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Why Can’t People Simply Get Along?

Why Can’t People Simply Get Along?

Why Can’t People Simply Get Along? That’s a major theme in “Bigger than All the Night Sky.”

Why Can’t People Simply Get Along?

Very boldly, I’m sharing with you today a family photo. My Mom, Sue, sits on a park bench in New York. Next to my Grandpa Hugo and Grandma Gisela. Although they’re facing the park, clearly it’s no picnic. Not a single one is smiling. Or looking at the others sitting with them on the bench.

Truly, it’s a candid photo. And such a common, painful, human predicament!

Honestly, Why Can’t People Simply Get Along?

This problem might comes up in your life, too. I’ve had to face that within my own extended family.

And it doesn’t just come up with family, does it? Isn’t that lack of getting along a very big deal now?

Ever encounter it when you read the newspaper? Have you been heard about today’s loneliness epidemic? 

  • Perhaps you already know, the United Kingdom now has an official Minister of Loneliness.
  • While in Japan, entrepreneurs are in demand. Cleaning up the mess after elderly people die alone.
  • Whereas in America, Former U.S. Surgeon General, Dr. Vivek H. Murthy, warns of a new public health problem. Most commonly, the name really is “loneliness EPIDEMIC.”

What can help us to overcome this terrible isolation?

Why Can’t People Simply Get Along?

Compassion Could Help

Specifically, I think it’s helpful for us to develop realistic expectations.

How much does a person have to give.

Is it really smart to expect everybody else is “Just Like Me”?

Certainly it shows up early in my memoir, Bigger than All the Night Sky. So I’m going to share a recording with you, as well as leading off a general discussion.

Why do YOU think it can be hard to get along with some people?

But first, a far less enormous question…

Why Does My Main Memoir Photo

Show Me Holding a Rattle?

Yes, that’s what I’m holding. Nothing less than a baby’s toy. In this case, a rattle made out of wood. (More to my taste, as an adult, than a celluloid baby rattle from back in the day.)

Why hold a rattle?

Because the first section of my memoir begins with two different people’s perspectives.

Yes, perspectives, on why I used to play with my rattle.

Who are those people? Just my mother and me.

Such a Relationship!

Personal growth for me for the first 40 years… Definitely included acknowledging how different my mother was from me. Altogether different in consciousness. And yet we had to get along, while I lived under her roof.

Why can’t people simply get along?

Maybe, sometimes, the price we pay for a “good relationship” just isn’t worth it.

Recently, we’ve even discussed how family estrangement is surprisingly common now. Although, unsurprisingly, most folks are reluctant to talk about it.

One Rattle. Two Completely Different Interpretations.

Well, Blog-Buddies, here’s the sound recording I’ve made for you I’m curious. What does that “Introduction” to Bigger than All the Night Sky tell you about my mother and me? Any clues to you about why we had such trouble getting along?

And what stories can you share about someone where you really couldn’t get along with somebody? (Especially when you were supposed to.)

How about creating what I call “Family of Choice”? Have you been giving yourself that gift?

In case this helps: Remember, Blog-Buddies. In the first line of any comment you can always ask me to call you by a pseudonym.

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  1. 1

    And just to broaden our conversation about getting along, you know what would be great? If some of you could share examples of how you to get along with people around you… maybe folks very different from you.

    It can be a tricky balance, getting along with (very much) strangers… yet still being true to yourself. Stories, anyone?

  2. 2
    Sheryl says:

    Getting along with others hasn’t ever been easy for me internally.

    Outwardly? My husband and friend have told me I’m perceived as a perfect display of a woman with ideal manners.

  3. 3
    Sheryl says:

    Inwardly what happened during all this? I’ve always felt a tremendous fear of “saying the wrong thing” and then, perhaps, my “life being ruined” for it.

  4. 4
    Sheryl says:

    My husband oversees almost 1,000 employees. We are often at charity events, and very often, while out and about, encounter people that work for him.

    I’ve always felt a need to support my husband and never bring any shame or disgrace to him.

  5. 5
    Sheryl says:

    So, to ensure this, what did I do? I put on the perfect show of “be pretty and help others.”

    This included my big perma-grin and politeness that may make you puke.

  6. 6
    Sheryl says:

    I’ve always had a distorted fear about speaking with strangers.

