IT Professional

Why would anyone like YOU?

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This question was posed to me, by me, for a project that will not make it to this blog. Its pretty intriguing to me as I have only just begin my research. Actually, I have only just begun to think about this question. As a communications specialist, I am usually trying to understand others and their motivations for what they do. This question however raised quite the dilemma for the contents of my brain case.

Why would anyone like me? For actors, sports stars, captains of industry and the immensely talented, that’s pretty easy. People like them because they admire their talent, that is, they would like to have such talents as well. They wonder what it would be like to be able to run 100 meters in less than 10 seconds. On top of that they don’t have to deal with the cruelty, alcoholism, drug abuse or other unseemly characteristics (not that they all have such). For the other classes of folks I named (and the ones I did not name), it isn’t any intangible quality that is admired; rather, people like them because of something they posses that is not easily attainable. As, for the rest of us, if you don’t love someone, why do you like them? What intangible qualities endear you to your best friend and vice-versa? Usually the answer is something like “I like Bob because he is so cool” or “Paulo is a so funny” or some other bland, non-descriptive answer that hints at what we mean.

Really though, the question becomes, do we only like people for what they do for us? I like my kids, but I don’t know that I could not like them. They give me something however. I definitely make an effort to make them like me, which is more than I would do for the rest of the population, with a few notable exceptions (mother-in-law, step kids, that sort of thing). Do we like our friends because of intangible qualities which are like our own, or because they contrast our personality? There are two sayings I have in mind. One is ‘birds of a feather flock together’ and the mathematical ‘opposites attract and likes repel’. You can apply those two mantra’s to just about any relationship. Or?

So what we have is something intangible. Something unspoken, some chemistry or scent of what a friend is according to our values. Or our culture. Or our status. There are literally billions of nice people on the planet, but what makes a friend of a friend, an enemy? What gets in the way of us liking everyone? It is fairly easy to imagine a situation where you walk into a room full of people and immediately single out one or two people whom you would like to get to know, and conversely some people who you just know are assholes. It could be their dress, the way they walk, their hair, or the look in their eye.

I know, I havent gotten anywhere, but I really was not looking for the answer here and now. Actually I just wanted to lay out a set of questions that would guide me to more questions and perhaps lead to some answers down the road. I am sure there is some research where scientists show pictures of certain people, and the control group has their reactions measured or something or other. Now that is one thing, but a life long friendship is a whole other situation. Is it possible that your best friend could, under different circumstances, be someone you would hate? Of course is the reverse possible in regards to those we are not so fond of?

I don’t want to make this post too long, but there is also the third pillar that just crossed my mind. Do we like ourselves and why? If I think about it, there are quite a few things about myself that I would like to change from today on. I can’t say that I would not do anything to survive, but can anyone say unequivocally that they like the person who they are? Are you totally satisfied with who you are and where you are going? I think that one is perhaps easier to answer, because actually I can say that I like where I am going which means that I am improving. I like that about myself. Alas, the question remains:

Why would anyone like you, and why do (not necessarily should) do you like your friends?

Best friends forever...but why?


Written by lionoah

May 16, 2010 at 16:37

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