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5 Types of People You Love to Hate But Probably Shouldn’t

5 Types of People You Love to Hate But Probably Shouldn’t

We often throw the word “hate” around and use it too lightly. We say we hate people we don’t understand, or people who frustrate us with their behavior. However, we don’t really hate these people. The term “hate” should be reserved only for the most unacceptable human behaviors, like violence or prejudice.

There are five types of people that I thought I hated for a long time. Then I realized that they were simply people dealing with their own weaknesses and fears. Maybe they were dealing with those fears much differently than I thought they should. But I realized it’s a far better idea to try to understand and sympathize with them, rather than say I hate for them.

Here are those five types of people, and what I learned about them.

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1. The bragger

This person has to be number one on almost everyone’s list of “hated” people. No one likes a bragger, and I’ve especially detested the act of bragging for as long as I can remember. I knew a guy who seemed to have it all figured out, or at least he thought he did. On one occasion at a social event, his extroverted attempts at charming everyone really started to annoy me. I bluntly made a few remarks, thinking I’d put him in his place.

The result was actually surprising. He became quiet for several minutes, even appearing somewhat anxious. At that point, I realized something that I should have known much sooner. This guy wasn’t full of himself. He was just the opposite, and his attempts at charming everyone in the room were really just pleas for acceptance. I immediately felt guilty for being rude to him because he was dealing with insecurity the only way he knew how. His behavior still seems like show act at times, but I don’t hassle him now. It’s just a part of his journey to becoming more sure of himself, and that’s ok. 

2. The selfie queen

This is another character you often hear people complain about. One particular friend of mine fits the bill perfectly. I’ll admit, we only know each other through mutual friends, and probably wouldn’t otherwise, as we’re not much alike. However, there is something in her that is relentlessly benevolent. She’s kind and accepting of just about everyone. Much of her selfie-snapping, I believe, can be attributed to her need to feel liked and accepted. Once we see the reason behind annoying behaviors like this, all of our “hate” for them suddenly seems cruel.

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While there will always be a part of me (a fairly large part of me) that finds her a bit annoying, and sometimes shallow, I find myself wanting to support her. I’ll even “like” a few of the not-so-interesting photos she regularly posts of herself, her house, her food, etc., just to make her feel good. Of course, she doesn’t need it. She has plenty of friends and family members who adore her. But I think it’s important for me to remind myself to be accepting of things that bother me, and accept someone who is clearly asking for a little validation now and then.

3. The perfectionist

You know those people who say, “Lets go with the flow and see what happens?” Perfectionists are the opposite of those people. They believe there’s only one “right” way, and they don’t tolerate variations or gray areas. Since I’m relatively easygoing and open to change, perfectionists have hassled me quite a few times. Someone in my close circle is like this, and accomplishing things with them often feels like wading through honey. We repeatedly have to stop in the middle of a task and regroup to do things as by-the-book as possible. 

While I constantly fought this perfectionist to loosen up, my efforts were always futile. But maybe I was pushing too hard. After all, is it really such a bad thing to want to do everything to the best of your ability? When you think about it, that’s all a perfectionist really is. The trait is actually somewhat admirable.

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4. The pushover

While it may seem harsh to hate on a pushover, it’s also difficult to watch them be continuously stepped on without getting frustrated. One of my closest friends seems to have a little problem with letting things slide. People take drastic measures to inconvenience him, and he doesn’t give it so much as a thought. Many times, he’s even stood up for people while I angrily express how out of line they are.

The thing to recognize is, people who are perceived as pushovers often have a valuable trait that most of us lack—patience. These people can have their tolerance tested time and time again, but never run out of reasons to be understanding. Instead of regarding these people as weak, we should consider what we can learn from them.

5. The crazy girl

Calm down feminists, I know there are crazy guys too. However, one particular girl I met years ago really struck me. She was notoriously known as the “crazy” one who was to be avoided—and certainly not to be invited to parties. She was rude, inconsiderate, volatile at times, and an emotional wreck at other times. On more than one occasion, I found myself trying to set her straight for the rude things she’d say to me. She would casually apologize, then seem to forget all about the incident seconds later.