    So what did I do? I spoke out of fear and a need to conform. I gave up my power.

  7. 7
    Sheryl says:

    Did I get along with strangers? Absolutely!

    Was a little bit of me suffering during these elaborate inward attempts at caging myself in? YES.

  8. 8
    Sheryl says:

    Not anymore! Now? I’m freed up to be myself.

    Socially, I can have a surface level conversation, speaking at appropriate times (maybe not at all!), yet still be true to myself.

  9. 9
    Sheryl says:

    My face can be in repose. No more perma-grins!

    It isn’t necessary to bring my WHOLE self to every conversation. I don’t have to censor and manipulate my own thoughts. I can simply “be there” socially.

  10. 10
    Sheryl says:

    All of this…thanks to RES healing sessions and Rose. I’ve had many sessions, all tremendously helpful.

    This session though? A whole new level of help. A level that is helping me live The New Strong. I’m no longer stuck in the old Age of Faith rules. I can more fully live according to the new rules.

  11. 11
    Jean Schroeder says:

    Has been so helpful for this blog buddy to gain awareness around the fact that everyone else is not ‘just like me.’

    Thusly easier to honor myself – and others…even if my path – and a path chosen by another – are quite different.

  12. 12
    Christine P says:

    My struggles to get along with people recently have been due to different cleanliness standards.

    I am ok with a messy kitchen ( I cook a lot and take 4 college courses), whereas my roomate wants it to look as clean as kitchen catalog. Trying to be cleaner has helped, as has having my own room.

  13. 13
    Jean Schroeder says:

    As to the loneliness issue….after much thought, careful consideration, research, ect. (!)

    I recently adopted a second cat. I – and my original cat – are imho much less lonely than before. Excuse me while I run to see what my new young friend has gotten into now 😉

  14. 14
    Aoife says:

    I think for me, it was super helpful for me to acknowledge that I can’t get on with everyone, even people that I like and sometimes it is best to lower my expectations.

    And that can even mean limiting how much time I spend with people, to an extent I thought would be rude before, but really is just protecting myself from people who don’t like me.

  15. 15
    Living on Earth says:

    Before RES, I used to give my all into every single relationship. Or even a casual interaction used to take a lot out of me because of the pressures I put on myself to please the other.

  16. 16
    Living on Earth says:

    I had to learn to be able to say ‘No’ and stand behind my decision.

    As my sense of self got stronger through RES healing sessions, it became easier to recognize my own needs and act accordingly.

  17. 17
    Living on Earth says:

    Now I feel comfortable with the fact that I can’t possibly get along with everyone and that’s ok.

    I can’t be everything to everyone and vice versa.

  18. 18
    Liane says:

    Simply getting along with other people has never been simple for me.

    Hindsight provides me with some answers, the most obvious being that I have been an unskilled empath for the better part of my life.

  19. 19
    Liane says:

    Learning to live on the surface of life (a skill I pull out as needed) is helpful in that I’m not always trying to figure out what makes people tick, freeing me up to care much less about how someone else chooses to live their life.

  20. 20
    Liane says:

    This is growth.

    I’m not pushing people away with the need to go deeper, nor am I allowing them to pull me into their drama.

  21. 21
    Liane says:

    In writing this I now understand with interest the wisdom in sometimes choosing ‘more balanced give and take in relationships’ as my intention for cutting cords of attachment.

    Having said all this, it’s ironic that the surfacy-er I get, the more people I interact with. Could be auric modeling, could be I’m easier to be around. Or both. Whatever the case, life is better this way.

  22. 22
    Gowri says:

    My approach to people who are very different in their thinking and ideologies, or personality is to see if I can see the world through their eyes and listen deeper to how they think, and how their life experiences have shaped them to be who they are.

    The downside of being empathetic is that when I start to feel my energy drain around some people, I do need to distance and give myself the time to recover. It is a tricky balance, to be compassionate and not get drained.

  23. 23

    Thanks so much to all of you who have shared so beautifully on the first day this blog post went live.

    Adding one small technical point, GOWRI I can’t know for sure. But I suspect what you described as “being empathic” and which “drains” you is probably what I call doing unskilled empath merges. If so, the solution is simple. In 30 days you can stop doing that and use appropriate social skills for dealing successfully with difficult people.

