So, you are in my office and your issue is that all your friends have abandoned you. You think you are a good human, caring, kind, a really great person, but suddenly no one wants to be around you. Your circle of friends has been steadily reduced to just you and your dog. What you may not know is that there are lots of good traits that when over done can become really unattractive. Some of them you learned in school…some on your own. We will work together to help you realize which ones are yours and the best way to stop living them…
I get it, your mom taught you to take care of yourself. That’s a good thing if not taken to extremes. What can happen if you aren’t careful is that you become one of those people, without realizing it, who focuses only on your own stuff. You probably don’t realize it but you quit caring about people around you a while back. The problem is that they noticed before you did. It shows up in how you don’t really care what your friends have to say. You make it clear in lots of little ways that you are the only one that matters, and that your needs come first. If this is you, take a breath, and notice what your life has become putting yourself first. Would you want to be friends with someone who always puts himself or herself first?
Mom said Beauty was only Skin Deep
I guess you forgot what your mom taught you? Outer beauty is subject to the whims of age, style and income, while inner beauty comes from the heart and soul. It doesn’t fade, tarnish, or go out of fashion. It’s there, and only there, that you will find the true beauty of a person. If you suffer from this kind of memory lapse—look in the mirror—what you may find is a really ugly person. Is that who you want to be? Change is possible, and when you make that kind of deep change, your whole world changes too.
Everyone’s a Rival
Is everyone really your rival? Do you always HAVE to be the best—better than everyone else—no matter what? Do you care less about your friends than about winning? If you do, then you are well on the road to being a really ugly person to spend time with. Face it, just like you; everyone wants to have his or her moment, their15 minutes of fame. If your friend achieves something, acknowledging it takes nothing away from you. If they learned to swim after years of being afraid of the water, how about you celebrate that accomplishment rather than reminding them of the mile swim you did at age 16? Try something like “That’s really great! I’m impressed as hell!…Good Job!”
Adversaries Surround You
Now I know I am already up in your grill here, but are you the type that is always turning your back on people who need you, or worse yet, stabbing them the back to get ahead? If that’s you, it’s no wonder you peers see you as a monster. If you want it to be different, you are going to have to ask for forgiveness, and then start caring for them. Your friends don’t have to be your adversaries. They can be your greatest strength.
You Wonder If They Care
Another trait of ugly people is that they can’t imagine their friends wanting to be without them. Do you always wonder why you aren’t as important to your friends as you think you should be? Why don’t your feelings matter to them? You wonder why do they hurt you so? Why doesn’t it matter to them? Guess what, they didn’t cut you out; they just went to the movie together. Heck, you don’t even like action movies and you’re upset. They are still your friends and they are going to have interests outside of yours. How rude!
You Gotta Be In Charge
Heavy sigh…you don’t like it when you never get to make a decision—go where you want, pick the restaurant, select the movie—why should they? If you always have to be in charge, no matter what, then you are showing another sign of being quite unattractive…or at least acting in an unattractive way. Everyone should have their chance for input and decision making. If its right for you, it’s right for them.
Lets be Honest…For Once
Would you want a lying sack of shit for a friend? When it comes to keeping friends, you need to be honest first, honest second, and honest third. Now I don’t mean the kind of honesty that crushes the souls of gentle people, but there really is no reason to lie about everything. Be honest, sometimes you really don’t need to know what that person asked about you. Many of the ugly behaviors I have mentioned so far are born of dishonesty: either dishonesty with self, or with others. Like your mom said, “honesty really is the best policy.”
Are you Impolite? Offensive? Embarrassing? Do those labels accurately describe your public persona? If so you had better stop now, because soon, if not already, no one is going to want to be around you. (Oh right, that’s why you’re in my office). People who are any or all of those things become very unpopular very quickly! There are indeed going to be times when you want to speak out, mom said there would be days like this, but just give keeping your mouth shut a try. There is no point in making a scene because all most people will see is your awful behavior. Think about it, no one sees it from your perspective, and maybe that’s good.
You Count on Everyone, But No One Can Count on You
In life you learned that good friends count on each other; indeed you count on lots of people. Newsflash, if they cant count on you when they need you, you are living another unattractive quality. Friendships are based on mutual accountability…being there for each other is just one example. If you are always the one in need, and have no help to give when others need help, you are on a road to loneliness and disaster. The road to hell may be “paved with good intentions”, but the road to friendship is paved with being there when a friend needs you. No one wants a one-way friendship.
Always the Pessimist?
Are you always the sad sack… always seeing the negative about everything? If you are the type that is always putting things and people down then you need to work on your mood. Really, who wants to be around “Nancy Negative” when they could instead be around positive people? I am not saying that things can’t and don’t to wrong, but how about not looking for every nit to pick? I would suggest you try being positive for a change.
There are lots more traits that make a person unattractive to friends and potential mates. I by no means offer you an exhaustive list here. What I am trying to do is bring some of the most egregious ones to light for you to consider.
Ask yourself, “Is this me?”
Frank Hopkins is a certified Professional Coach (CPC) in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Frank is certified by the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC). He is a certified Master Practitioner (ELI-MP) of the iPEC proprietary assessment tool, the Energy Leadership Index and offers seminars on Energy Leadership. He maintains memberships in the International Coaching Federation (ICF) and the Institute of Coaching (ICPA).