How Are Your People-Picking Skills?
Are you able to read people when you first meet them?
Do you get taken advantage of often? Why?
Do you find yourself attracted to charming extroverts even when you get a bad vibe from them? Why?
Do you have friends that continually make poor decisions and want you to fix it for them or they just choose to stay in their pity party? Why?
If your people-picker seems broken, can you actually fix it? How?
In my opinion there are three ways. You can spend a lot of time learning how to read body language, you can avoid people in general, or you can learn how to improve them by following my six steps below.
Assessing Your People-Picker
So how are your people-picking skills? Do a quick assessment of the people in your life.
Do you have certain people that you enjoy being around? What about the people you can't spend a lot of time with?
Now that you've made a quick assessment of the people in your life, let's take a look to see if you need to improve your people-picking skills.
6 Steps to Improve Your People-Picking Skills
1. Identify your core values. Core values are fundamental beliefs or ideals that help people tell the difference between right and wrong. Examples include trusting relationships, responsibility, humor, consistency, faith, balance, etc. For more information about core values, read my blog Identifying Your Core Values Lead to Healthy Boundaries and Well-Being.
Once you have your list of core values, pick your top 10 to 20 that are most important to you.
2. Assess where your current peeps fall into. In other words, do your current close relationships also possess your core values? If so then great. The higher the number of shared core values, the more positive the relationship.
If not, why are you attracted to them? Opposites can attract and be positive relationships. But when the opposite traits become annoying flaws then the relationship becomes a source of contention.
3. If you want to hold onto any "outlier" relationships then set healthy boundaries. What I mean by "outlier" are the people in your circle with few common core values but you want to be around them.
Setting healthy boundaries can keep this type of relationship positive by ensuring clear communication about your core values. If you see the relationship going south then it might be time to end the relationship based on the difference in core values.
4. Establish clear communication up front. Clear communication includes transparency based on facts, not emotions. Your communication should be based on your core values.
A good method to follow is the XYZ formula. I feel "X" when you do "Y" in situation "Z", and I would like "(request)". Example: I feel angry when you call me about your day but don't ask me about mine and I would like you to ask me about my day before you end the call. Be sure to be clear and specific with your facts.
5. Find positive Role Models or Mentors to emulate. If you want to improve one or more of your core values, find a local or online role model or mentor. How do they attract positive people?
6. Find your own joy by improving your people-picking skills. We all have choices of who we want to have relationships with whether platonic or romantic. It might take time to let go of your negative relationships but once you do then your life will be more satisfying.
Improving Your People-Picker Will Improve Your Life
When I was in my early twenties, I was a people pleaser because I had low self-esteem. My father ran the business side of a professional sports organization and some people who I thought were my friends ended up using our friendship to try to get free tickets, free merchandise, or signed autographs. Shoot, I didn't have access to most of these things.
My father had warned me about this but I didn't think it was true. I'm a nice and funny person to be around so why wouldn't they want to be friends with me. Some did and some tried to take advantage of my friendship.
I learned to be guarded. I'd rather have a few close friends who liked me for me than to have a lot of friends, some of who I couldn't trust their friendship.
Over my many years on earth, I've become a good people reader which improved my people-picker. When I meet someone, I watch their body language and really listen to what they say. One thing I've discovered is that people LOVE to talk about themselves. I love to ask the question "That's interesting. Could you tell me more?"
Through my conversations, I can tell if this is someone I'd like to get to know better or stay away from. I do not do drama anymore and avoid all drama kings and queens. I don't even like to gossip.
So, Are You Satisfied With Your People-Picker?
So, what about you? What did your assessment above tell you? Is there room for improvement?
Daily Mantra: Hunt the good stuff, find the humor, keep positive, and focus on your blessings. God can bring good out of every situation!