One day I was driving with some friends that I met in college and they mentioned that they couldn’t wait for the cold weather to come around. Coming from a year-round warm state, I didn’t understand wanting the weather to be below 80 degrees. This is a very small example of how growing up in different areas and being around different people can change the way you think about life. As you get older you begin to formulate your own opinions about issues and topics, which may differ from others around you. In addition to this, you may have to be around people who don’t agree with you or whom you don’t agree with. It’s important to know how to be around people with different morals and values because these encounters will continuously happen throughout life.
As you begin to start a new job and meet more people through classes, you won’t have much of a choice but to be around these people constantly, whether you get along with them or not. The number one skill to practice is patience. Patience carries on to many other aspects of life as well, but especially when it comes to dealing with people you may find difficult. For example, if you are talking about something and your co-worker disagrees and tries to argue with you, patience will allow you to stay calm and handle the situation in a mature way. One way to handle this would be to politely excuse yourself from the conversation and make a mental note not to bring up the same topic around that person anymore. Reacting as simply as this can prevent further conflict in the environment when having to be around this person often.
“The number one skill to practice is patience.”
I am sure there have been times where someone disagrees with you and it’s frustrating because it’s a situation personal to you where you understand the topic more because of an experience you have had. Remember this feeling and think about someone else going through the same situation because of the way you made them feel. Another important skill to have is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and to be able to see different perspectives beyond agreeing with them. When someone disagrees with you, remember they formed their opinion just as you formed yours. Whether this is from the people you grew up around, doing research on your own, or from a personal experience, other people think the way they do for the same reasons you think the way you do. Having an open mind to situations can also help you stay calm because it allows you to humanize people who don’t agree with you and remember they feel the same way as you disagree with them.
There are a handful of people you will have to deal with seeing every day, but you have to know your personal boundaries and to what extent is too much for you to handle. If a person isn’t healthy for your life and you have to see them every day, try your best to avoid talking to them and if it comes down to it, speak up to an authority figure. Since there are people you are forced to see, the people you choose to see should be selected and add nothing but positivity to your life. It’s okay to disagree with friends, but there’s a good and bad way to handle disagreements, and knowing the difference is extremely important to what kind of people should be in your life.
“There’s a good and bad way to handle disagreement.”
The new year is right around the corner which is the perfect time to form new goals for yourself. With that being said, make it a goal to understand others’ opinions more, to be open-minded, and also check your life outside of school and work to ensure that the right people are in it. School and work can be filled with challenging people, but your close friends and family should not feel like another obstacle in the day when you are around them.