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Old 04-07-2013, 08:49 PM
 
793 posts, read 1,283,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wmsn4Life View Post
OK, so this is a good example.

Does this guy have NO redeeming qualities? You don't have to like everyone around you, but spending the workday allowing contempt to build is no good.

Try to imagine what it's like to be around you, from the other person's point of view. You know, walk a mile in the other person's shoes, so to speak. Understand that there may be things about you he finds different also. But you are a person worth knowing, right?

As for the stuff about your childhood, I have to say that is some heavy sh*t to deal with. No child should hear that. Have you talked to a counselor about it?
This guy is really hard to like, even my co-workers have issues with him. He's a person, a human being, that's about as specific as I can find right how.

That's a good idea about imagining what I'm like to be around. I'll try that.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:51 PM
 
793 posts, read 1,283,124 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JanND View Post
Volunteer with the people that need help either because English is not their first language, or with folks that need to learn to read.

You might also choose other volunteer opportunities. Abused women's shelter, take a course or two at a local college, work at a food pantry, or a kitchen at a local shelter. I've listed a few links for the first suggestions.

It speaks volumes that you are self-aware and caring enough to want to improve yourself. Please keep us posted with your experiences. Good luck
Hey Jan, thanks for answering. As much as volunteering would help, and I know it would, I"m not close enough with anyone who could give me references. You need good references to volunteer and while I don't have a background problem, it's just finding someone who likes me enough to give me a reference. That's pretty sad I know.
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Old 04-07-2013, 08:59 PM
 
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
42,633 posts, read 41,368,104 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
This guy is really hard to like, even my co-workers have issues with him. He's a person, a human being, that's about as specific as I can find right how.

That's a good idea about imagining what I'm like to be around. I'll try that.
Like I said, you won't like everyone. It's work; you're just there to do a job. You don't have to forge a lifelong relationship with everyone there. And some people are not tolerable. It's OK.
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Old 04-08-2013, 03:59 AM
 
Location: Missouri, USA
4,254 posts, read 2,942,799 times
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I'm an atheist who has a parent who's described deeply religious persons as "worker ants." Our extended family is 1/3 Catholic, 1/3 Methodist, and 1/3 religiously ambiguous. We get along wonderfully. I've had friends who believe in witchcraft, and who've invited me to revivals, which were often enjoyable. Don't focus on, or necessarily even talk about differences. It may feel kind of like being a spy sometimes, but don't even feel a need to mention differences. I'm not even sure my relatives know I'm an atheist, and I'm not sure they'd care.

Sometimes more specific descriptions of oneself can be more misleading than saying nothing. The purest, deepest bonds I've had with persons have oftentimes been with persons I've told the least about myself to.

Don't lie of course...but there are lots of irrelevant factors that people mention about themselves, I think.
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Old 04-08-2013, 05:32 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Clintone View Post
I'm an atheist who has a parent who's described deeply religious persons as "worker ants." Our extended family is 1/3 Catholic, 1/3 Methodist, and 1/3 religiously ambiguous. We get along wonderfully. I've had friends who believe in witchcraft, and who've invited me to revivals, which were often enjoyable. Don't focus on, or necessarily even talk about differences. It may feel kind of like being a spy sometimes, but don't even feel a need to mention differences. I'm not even sure my relatives know I'm an atheist, and I'm not sure they'd care.

Sometimes more specific descriptions of oneself can be more misleading than saying nothing. The purest, deepest bonds I've had with persons have oftentimes been with persons I've told the least about myself to.

Don't lie of course...but there are lots of irrelevant factors that people mention about themselves, I think.
But aren't you in some way not really being true to yourself? People don't really "know" the real you. Just the stuff you want them to know about.
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Old 04-08-2013, 06:35 AM
 
571 posts, read 987,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
But aren't you in some way not really being true to yourself? People don't really "know" the real you. Just the stuff you want them to know about.
I agree with Clintone - not revealing too much. People will get to know you through your behavior, through your actions. This is the most authentic way in getting to know people. I know many people who say "I'm the type of person who ________." Usually they fill in the blank with what they want to believe they are (or what sounds good to them) vs. the reality.

