Interpersonal relationships can be hard. Getting along with people can be a challenge. We each have different personality temperaments. People have different views on topics such as politics, religion, morality and work. So, should I really try to get along with folks? Or should I just be who I am and not care about how my behavior affects others?
Romans 12:18 – “Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.” (NLT)
After reading this scripture, it seems to me that we have an obligation to make an effort to relate to people. I don’t claim to be an expert in this area. I realize I fall short of this goal on many occasions. But I have learned a few things in my life journey. And I want to share what I have learned about getting along with people.
There are some phrases you can utter that will sooth people you are talking to and help you get along with them. Here are three of those phrases:
Before the atmosphere starts to get tense and before the conversation gets heated, do your best to find something on which you agree. Then tell the other person, “You’re right.” They may have been mentally gearing up for an argument. Letting them know you’re on the same page about one thing will help you keep the peace.
Start getting into the habit of doing it in all your conversations. Don’t wait until you face an adversary. Don’t you appreciate it when someone tells you that you’re right? Then give others the same courtesy.
Everyone makes mistakes. That’s a tired cliché, but it’s also true. But can you admit to being wrong? Some people can do it easily. Others would never ever admit they made a mistake. But if you want to live in peace with others, you need to be willing to say you’re sorry. And the sooner the better. Don’t wait until someone points out your error.
If you’ve hurt someone, admit your mistake and say you’re sorry. Don’t give a fake, generic apology and say “I’m sorry if I offended anyone.” Instead, how about taking ownership and saying, “I know what I said yesterday offended many of you and I’m sorry.” “I was wrong to say it and it won’t happen again.”
Another way to be at peace with others is to try to see things from their vantage point. It’s easy to verbally attack someone who has a different opinion from you. But it takes effort to put yourself in their shoes and try to understand why they have a certain opinion or why they did a certain thing. Even if they made a mistake in word or action, if you’ll just acknowledge you understand how they feel it will help you work out your differences.
Here is another proven tip that will help you get along with others:
Don’t Be a “One-Upper”
This is one of the most prevalent hindrances to getting along with people. I see it and hear it on a regular basis. Many people just have a deep desire to demonstrate their superiority over others. They may not realize what they are doing, but it still has the same effect of showing you are just a cut above the person you’re talking to. Let me give you a couple of examples.
Jennifer tells a story to a few friends about her recent vacation to Disney World. She tells how she and her family stayed for five days at a 3-star resort and had a great time.
Melissa, the “one-upper,” immediately begins to tell about her trip to Disney World. She says “we were there for seven days and stayed at a 4-star resort.
Why couldn’t Melissa just let Jennifer enjoy telling her story and reliving her great experience? Why couldn’t she ask Jennifer questions about what all she enjoyed? Couldn’t she let Jennifer have the spotlight for just a few minutes? Did she really have to let everyone know that her trip was better than Jennifer’s trip?
Here’s another one. Danny tells a group of acquaintances about a funny experience he had on a plane trip.
Justin can’t even wait for people to stop laughing at Danny’s story before he tells a story about his funny trip experience. In Justin’s mind, his story is a whole lot funnier than Danny’s story.
Why couldn’t Justin just let Danny be the center of attention for a few minutes? Couldn’t he just tell Danny, “That was a great story” and save his for another time?
Share The Spotlight
If you want to get along well with other people, let them have their moment in the sun now and then. Find a way to be at peace with others. And don’t be a “one-upper!”
Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. (Philippians 2:3-4)(NLT)
So, what do you think about these ideas? Will you let me know if they help you overcome the challenge of getting along with people?