My friend Sheri invites me to have lunch with her and Jane, “ a mover and a shaker.”
With lunch I also got a show…It was called “The All about Jane Show.”
I reprimand myself for being so judgmental while pretending to be engaged.
After a rather dull 45 minute lunch I say my good-byes to Sheri and Jane.
Sheri walks me to my car and drops a bomb: “I always feel worse when I’m around Jane.”
“OMG… I thought it was just me.”
“No, I always feel this way but I’m not sure why,” Sheri says.
There’s a saying, people will forget what you say but they will never forget how they made you feel. The good thing about observing Jane was to become aware of little habits that could be tweaked a bit to create better relationships.
1. Blabber Mouth
2. Know it All
From the moment we sat down Jane talked. She talked about her knowledge, about her connections, her lifestyle, her education and anything else that related to the world of Jane. It was interesting the first ten minutes, boring after 15 minutes and irritating at half past the hour.
Solution: Ask a question and listen. If you are the only one talking chances are you are the only one having fun.
Know it All
Jane had the answer for any question, idea or thought process that even tried to leak out. It was almost as if Jane was in grade school raising her hand yelling “ask me, ask me!” When others did share an opinion Jane had to top it off with one additional piece of information.
Solution: Relax. You don’t need to know everything. Unless you are being paid as a consultant, a little curiosity, or even some humor would add flavor to your personality.
Jane had had a lot of “personality training” and she was quick to share her opinions about my body language, about how I answered the one question she asked me, and about the colors I chose to wear that day. OK, I’ll admit it made me feel guarded. Maybe it would have been a little more acceptable if I had already established a relationship, but on a first “date” it felt a bit intrusive.
Solution: Just have fun and connect. Save the psychoanalysis for good friends who love you with all your own quirks. You don’t want people to guard every sentence or feel that you are going to “add meaning” to every nuance and clothing choice.
She didn’t do it to me, but Jane corrected Sheri at least four times. Jane had a “better way to say it” or a “distinction” to share. There was never any acknowledgment or recognition that anyone else had something of value to add.
Solution: There’s no need to argue every point or disagree with everything someone else says. What’s wrong with a well placed, “Now that’s an interesting way of looking at things.” Or, if you simply must add your two cents, bridge the gap with a statement such as, “I know what you mean,” then you can say, “the way I think of it is…” Instead, of “No, that’s not correct…”
Just tweaking some of these tendencies will help you build stronger and more rewarding relationships where everyone gets to shine just a little.