To your original question, one of the best ways to get over any differences is to really listen and understand that as people, they truly have some things in common with you.

For example, I used to volunteer for a literacy group when I was about 22. There was one woman in particular that I would meet with in a posh apartment on Miami beach. This was her job - she cleaned a few times a week. She was about 35, had young children and was married. Her husband was part of the problem - he did not want her to learn to read. She only knew how to take her bus route to work. On the face of it, you would think we didn't have much in common. She was very kind and we sometimes made small talk about how fun the beach was and she would talk about being a kid and playing in the water. (She was a bit shy.) But being a kid was something that anyone can relate to. We had fun chats.

I never asked her about her current life. In training, there was a big emphasis on never prying into students' personal lives and not chastising anyone for not doing homework, etc. At the hint of an obstacle, most of these literacy students would simply disappear. I didn't want that to happen, so I didn't rock the boat.

The best way to get beyond differences is to simply focus on that which you have in common. At first, you'll have to make an effort to go against singling out differences. Tell yourself they are superficial and don't matter. Listen to the person and avoid relating any of their stories back to yourself.

There was an excellent suggestion on here about volunteering. Your response was that you needed references. Have you already tried? I've volunteered w/many groups and this was never an issue. Most orgs conduct their own training.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:31 AM
 
252 posts, read 224,217 times
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If the fat guy grosses you out then do not force yourself to befriend that guy, just don't be mean. I have noticed that as I learn and experience more, I am more accepting of others. I live in the South and I have "liberal" ideals. Most of my closest friends except my wife are "CONSERVATIVE!". Not intelligent conservatives, but Fox news conservatives. I understand why they think the way they think. It helps.
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:41 AM
 
252 posts, read 224,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by luckygirl15 View Post
But aren't you in some way not really being true to yourself? People don't really "know" the real you. Just the stuff you want them to know about.
This is a philosophical question that is very difficult to answer because it has so many answers. Aristotle would say that we are what we consistently do. So doing something would make it part of you, and at the same time, changing masks in different settings would also be part of who you are. I am always different people with different groups, but I don't think that part of me is any less valid of a part. The true you, the you that only exists in your head, is not the true "you".
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Old 04-08-2013, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Chicago area
14,243 posts, read 7,854,096 times
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Wow that's incredibly sad. Variety is the spice of life. I love diversity. I have a Muslim friend that is an atheist. There's some interesting conversation there. Try to look at yourself in a different light. Picture yourself as a spec of dust in the universe. Nothing special, just taking up space. It's a humbling experience. Now picture yourself on a deserted island with no one to talk to for weeks. You would be pretty bored with just your own thoughts. Think about how wonderful it would be when some one comes to rescue you. Even someone who doesn't speak your language. Now when you meet someone that is totally different from you try to find something good about that person. You will see that deep in the core of our being we all want the same things. We just have different ways of going about getting them. Once you open your mind you may find that you've learned something, tasted a delicious different food, or found a new friend that you can totally relate to.
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Old 04-08-2013, 01:11 PM
 
252 posts, read 224,217 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by animalcrazy View Post
Wow that's incredibly sad. Variety is the spice of life. I love diversity. I have a Muslim friend that is an atheist. There's some interesting conversation there. Try to look at yourself in a different light. Picture yourself as a spec of dust in the universe. Nothing special, just taking up space. It's a humbling experience. Now picture yourself on a deserted island with no one to talk to for weeks. You would be pretty bored with just your own thoughts. Think about how wonderful it would be when some one comes to rescue you. Even someone who doesn't speak your language. Now when you meet someone that is totally different from you try to find something good about that person. You will see that deep in the core of our being we all want the same things. We just have different ways of going about getting them. Once you open your mind you may find that you've learned something, tasted a delicious different food, or found a new friend that you can totally relate to.
You do not have a Muslim friend who is an atheist. You have a Muslim friend who is "a theist", or a friend who is atheist. I know what you are saying practically, but arab=/=muslim.
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