There will be days when loving thy neighbour is the toughest thing to do. But still, it’s very much possible to see the diamond in the rough.

There are generally 2 kinds of people.

Some are full of drive. Some are full of sh*t.

Some are selfless. Some are selfish.

Some pack a punch. Some deserve to be punched.

Some make the way. Some get in the way.

Some make you glad when they arrive and sad when they leave. Some make you glad when they leave and sad/mad when they arrive.

Some drive you up to the next level. Some drive you up the wall.

Whatever the case, here are some quick tips on how to flex and develop your emotional intelligence muscles so that you can extend love to the 2nd group of people – to those who seem unlovable.

1. Listen to their story

International speaker, best-selling author and CEO of Speakers Institute, Sam Cawthorn, once said in a live event that his late father gave him a piece of advice that he’ll never forget.

He said that you can love anyone in the world, if you take the time and make the effort to listen to their story.

Stephen Covey points out this principle “Seek first to understand then to be understood” as one of the 7 habits of highly effective people, in his book.

2. Understand that they are fighting their own wars

Like the point above, once you hear his or her story, you will understand that everyone is fighting their own battles, whether visible or not.

That fellow who cut into your lane in traffic? Maybe it’s because he’s rushing to his daughter’s piano recital after a grueling meeting with his boss.

That barista who was rude when preparing and serving you coffee? Maybe it’s because he’s terribly sleep deprived after working 2 consecutive jobs the day before.

3. Acknowledge their presence

When someone steps into the room or into the conversation, say a simple hi to her, to acknowledge her presence.

Don’t ignore people and pretend they don’t exist.

4. Remember their names

Make the extra effort to remember someone’s name. I know I struggle with this sometimes but I know it goes a long way.

The one word which will capture one’s attention ALL the time is his/her name.

5. Bring up something relevant to them

“Oh! I noticed that you were reading the Game of Thrones novel on the bus just now. Are you a fan of the TV series?”

“You know last time you mentioned that you were into public speaking? I came across this conference which you might be interested!”

“How’s your day today? That’s a really nice tie you have there!”

The more specific it is, the better.

6. Do something without expecting anything in return

If your colleague likes donuts, go get him a donut when you’re out on your lunch break. No strings attached.

If your friend is going through a tough time, spend quality time with him and listen. No judgement. No self-serving agenda. No strings attached.

If the family behind your queue is struggling to pay the bill (for groceries or the restaurant tab), step up and pay it for them. Like a boss. No strings attached.

7. Smile and laugh with them

Someone said “A straight line is the shortest distance between two points.”

Victor Borge said “Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.”

If someone screws up, step in to help and laugh the mistake off. Don’t take life and things too seriously. It’s not the end of the world.

8. Be real with them and rid the BS

“You’re struggling to get this project done? Oh, me too. I would rather swallow cat vomit than crunch these tax numbers.”

“I know this sucks, but I know you can do this and get through it.”

“Yes, I finished a full marathon before and it’s tough. It’s bloody tough. Even my balls were aching.”

Stop putting up a pretense. Get real.

9. Understand that we are all human

Nobody is perfect and making mistakes and screwing up is part of life and part of the journey to success.

Everyone will eventually have a bad day, but a bad day doesn’t mean a bad life.

We are all in this together – this amazing adventure and journey called life.

10. Smile and move on

When all else fails and that person is still detestable, then smile and move on.

I know, there are times I feel like punching that guy squarely in the face. Times when I wished that his parents should have used protection so he wouldn’t be born. Times when….

Move on, Dom!

We have bigger and better things to do.

Stay in your lane, keep your eyes focused on the prize, and continue to move forward.

All the best in your EQ development and in this journey with fellow humans!

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