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Looking back, it’s obvious now that trying to reprimand her was a ridiculous and misguided approach. All of her behaviors were symptoms of major troubles she was having at home. She projected the chaos onto everyone she came across, and they promptly rejected her in response. Thus the more I thought about it, the more I felt sorry for her. It doesn’t seem fair to hate others with so many problems, when we have so few to complain about.

Featured photo credit: Pixabay via pixabay.com

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Last Updated on January 15, 2019

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

Many of us feel awkward talking to strangers. I’m a very outgoing person, even though I sometimes feel uncomfortable walking up to someone and asking a question or starting a conversation. I consider myself pretty high up on the extrovert meter. So what is it that makes us pause and become worried or anxious about talking to people we don’t know?

In this article, we will discuss why we feel this way as well as some tips on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Step right up, don’t be shy!

Why We Feel Awkward Talking to Strangers

The next time you feel uncomfortable talking to a stranger, tell yourself that’s completely normal. There are numerous reasons why it’s actually natural to feel awkward talking to strangers:

Our Stress Levels Rise Around Strangers

Numerous studies have show that our levels of cortisol go up when we are around strangers.[1] Cortisol is the hormone inside of us which produces stress responses.[2]
So there you go, right off the bat you can see part of your standard response to strangers is due to a chemical reaction!

A very interesting by product of increased cortisol is that it makes us less empathetic. More than likely this can be traced to our evolution. The increase in the cortisol and the corresponding decrease in empathy makes us want to stay away from strangers. We are biologically wired to feel concern around strangers.

Evolution Taught Us to Be Wary

Evolution has also taught us to be wary of strangers in general. Humans as a whole have spent a large chunk of their history banded together in small protective groups. We did this in order to help protect each other and maximize resources.

When you think about it in this context, outsiders to our small groups or strangers are considered potential threats. Fear of strangers is common across almost all human cultures.

Culturally Conditioned

We can also thank our society for helping us feel uncomfortable and sometimes afraid of strangers. The term “stranger danger” is something most of us can relate to either growing up or raising kids. Or both.

I remember hearing this from my parents, mostly about not getting in someone’s car I didn’t know. And as the father of 2 teenage girls, you can be sure I’ve talked to them about this very concept more times that they want to hear.

The thought that strangers can be dangerous is built into us as it is. Toss in the amplification of the media on strangers doing things such as kidnapping kids and it takes it to an even higher level.

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Now that we’ve reviewed some of the reasons why we are nervous, let’s look at why you should talk to strangers more.

Benefits of Getting over the Awkwardness

Let’s take a quick look at some of the advantages of how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward. These are some high level benefits of talking to strangers.

1. Broadens Your Network

After you talk to someone, you didn’t know previously they become someone you know at least a little bit. This alone helps broaden your network of people you know. This is helpful in many ways whether it is work related or socially related.

2. Improves Your Communication Skills

I am a huge proponent of the value of solid communication skills and have written about it often. The more you talk to people, especially people you don’t know, the better your communication skills become.

Interacting with a wider variety of people will bring the added benefit of improving your communication skills.

3. Continually Learning

So many of us don’t actively seek to learn new things. This is one of the primary keys to staying engaged in life and our own personal self fulfillment.

Almost every time I speak to someone I didn’t know previously, I’ve learned something new. When we speak to strangers, it pushes us out of our comfort zones and we tend to learn new things.

4. Increases Self Confidence

Every time we learn to do something we were previously anxious about, we feel better about ourselves.

Forcing ourselves to talk to strangers will lead to increased self confidence. As we get more and more comfortable doing something that previously made us feel awkward, our self confidence will go up and up.

So, how to talk to strangers to reap these benefits?

How to Talk to Strangers

Here are some tips to on how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

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1. Say Hello

Putting “say hello” first may seem a bit obvious but let’s take a deeper look. Much of the social awkwardness when speaking to strangers is simply breaking the ice. The first words that will engage someone.

Most people will respond when someone says hello or hi to them. And those that don’t, you probably don’t want to talk to anyway.

Practice being the person that opens the door to a conversation. Say hello.

2. Ask About Them

Something that I have noticed over the years is that people love to talk about themselves. Even fairly private people tend to open up when asked about events in their lives.

You can ask leading questions that get people to talk about themselves and recent events. Things like recent movies watched or the summer vacation are great to get someone talking.

