Personalities at work and in life- Advice from a Practical Stranger
Always be yourself
Does being nice, equal losing at life to the not so nice?
I’ve heard people say, time and time again that; ‘Being nice will get you nowhere fast’, and ‘Nice guys finish last’. How sad it is, when being nice to others will cause a person to be hurt or taken advantage of, far more often than selfishness will. When we meet someone who does something for us, just for the sake of helping us out, many times we second guess their motives. Doubting people and what their true intentions are, is a learned behavior that we start taking life lessons in, at a very young age. When we are young and in grade school, we trust our friends, and with giving our friends this trust we also give them the ability to hurt us-and too often they do.
Should we change to protect ourselves?
As an adult, we date-we work-we befriend and we still give our trust to others that turn around and manipulate us and hurt us. Should a person who is naturally kind and almost naïve to the cruelty of others, somehow set forth to manipulate their personality and beliefs to better serve and protect themselves? I was asked this question this past week, by a girl that reminds me a lot of me, or at least who I was about 7-8 years ago. The story pertaining to this question must be told to understand the hurt and emotion behind it, so I will begin by saying this girl is a new employee for the company which I work for. Because I am a freelancer, I am not in the office on a consistent base, which means that she is the only female who is there the majority of the time. She is educated, pretty and 22 years old. At 22 years old, she is feeling exactly what many 22 year old's are feeling, a little bit lost and attempting to figure out who she is and what she wants out of life. About 5 months ago she left her controlling, manipulative boyfriend, after realizing that she did not want to live the rest of her life with someone who made her feel less than whom she wants to be. I believe that this relationship which she was in for about 2 years is the pit of her doubt today.
You won't be liked by everyone, but as long as you like yourself-you will be okay
You will be tested throughout your life
Just as everyone at the office is doing to her, she is trying to figure out everyone and everything to distinguish who she can trust. I suppose I am, because she has begun asking me questions and telling me things that she probably would never share, if she didn’t trust me. So when she told me that some people gave off that, not so friendly vibe even when they were being nice to her, I knew exactly what she meant. Then she asked me,
“So what is it, should I just be out for myself and screw everyone else, just as they seem to want to do to me?”
I replied to her from a Big Sister sort of perspective by saying,
“No, I don’t think that you should try to change who you are to be out for yourself. I can see that being that way is not who you are, and that is a good thing. It is important to be who you are, even when others are testing your will and your strength. You will be tested throughout your life-and there will always be people around that if they can control, manipulate or harm you-they will. All you can do is watch out for these people and stay true to who you are and who you are striving to be. Although there are many people out there that want to take advantage of the naïve or kind people that are trusting of others, there are also people out there that don’t want to hurt you and are honestly there to help you along the way. The people that are there to help and guide you will see the kindness is your heart, or if you decide to be out for yourself -they will also notice the manipulation beneath your skin-and will probably stay clear of you, and in that case you lose that persons kindness. As you get older and as you learn from mistakes and learn to read peoples intentions you will be better prepared to assess situations and people so you know who to trust and/or stay clear of.”
I continued to tell her that, “Being nice and being cautious need to go hand in hand. When in a work situation, keep your personal life at home and don’t share too much information. Sharing information about your personal life in a work environment can harm you without you realizing it. Be honest though, if you are having problems at home and need to take a few days off to get things strait-or if you are distracted and are being questioned by an employer-don’t lie, but keep the details to yourself. Respond to questions by saying, ‘I am having some problems at home and I have been somewhat distracted,’ then ask if you can maybe take a day or two off to recollect yourself, apologize and say that you will try harder to stay on task, but do not give too many details in an attempt to make your boss understand, and do not make any promises that you are not sure you can keep. Both promises that are unobtainable and details of your home life may harm your employment, your credibility, dependability and may even harm any type of advancement that you hope to have with the company.”
I assured her that she will be just fine, as long as she is true to who she is, and that she should never try to change her personality because of a few rotten people that don’t have her best intentions in mind.
The world has all sorts of personalities
It can all change tomorrow
Life is a never ending lesson, sometimes you may feel as though you are failing, other times you will feel as if you are on the top of the world- but rest assure- it can all change tomorrow. All we can do as people is keep on going, and continuing to be honest with ourselves. Honesty within our hearts will assure others that we are genuine people and because of that, your life will be a successful venture.
Although I know I sounded like her sister or her mother, I told her what I told her because I see the beautiful soul that she has-as well as the self doubt that she carry’s. I see me, at 22 years old, and I know how much I needed a little encouragement from someone who did have my best interest at heart.
Tonight I will go to bed knowing that today I was true to whom I am and I feel better about tomorrow because of the effect that my words had on the mindset of a hopeful 22 year old girl, that I know will become a successful, and beautiful woman before she knows it.
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