How to Get Along With Me

I ran across this hilarious (and also down-to-earth and common sense) article by Carol Roth called "How to Get Along With Me." It covers some business dos and don'ts that can help people work better together.

There are a lot of contexts where it helps to have hints on how to get along with someone. In this article, I am looking at it from the angle of those who want others to adjust to them. 

how to get along with me

Why You Need to Get Along With Me

There are some basic social rules that help all humans get along together better. 

There are also some specific things that are targeted to groups of people like people with Autism, INFPs, Muslims, or kindergarten teachers. 

The people I'm talking about in this article are a self-selected group of people who want the world to bend to them and see them as the special people that they are. If they have the means to compel this, they will do it forcefully ("I'm going to fire you,") or perhaps in a more subtle, manipulative fashion.

Examples of this are the singer or actor diva who wants a limo to pick her up at the airport that is set at 71 degrees and has only green M&Ms in a crystal candy dish in back seat; the movie producer who only hires beautiful women who sleep with him; or the boyfriend who subtly punishes or judges you when you don't think like he does.

What's Wrong With This?

Setting boundaries about what you will and won't accept is healthy.

Advising others about cultural etiquette is informative and helpful.

Expecting others to cater to your personality is a boundary violation. While you may be "special," so is everyone else. We don't see the world in the same way, don't want the same things, and don't have the same backgrounds. So, it's not reasonable to expect that we value the same things, want the same things, or think in the same ways.

Demanding that someone else move through the world to accommodate your needs is unreasonable. You can ask for that, but to demand it or look down on others who don't fit your expectations is a violation of their boundaries.

To compel it through manipulation is also a violation of their boundaries, and it's also hurtful.

What this behavior is ultimately doing is saying, "You are in charge of making me feel good." This is nonsense. We're all responsible for ourselves.

how to get along with me

What To Do Instead 

Since we're all in charge of creating our own comfort, safety, and happiness, it's far more effective to switch from "How to get along with me" to "How can I make myself happy?" When we do this, we have a much greater chance of getting our needs met.

So, if you want a limo to meet you at the airport set at 71 degrees and with green M&Ms in the back, arrange for that or hire an assistant who will do that for you. Don't make someone read your mind or put that onto them if it's not their job.

Bringing it down to the everyday person level, if you want someone to be aware of your differences, express them. Then ask for what you want. If they do not accommodate you, adjust yourself.

For example, I'm an INTJ female. Less than 1% of the population are INTJ females, so the chance of being misunderstood is high. 

When I am in territory where that is likely to happen, I will give the other person more information than typical so they have context by which to view my thoughts and actions. Sometimes it helps and sometimes it doesn't. 

I don't expect them to know what I need or to make the effort to understand me. I have been down this road before. I'm in a better place to navigate this than they are, so I take the lead. 

Ultimately what I am saying is, I don't expect other people to get me. I don't make it their responsibility to please me because, if I retain control, my desired outcome is more likely to happen. If I put someone else in control of that, the likelihood of disappointment is greater.

I'd also rather not be responsible for crossing boundaries, inadvertently hurting someone else's feelings, or manipulating them. 

So, where do you want to stand? 


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