We can't win 'em all, we can't love everyone and we are not perfect. So it's all right to admit that we don't get along with everyone. Some people outright put us off and a few would prefer never seeing us again. So there, we all have someone in our circle at work, in our community, in our school and in our family that we don't really like.
Yet, life demands that we make at least a decent attempt at getting along with them if we don't have an alternative right away and can't avoid them forever.
So here are 3 practical, doable and 'not so hairy' ways to include those we aren't absolutely gushing about.
Related Article: 4 Ways on Moving from Tolerance to Inclusion
ONE: Question your dislike
Really simple and foundational. Do we dislike the person for how they dress at work, for their accent and that we can't follow their English, that they eat food we loathe, don't have our favourite body shape or that they cut us off in a meeting and never apologised? Most times, we dislike people for trivial things that don't matter now and won't in the future. Also, most things we so dislike are often none of our business. Pettiness doesn't help us to be a productive or successful person. It drags us down. So try getting over it by finding something admirable about the person and replacing your dislike with that quality. So they don't eat food that you can even recognise, but do they put out a great report when asked or make sure they greet everyone in the morning? Hang on to that bit of quality next time you come face to face, and watch your dislike dilute a little. I bet it'll be easier to look the person in the eye and talk to them this time around.
TWO: Meet more people
Curiosity is an antidote to dislike. On the other hand, our finickiness about others becomes magnified as we isolate ourselves and turn too picky about whom we allow in our circle. Over the years, I have created a very wide variety of friends, acquaintances and co-workers. I don't try to be a best friend to too many people or hang out with all of them, and that keeps me sane. But most importantly, I have observed how widening my circle has brought down my resistance to new people and various personal styles others have as they communicate and work with me. It takes a lot to seriously offend me, and I can't remember an incident when I had to work hard to avoid anyone. This means, I am alert to my own dislike and discomfort and question it if I need to. More people also mean a wider slice of life, which keeps my life interesting and buzzing. I am often intrigued by why people do what they do.
THREE: Have a good conversation
I remember how I kept passing by a co-worker once and thought, they don't seem like a person I have much in common with. At times, we didn't even greet each other in the morning. Then I took my own advice and had a chat with them over a cup of tea. Turns out, we had many things in common and really enjoyed each others' company. I am sure they must have felt similarly about me before we chatted. I was truly surprised how much I enjoyed our chat. At times, how the person dresses up or talks or goes about their work is misleading. It's only part of the story, just because we see them doesn't mean we get them. We have lots to discover about other people if only we sat down once in a while to have a genuine chat. Connectedness is something I am passionate about, because it's really rewarding. No two people can discover their connection unless they talk.