  24. 24
    Constance says:

    I’ve definitely found that being more on the surface of life helps a lot in interacting with people. That way, I keep in touch with what interests and delights me, and I can more or less deal with people based on what they say and do.

    I used to automatically try to go deeper to see what motivates a person, but found that was not a good modus operandi. People didn’t necessarily appreciate that, and it was rather tiring for me. It took me a while to understand that some interactions can be more superficial, and that’s okay.

  25. 25
    Olivia Swan says:

    Aoife – I like what you said about protecting yourself from people who don’t like you.

    This is a skill I learned recently from RES sessions. A skill that has become VERY important to me.

  26. 26
    Olivia Swan says:

    It used to be that I wanted to hug and smother everyone with love.

    I didn’t want to see that there are people who don’t like me.

  27. 27
    Olivia Swan says:

    In addition, it’s not always appropriate or good for me to be a hug/love machine. And also thanks to RES, I’ve realized that not everyone DESERVES to be hugged and smothered with my love!

    I’ve learned discernment, and who is worthy of my time, love and energy, and who is not.

  28. 28
    Olivia Swan says:

    Also I’ve learned that it’s ok for me to not like some people. I will show them good professional manners (speaking of co-workers) but I will have as few interactions with them as possible.

    I don’t feel pressure to like everyone anymore.

  29. 29
    Olivia Swan says:

    However, in general I love meeting people who are different from me.

    One of the things I love about people is how beautifully unique each one is. They have their own unique gifts, traits, and qualities.

  30. 30
    Olivia Swan says:

    I have a tendency to notice the good things about people when I meet them, and I think I’m very good at knowing “where” to meet them in a place that is comfortable for us both.

    It never ceases to amaze me how many millions of souls are out there, each one completely different.

  31. 31
    Helen88 says:

    In response to getting along with folks, I have found it helpful to take on the attitude of “to each their own” and that has made such a difference!

    And so now I delight in the freedom of just having surface level interactions with people, trying to connect in the simplest of human ways.

  32. 32
    Helen88 says:

    With strangers sharing a common courtesy, a smile, a compliment, etc. if it can be sincere.

    And if there is time I try to chit chat about the simplest of topics (pets, weather, etc) and not get into trying to figure out who this person is deep down (which I used to do a ton!).

  33. 33
    Helen88 says:

    For example, people tend to chat at my gym in the hot tub and I had the pleasure of meeting someone very different from myself, and he wasn’t particularly interested in hearing about me much… but I was able to be polite, stay actively engaged in the conversation and gently steer him to talking about something I really wanted to know about (what wildlife did you see in Alaska!!) and then politely excuse myself.

  34. 34
    Helen88 says:

    I left feeling happy even though it was a lopsided conversation and he was certainly happy to share!!

  35. 35

    Helen, what a triumph tale! Thank you.

  36. 36
    Andrea K. says:

    Discord is most often the result of one of two things, in my experience.

    The source of irritation is reflecting back either something I, myself, am also doing – and don’t realize.

    Or it is reflecting something I need to incorporate into my own life – and am not.

  37. 37
    Andrea K. says:

    We are props in each other’s plays, in many regards. Once I glean which of these two categories the discord is a source of, and what it is I am to learn about myself, any negative situation typically just falls away.

    The lesson is incorporated, so there is no longer a need for that prompt.

  38. 38
    Andrea K. says:

    Of course, cord-cutting has been invaluable, also.

    It cannot be overstated how much each approach has helped me personally. I’m forever grateful for both.

  39. 39
    Tracey says:

    I have found the best way for me to get along with other people is to ask them questions about themselves.

    Most people like to talk about themselves and if I ask with geniune interest, I find someting interesting about them. This involves little on my part but my natural curiosisty and it’s fun!

  40. 40
    Tracey says:

    For more difficult people, for example, someone on my tennis team comes from a very different background than me.

    Her behavior can be quite off putting.

  41. 41
    Tracey says:

    I had to assume she was being her best self and try to understand a bit about her upbringing.

    This gave me the ability to meet her on a more common ground and eventually I could say things to her like, “hey, when you yell like that during points, it’s distracting!” Insert colorfull language of choice here 🙂

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