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Banking on Your Being Different: 7 Tips to Stay Away from Isolation

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Banking on Your Being Different: 7 Tips to Stay Away from Isolation

Sometimes being too different may lead to sacrificing your social life. You might think that nobody understands you, and because of this, you might become isolated or feel like an outcast. But it doesn’t have to be this way!

There might be several reasons why you are different or considered unique. Maybe you have a different sense of fashion, you are a vegan, you have no family or you have a big family, you are a yogi, you don’t eat pizza, you had cosmetic surgery back when you were young, or you are debt free. Some people won’t understand until you reach out to them, but how do you start the process?

Some Tips on How to Reach Out

One has to deal with other people, maybe not now or tomorrow, but eventually, it will happen. There are lots of ways to do it and the first tip is to stay positive.

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1. Embrace your differences.

Your eyes may have a different lilt, your nose a different size or your voice a different tone, but you should be the one who should embrace your uniqueness. Never mind that you are being teased for those youthful mistakes you made. Never mind that you look red in a sea of blue people. It means you are unique and interesting.

2. See being different as a learning and teaching opportunity.

There are no little lessons that can’t be learned or can’t be taught. See it as an opportunity to help people. When they ask about your being vegan, explain, but don’t impose. If they ask you why you got a cosmetic procedure, outline your positive reasons.

3. Be your own company.

Never feel isolated–that’s the first thing that will lead to your isolation. If you feel lonely among the crowd, try to entertain yourself. Never retreat right away to any place alone.

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4. Be curious.

So if you feel alone, why not be the one to reach out? Try to meet or know other people. You aren’t the only one who is different; try to discover the differences in other people. Listen to them and see their beauty from within.

5. Find friends who will understand you.

There are just people in the world that will be able to tolerate your eccentricities and your differences, even though you yourself are not quite the same. They are for keeps.

6. Let people make choices.

When they want to drift away from you, try to reach out first. If it fails, don’t keep a heavy heart. They probably aren’t worth the effort.

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7. Make being different an advantage.

See famous people today? They are different. They think differently. They stood out, so you should too. You are unique, and that counts more than blending in.

Banking on these Advantages

People who are intrapersonal, strong and intelligent can really evolve into somebody who is interpersonally intelligent. An understanding of yourself can be the key to understanding people better. See these things as a jump-start to you growing and reaching out.

Many of your peers are there, waiting to be reached out to. Sometimes all it takes for you to emancipate yourself from total isolation from the world is a single step. A simple conversation, a useful tip or even a little compliment can never go wrong, as long as the other person is willing to open up too.

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It may be harder at first but then you will start to realize that who you are can contribute greatly to the world. Anything you do or have–tattoos, lifestyle, beliefs–they are all you. Many may not accept you, but at least give them a try. Reach out.

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Last Updated on November 18, 2021

10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

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10 Proven Ways to Judge a Person’s Character

We all fall into the trap of judging a person’s character by their appearance. How wrong we are! All too often, the real character of the person only appears when some negative event hits them or you. Then you may see a toxic person emerging from the ruins and it is often a shock.

A truly frightening example is revealed in the book by O’Toole in Bowman called Dangerous Instincts: How Gut Instincts Betray Us. A perfectly respectable, charming, well dressed neighbor was found to have installed a torture chamber in his garage where he was systematically abusing kidnapped women. This is an extreme example, but it does show how we can be totally deceived by a person’s physical appearance, manners and behavior.

So, what can you do? You want to be able to assess personal qualities when you come into contact with colleagues, fresh acquaintances and new friends who might even become lifelong partners. You want to know if they are:

  • honest
  • reliable
  • competent
  • kind and compassionate
  • capable of taking the blame
  • able to persevere
  • modest and humble
  • pacific and can control anger.

The secret is to reserve judgment and take your time. Observe them in certain situations; look at how they react. Listen to them talking, joking, laughing, explaining, complaining, blaming, praising, ranting, and preaching. Only then will you be able to judge their character. This is not foolproof, but if you follow the 10 ways below, you have a pretty good chance of not ending up in an abusive relationship.

