Go Beneath the Surface

Go Beneath the Surface

We sometimes meet someone and we’re enthralled.

It may be their personality, the way they command attention when they enter a room, the way they converse intelligently about what seems like any topic, their style of clothing, et al. We may start thinking of how great it would be to spend time with this person, maybe even date them, or in the least bring them into our inner circle and build a lasting friendship.

We may not take the time to think below the surface of what we initially see and feel. Friends and acquaintances often mention their feelings toward another person to me and ask what I think they should do. Should I tell this person how I feel? What signs should I look for to determine if they feel the same way about me?

My response is always to slow down; take a beat. I recommend they consider the person’s personality; not how they present in public in a large crowd, but how they present in smaller gatherings, or from viewing them in one-on-one situations with others. Sometimes I’m told something like, “We went on a date and they were perfect!” I say, “Most people can be on their best behavior for a couple hours. Give it time and pay attention to their behaviors and attitudes over time.”

I encourage people to pay attention to others’ character flaws, we all have them. Consider their ideologies. Gauge their emotional intelligence. Ascertain how they process information and whether or not they effectively communicate. Ask about their life/family/financial/career goals. Think about their current lifestyle. Discuss their sexual preferences, if there’s a romantic yearning for them. Learn about their hobbies and activities. I’m sure I miss quite a bit, but those are the basics of what I recommend people think and learn about without wearing rose-colored glasses.

I urge them to make a compatibility decision after thinking about the above things. And, if there is compatibility, to discern if that person is capable and willing to receive what they’re wanting to offer them right now. Is that person able to add to and multiply their life? Or will the person subtract and divide their current lifestyle and diminish them as a person? Ideally, the other person should be considering the same things about them. 

Incompatibility doesn’t mean someone is a bad person. It simply means they aren’t the right one, at this time, or ever. It’s not something to feel bad about or feel obligated to make work. The right person, or persons, is out there somewhere and sooner or later paths will cross and things will easily fit together.

I strongly encourage everyone to be their authentic selves, while continuously striving to be a better than they were yesterday.

I’d love to read your comments of how you assess someone and decide whether or not to allow them space in your life.

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I journeyed from GED to a PhD in Psychology. I decided to focus on my writing once I retired from the clinical field. I write in various genres and have several WIPs for publication once edited. I post articles on this website for intellectual and entertainment purposes.

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