Now, I am absolutely not advocating becoming duplicitous or false to get people to like you*.
Here, I am simply sharing what most people concur is a truism with my own examples.
Something that came to my head first thing this morning.
I remember being at a garage sale about a decade ago. The woman selling items had some detox and health books I was looking through. We got to talking and she pointed over to a house across the street and a few doors down. She said right there lived a great man that died of cancer.
She told me how it was an aggressive, incurable cancer and that from the time he was diagnosed to death was about 8 months. But during those eight months he left a lasting impression.
On some days he was completely debilitated and could not even get out of bed. On other days he could be seen early in the morning all over the neighborhood fixing broke fences, cutting down old trees and doing general repairs that no one had asked him to do.
He simply took it upon himself to help others and be useful. It was what he needed to do and bonded the neighbors together in their affection for him. And here was this woman telling me, a complete stranger, about this man. Who I could not help but revere as well. Because that was the impact he had. That was the impression he left on the world. That was the feeling he gave people.
In contrast it reminded me of the time I was trying to hurriedly pick up my daughter from daycare. They had a policy of charging $1 per minute late. I popped in to the grocery store 1/2 a block from the facility for a few things for dinner before getting her as she hated car rides and taking her in and out of the car was always a hassle.
I thought I was going to be ok time-wise but before me at the register was a much older woman who was struggling with her payment. She was short on paying for several items and the frustrated cashier was trying to point out the things that could be taken off her bill to bring her total to what she had.
I was getting antsy. This was taking a while. The woman was really hesitating to put anything back so I offered to pay for a couple of things, but not all, as she had quite a few things she didn’t account for.
I didn’t mind the expense terribly, even though we didn’t ourselves have a lot of money at the time. But my attitude was a bit poor, as was hers though, not that this excuses mine. But she thanked me in a way that made me feel even worse for not buying all the groceries she wanted.
Maybe I should have. I was coming from a long, hard day at work and I really didn’t take the time to pay very close attention. And even though I did something, which is usually better than nothing, in this case I don’t think it left anyone feeling good about it.
Generally speaking I try to just be genuine. If I am stressed or in a bad mood I just keep to myself. If I can I try to engage with people where they are and forge a connection. Because it makes life so much more enjoyable to do so.
But I never really put too much thought into how I make other people feel. In fact, it always catches me off guard when people tell me positive things. And I feel truly grateful to them for allowing me to see myself through their eyes.
My hope is that when my life is said and done and the scales are weighed that I have left a positive imprint in this world.
But until then I’m just going to keep doing my thing.
We all must forge our own destiny❣️
*Plus I think if you are genuinely yourself, even if most people don’t particularly like you, you will find your tribe. Someone, somewhere that likes you as you are. Because there is room for all of us here. And I, myself, respect someone who is honestly themselves, even when I don’t particularly agree with them or like them much.