1. Is anger a frequent occurrence?

All too often, angry reactions which may seem to be excessive are a sign that there are underlying issues. Do not think that every person who just snaps and throws his/her weight around mentally and physically is just reacting normally. Everyone has an occasional angry outburst when driving or when things go pear-shaped.

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But if this is almost a daily occurrence, then you need to discover why and maybe avoid that person. Too often, anger will escalate to violent and aggressive behavior. You do not want to be near someone who thinks violence can solve personal or global problems.

2. Can you witness acts of kindness?

How often do you see this person being kind and considerate? Do they give money to beggars, donate to charity, do voluntary work or in some simple way show that they are willing to share the planet with about 7 billion other people?

I was shocked when a guest of mine never showed any kindness to the weak and disadvantaged people in our town. She was ostensibly a religious person, but I began to doubt the sincerity of her beliefs.

“The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”

Abigail Van Buren

3. How does this person take the blame?

Maybe you know that s/he is responsible for a screw-up in the office or even in not turning up on time for a date. Look at their reaction. If they start blaming other colleagues or the traffic, well, this is an indication that they are not willing to take responsibility for their mistakes.

4. Don’t use Facebook as an indicator.

You will be relieved to know that graphology (the study of that forgotten skill of handwriting) is no longer considered a reliable test of a person’s character. Neither is Facebook stalking, fortunately. A study showed that Facebook use of foul language, sexual innuendo and gossip were not reliable indicators of a candidate’s character or future performance in the workplace.

5. Read their emails.

Now a much better idea is to read the person’s emails. Studies show that the use of the following can indicate certain personality traits:

  • Too many exclamation points may reveal a sunny disposition
  • Frequent errors may indicate apathy
  • Use of smileys is the only way a person can smile at you
  • Use of the third person may reveal a certain formality
  • Too many question marks can show anger
  • Overuse of capital letters is regarded as shouting. They are a definite no-no in netiquette, yet a surprising number of  people still use them.

6. Watch out for the show offs.

Listen to people as they talk. How often do they mention their achievements, promotions, awards and successes? If this happens a lot, it is a sure indication that this person has an over-inflated view of his/her achievements. They are unlikely to be modest or show humility. What a pity!  Another person to avoid.

7. Look for evidence of perseverance.

A powerful indicator of grit and tenacity is when a person persists and never gives up when they really want to achieve a life goal. Look for evidence of them keeping going in spite of enormous difficulties.

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Great achievements by scientists and inventors all bear the hallmark of perseverance. We only have to think of Einstein, Edison (who failed thousands of times) and Nelson Mandela to get inspiration. The US Department of Education is in no doubt about how grit, tenacity and perseverance will be key success factors for youth in the 21st century.

8. Their empathy score is high.

Listen to how they talk about the less fortunate members of our society such as the poor, immigrants and the disabled. Do you notice that they talk in a compassionate way about these people? The fact that they even mention them is a strong indicator of empathy.

People with zero empathy will never talk about the disadvantaged. They will rarely ask you a question about a difficult time or relationship. They will usually steer the conversation back to themselves. These people have zero empathy and in extreme cases, they are psychopaths who never show any feelings towards their victims.

9. Learn how to be socially interactive.

We are social animals and this is what makes us so uniquely human. If a person is isolated or a loner, this may be a negative indicator of their character. You want to meet a person who knows about trust, honesty and loyalty. The only way to practice these great qualities is to actually interact socially. The great advantage is that you can share problems and celebrate success and joy together.

“One can acquire everything in solitude, except character.”

Stendhal

 10. Avoid toxic people.

These people are trying to control others and often are failing to come to terms with their own failures. Typical behavior and conversations may concern:

  • Envy or jealousy
  • Criticism of partners, colleagues and friends
  • Complaining about their own lack of success
  • Blaming others for their own bad luck or failure
  • Obsession with themselves and their problems

Listen to these people talk and you will quickly discover that you need to avoid them at all costs because their negativity will drag you down. In addition, as much as you would like to help them, you are not qualified to do so.

Now, having looked at some of the best ways to judge a person, what about yourself? How do others see you? Why not take Dr. Phil’s quiz and find out. Can you bear it?

Featured photo credit: Jacek Dylag via unsplash.com

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