As a father, I also know that people love to talk about their kids. Asking about kids is a fairly easy topic to bring up and in general, most people will expound upon all the great things their kids do or are involved with.

3. Just Do It

One of the biggest reasons we don’t do things we want to or know we should is because we overthink it. Quit thinking about it so much and just do it.

When you give yourself the time to analyze every little angle about a situation, you also give plenty of time to talk yourself out of it. You’ll wind up thinking what if this happens or what if that happens.

Try to force yourself to jump right in without thinking about it too much. Whenever I have done this, I always feel great about it afterwards, no matter how it turned out.

4. Don’t Take It Personal

One of the greatest lessons in life I ever learned was don’t take anything personally. We all go through life with our own sets of experiences and see things through our own lens. The way people react to different situations has almost nothing to do with us. It has to do with previous experiences and the way people feel about things other than us.

When someone’s reaction isn’t what you’d hoped or expected, chances are it has nothing to do with you. Remember that and keep it in context.

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5. Get a Chuckle If Possible

I used the word chuckle purposely because it makes me laugh. In my opinion, it’s one of those funny words. We all like to laugh because it makes us feel good. And when someone makes us laugh, we typically remember those people in a positive light.

One of the best ways to make a conversation easy and free flowing is to get some laughter going. It doesn’t mean you have to be the master joke teller or anything. See if you can work in a way to make the person you are talking to get a smile or some laughter in. In fact, laughing at yourself maybe a nice try.

6. Detach

A great feeling is when you don’t mind which way something turns out, that you will be fine no matter what happens. Kind of like when I watch my two favorite football teams play against each other. I don’t really care who wins, I just want a fun game.

Treat talking to strangers the same way. You don’t really care how the conversation goes because you are detaching from the outcome. Make it a fun time with yourself and if the conversation goes well, awesome! If not then no big deal, move on.

7. Share Your Stories

Well, all like to feel connected to other people. And many times we wind up hanging out with people that we have things in common with. No surprise here.

To help with how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward, tell stories that have commonalities with the person you are talking to. Kids are an easy one. I have a daughter who was a competitive cheerleader and now plays club volleyball. I have instant connection and stories with strangers I speak with who have kids that play sports. It’s easy to relate to.

So when you are speaking to a stranger and you have a story or mutual connection point, bring it up.

8. Give a Compliment

Almost everyone likes hearing a compliment, whether they admit to it or not. As a general rule, we don’t give out enough compliments. It’s amazing how one small remark someone tosses your way about how good you look can literally make your entire day.

When you are speaking with someone you don’t know, see if you can work a compliment in. Nothing creepy here. Not a good idea to tell someone you just met that they are the prettiest or handsomest person you ever met. However, if you can share how you like their tattoo or shoes or something like that, it will help put the conversation into an easy going, smiling place.

9. Relax Your Body Language

If you go into a situation all worried and nervous, it shows on your body. Your shoulders are tensed up, there’s a look of consternation on your face, things like that.

When you engage a stranger in conversation, make it a point to relax your body language. Take a deep breath before you engage the person, let your body relax, and put a smile on your face. This will help relax you and it has the added benefit of putting the other person more at ease.

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If they see that you are relaxed, it helps them relax. Plus having open, engaging body language is very conducive to inviting someone to open up into a conversation with you.

10. Practice, Practice, Practice

Like everything else in life, talking to strangers gets easier with practice. The more you do it, the easier it becomes.

Make it a point to talk to several strangers each week and it will definitely help you relax as you do it more and more.

After a while, it will become something you don’t even think about, you just do it. And that takes all of the awkwardness out of being in these type situations.

The Bottom Line

As we have seen, it is perfectly natural to feel awkward talking to strangers. We are biologically built that way and we have our own society constantly warning us how dangerous it is. It’s no wonder we feel awkward talking to strangers!

There are numerous benefits to learning to be more comfortable talking to strangers. See if you can employ some of the techniques mentioned to learn how to talk to strangers without feeling awkward.

Once you start practicing speaking with strangers more often and utilizing some of the tips, you will become more comfortable doing so. This in turn will lead to a learned new skill and increased self confidence.

Remember, everyone you know was a stranger at one time. Now get out there and make some new friends.

More Resources About Strengthening Communication Skills

Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

Reference

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