21. It’s not your job to make people like you.
There are going to be people that you meet that just don’t like you. And there’s nothing you can do about it! No amount of conversation, warmth, and interest you throw out there will make that person change their minds. This isn’t because you’re inherently unlikeable; it’s just that sometimes two people can’t click. It’s not your job to make people like you.
On the flip side of the coin, maybe you’re the one doing the disliking. Maybe it’s a friend’s girlfriend, or a coworker, or even someone in your family. You can’t put your finger on it, but something about that person makes your eyes roll into the back of your head.
Hey, it’s totally okay to dislike someone, but don’t be a jerk. Don’t cause drama. Just let it be. You might even come to appreciate each other after a bit of time! After all, how many stories do you hear of people hating each other before they became really good friends?
22. Pay attention.
This one is a little broad, but it can be applied to so many aspects of life.
Pay attention to what people like! I remember being so touched that my in-laws remembered an off-hand remark about how much I love the scent of lavender, which resulted in them bringing me back lavender olive oil soap from their trip to Greece. It shows people you’re important to them when you remember little stuff like that. (Pay attention to what people don’t like too – if your best friend hates asparagus, you probably shouldn’t bring asparagus to her dinner party.)
Pay attention to yourself. Are you at a good place emotionally? Is something gnawing at you from the back of your brain? Are you avoiding something you have to do? Are you ignoring your own warning signs? Pay attention to your physical, emotional, and spiritual states, and take care of yourself. Take steps to remedy what ails you. Don’t just coast.
Pay attention to the world around you. We live life in a fog, sometimes – nose glued to our phones, ears plugged with earphones, mind clouded by work stress. Pay attention to the seasons. To the first shoots of grass poking through old snow. To the wind’s direction. To the time of the sunset. To the phases of the moon. Pay attention to how strangers walk, to other people’s conversations on the train, to the busker on the street.
23. Romance your friendships.
Something new I’m trying to do is treat my friends just as well as I try to treat my fiancé. I’ve always struggled with being a little spacey, so it’s easy to forget to remind friends that I think they’re awesome and to make the effort to spend one-on-one time with them.
When it comes to romancing friendships, I have so many great examples to follow– for example, one girlfriend always manages to secretly pick up the tab when we go for a drink, another writes me beautiful cards and almost always comes armed with little gifts of flowers or wine.
Set up a date for just two of you – hop on your bikes and ride down to your favourite gelato place. Get concert tickets to a band you both loved in high school. Cook dinner and throw on Back to the Future. Take a walk, meet for coffee, work out together. Put as much effort into that friendship as you would a romantic relationship.
24. Eat breakfast.
No, I don’t mean grabbing a granola bar on your way out of the door. Make the effort to get up a little bit earlier, fry up some mushrooms and an egg, brew some coffee, and sit down to your favourite blogs or the morning paper. Waking up to a little bit of you-time sets the tone for the entire day. I know we’re all very hesitant to lose sleep in the morning, but trust me on this one – an extra half hour can make a huge difference.
Life is like a pie. You have a slice for work, a slice for your relationship, a slice for family, for friends, for hobbies, for all the different things your life consists of. The bigger you make one slice, the smaller all the others become. The more of yourself that you dedicate to just one thing, the more the other things suffer. Make sure your pie is balanced. If you lose a slice (go through a breakup, get fired), you will still have all the other slices to fill you up, but if you’ve made that slice your entire pie, you’ll be left with nothing. Balance is the key.