should I do? What if unexpected things happen, will I make it? Maybe I should do this. Oh, I should have done this. I used to do this before. I am very good at that. Maybe I can get your help. Oh, please help me yeah. Pity me. I do not know what to do. Maybe the person will hate me. Maybe God is not with me today. What did I do to deserve that? Do you think I am right?". You may be surprised, but they are people who rattle endlessly if you allow it.

I find the best way to face this situation is just to walk away and change topic. DO NOT ask any more questions. It just trigger off more rattle. DO NOT ask the person to stop worrying or stop thinking about it. Cause they will give you another set of excuses why they cannot stop.

It is sometimes very hard to change a selfish person. Because they will not understand (even though they do try) what you tell them as they can only think of their own perspective.

Actually, all of us have tendency to be selfish, i.e. think of ourselves first. We can practice more to stop and think for others in everything we do. With more practice, it will soon become our habit. This habit will make it easier for us to Win Friends and Influence People.

We are selfish when we are exclusively or predominantly concerned with the good for ourselves. We are altruistic when we are exclusively or predominantly concerned with the good of others.
~Mortimer Adler


ching yaw said…
After read thru your "3-Turnoffs for friendship", i was totally impressed and agree on what you have wrote.
I been thru all these stages, or should i say, i'm one of it before.

Thanks for recommend the book "how to win friends & influence people" to me. Really appreciate what you have advise and done for me. Cheers!!

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