How to Get Along with Everyone [If Needed]
This post is a tricky one.
Because getting along with everyone is not always a good thing.
In the past, I’ve talked about the difference between a nice guy and a kind guy.
Here’s the SparkNotes version:
- The nice guy delivers a real or fake message with a polite delivery.
- The kind guy delivers a real message with a polite delivery.
Be kind, not nice.
Take this post with some discretion.
Getting along with everyone is not always a good thing.
But every now and then, you need to know how to turn on the charm.
The Annoying In-Laws
I have a friend whose in-laws are hard to get along with.
Both are outspoken and critical.
In the Desi community, a person needs to win the approval of their future in-laws before the marriage can proceed forward.
My friend was going to be in for a long ride.
From the beginning of their interactions, it was hell.
The future in-laws were critical.
- Since he ran a business, they told him to get a real job.
- They weren’t too fond of the fact that he couldn’t speak the language.
- They didn’t like that he lived up north.
My buddy was feeling suffocated.
He was wondering if he should call off the wedding.
Can he deal with these in-laws for the rest of his life?
Contextualize the Slights
A slight is when someone disrespects us.
When we get slighted, the ego automatically gets engaged.
It feels like we are the only person who has ever had this disrespect happen to us.
- That’s not the case.
Think of the worst slight someone has done to you in recent memory.
Well, someone in the past and present has gotten a 100x worse version of that slight.
By contextualizing the slight, we are more likely to be responsive rather than reactive.
If we don’t contextualize the slight, then we’d want to fight fire with fire.
My buddy was able to contextualize his in-laws by hearing some horror stories from his friends.
One of his friends said:
‘You think your potential in-laws are bad? Well…I wish I could have in-laws at all! The last girl I was talking to had parents who wouldn’t accept the caste I was from. They killed our relationship. Just like that, 3 years of talking on the phone, traveling, and creating memories were gone!’
That’s when my buddy realized:
‘Whoa, my in-laws suck, but at least they are allowing me to proceed forward in marrying their daughter. This guy’s in-laws didn’t even do that!’
If you reprimand someone in public, they are always going to feel a certain type of way.
To respectfully check someone, it needs to be done in private.
This is difficult.
Maybe you need to turn on your charm in front of a group of people.
Let’s keep the example of my buddy and his in-laws going.
One of the points of contention that they had was when the wedding was going to be.
- The in-laws wanted it to be at the beginning of the year.
- My buddy wanted it to be at the end of the year.
Rather than my buddy bringing up the point of contention in public, it’s smart for him to create a personal environment for a dialogue to take place.
Phone calls allow for thoughtful discussions vs rowdy arguments.
Within the Desi culture, a lot of things happen at scale.
There is a big party.
During the midpoint of the party, that’s when people discuss what the logistics of the wedding will be.
My advice is to hash out the logistics behind the scenes.
On a one-on-one phone call.
If the details are hashed out behind the scenes vs during the party, everyone can keep on having fun.
If the debate is happening within the party, then others will get involved and it’ll devolve into a melee.
Let’s say the potential in-laws are adamant about having the wedding in the beginning of the year, and it’s not a big deal for you…
Then let them have the win.
Let them know that you’re letting them win so it’ll be easier for you to get a win in the future:
‘Okay, you 2 win. We will have it at the beginning of the year. But I would like this in return.’
It’s not always simple.
A lot of people are annoying as hell to win over.
If they are simply taking and not giving, I’ve noticed that laying the foot down shocks their nervous system.
It’s a pattern interrupt.
Humans love pattern interrupts (whether they are aware of it or not).
Now they view you as an authority rather than someone to push around.
Charm them by knowing when to lose the ego.
But let them know you still mean business by drawing clear boundaries.
The Key to Charming Others
The key to charming someone is to let them win at something.
Different people have different beliefs that they are really into.
I know a guy who thinks all capitalists are bad.
I don’t agree with him.
However, I let him talk his shit because he used to give me a lot of rides when I didn’t have a car.
If I wanted to lower my charm, then I’d debate everyone.
Not worth it.
When you’re leveling up, you need to strategically let others win at times.
Let them win the battle so you win the war.
My buddy allowed his in-laws to have the wedding at the beginning of the year.
That’s when my buddy realized something.
- His in-laws were letting him win too.
My buddy’s future wife lived with her parents her whole life.
When she was getting married, she’d be moving away.
From the in-laws’ perspectives, they were allowing my buddy to win by letting him take their daughter for life.
It’s good that he returned the favor by letting them decide when to throw the wedding.