People watching is one of my favorite pastimes. It is interesting to observe human behavior, especially when the subjects are not aware they are “under surveillance”. How a person treats others is a good indicator of his true character. There are people out there who make great role models, and then there are certain types you do not want to emulate. In short, these are the people you do not want to act like.
Do not be the person people feel compelled to apologize after. It is not fun to trail behind you mouthing, “I’m so sorry!” to waitstaff and retail personnel after you have sliced them open with your criticisms and complaints. Do not be a human wrecking ball, leaving a pile of hurt feelings in your wake. If you have trouble with this, try counting to ten in between the time a thought enters your brain and the time you allow it to leave your mouth.
Do not be the person who wants to argue with everyone, about everything, all the time. We all know what they say about opinions, right? Seriously, though, be aware of when people are open to a good debate and when it is not the right time to push forward. If you cannot express your opinion without belittling the views of others then do everyone a favor and keep it to yourself. Do not be argumentative just to draw attention to yourself as it accomplishes nothing more that to make you look small and petty.
Do not be the “I have a better way” person. Being helpful and offering suggestions with good intentions is great. It gets old in a hurry, though, when you have a critique or advice for every situation. Your friend, family member, or co-worker may not always need (or more importantly want) your input on how they parent, where they eat, or which detergent they should use to do laundry. Go about doing things your way, and let them go about doing things their way. Trust me, if they want your recommendations they will ask for them.
Do not be the person who needs to “one up” everyone else. If someone is excited to have just purchased a new grill maybe you do not need to point out that you have two grills, a smoker, and a complete outdoor kitchen. When one mentions that her daughter is graduating from junior college in a few weeks do not take that as an opening to list the accomplishments of your child all the way from birth through her recent potentially lifesaving discovery of a new strain of salmonella. This does not mean you should not be proud of what you have or what you do. It means do not cross over into the land of braggarts and show-offs. Oh, and be careful, because if you are this guy then chances are you are also the “I have a better way” guy, too. This is a powerful combo that is known to drive people away in a hurry.
Do not be the person who whines. I repeat, do not be the person who whines. It was not attractive when you were a toddler. I promise you it is even less attractive now. Temper tantrums are not cute in children, and children are way cuter than grownups. Plus, if you are not willing to go full throttle, throwing yourself on the ground, kicking, spitting, and screaming with arms flailing, then you are giving it a half-assed effort anyway. We all complain now and again, and we have all been known to grouse and gripe when things are not going our way. While this is acceptable, emitting feeble, petulant cries about how wounded, put out, or helpless you are is not. Please take my word for it that doing so does not win you any fans, nor does it make people want to rush to assist you.
Do you agree with this list? What type of person would you add? Would you say do not be the person who tells people what kind of person not to be? (I won’t mind, I can take it!) As always I welcome your comments and feedback! Cheers! Karen
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