Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Annoying and not so annoying people

I've written about it before, this struggle I have with not liking people.  It was so ingrained in me as a Quaker that my job is to see that of God in everyone.  But there are some people I just don't like.  I'm trying to come to terms with that.  I guess I still believe there is that of God in everyone, but I also believe that for me to love everyone in the world is just not a realistic task.

Even when I don't know someone well, I may still have a strong feeling about whether I like or dislike them.  There are people I see around at my work.  They go to the same meetings I go to, but I don't really interact with them much directly.  And that's all it takes for me to make a judgment. There is a woman who just seems nice.  Something about how she carries herself, how she speaks. There are others who annoy me every time I see them.

And I'm finding the common threads, noticing which traits I like and dislike.  I dislike pushy people.  I dislike people who tell others what they ought to do, who give unsolicited advice.  I dislike people who pontificate, so convinced that what they  have to say is so much more correct than what others have to say.  I dislike people who are ambitious about capturing resources for themselves.  I dislike people who are smoothly charming, trying to manipulate others into liking them. I dislike women who squeal, who giggle, who are fashionable, the kind of women who exclaim, "oh what a cute purse!"

I like people who are not too loud.  I like people who ponder different ways of looking at things rather than seizing one viewpoint and being blind to all others. I like people who are careful to review the information before coming to a conclusion.  I like people who seek truth and kindness.  I like people who are rugged, practical, and direct. 

Despite my instinct to the contrary, it's okay to like some people more than others.  It's okay to learn which traits I value, to try to cultivate them in myself, to try to put myself in the company of people who exhibit those traits.

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