1-330-777-0094
[email protected]

19 Dec 2016

Post 600, Thank You to the Disagreeable and Dislikeable People

This entry is part 6 of 6 in the series Thank You

This is my 600th post. My blog is finishing its seventh year. In the past, I have thanked specific people for their inspiration, encouragement and motivation. I have left out a group though. They are a prime source of creativity and material. They are the disagreeable and dislikeable people.

We can learn much from disagreeable and dislikeable people.

Disagreeable and dislikeable people have helped me. For that I am thanking them in this, my 600th post.

Disagreeable and Dislikeable People Sharpen Us

People often ask, “What is the source of your inspiration, your creativity?” It’s the interaction with people. It’s the questions they ask, the points they make and the emotions they express. This is especially so of disagreeable and dislikeable people.

The disagreeable challenge our thinking. As a result, we sharpen our reasoning and thought processes. The dislikeable challenge our empathy. Here, we sharpen our understanding and awareness of the world and of others.

The hammer needs the anvil to resist it so it can shape the metal. Without that resistance, the metal would neither shape nor be strong. The same holds true for our ideas and emotions. We more commonly see this when people seek someone “to bounce ideas off of” or “to use as a sounding board.”

Lessons From A Great Movie

I first ran across this idea listening to the commentary on the DVD for the movie, The Bridge on the River Kwai. It’s often said to be one of the best movies of all time.

The commentator said much tension existed between the director and the star. However, the producer, Sam Spiegal, liked this. He thought it made for a better movie. It forced people to work through different approaches. Research backs this up too.

Fighting Self-Censorship

The rise of self-censorship today raises the value of this idea. It’s so easy for us to make our own bubble, to spin our own cocoon. When we’re free to choose, we choose more of the same. We choose more of the same music, ideas and . . . people.

One time, a Twitter follower complained that I was following some very undesirables. I told her that I do have my limits. Yet, I don’t think it’s healthy to close myself completely to such people.

It’s like firefighting. Just because I’m reading about fires doesn’t mean I’m an arsonist. To fight fires, I must learn all about them. If it is something I truly find disagreeable and dislikeable, the only way to fight it well is to learn all I can about it.

Being Ourselves Can Be Disagreeable and Dislikeable

In the end though, we are all disagreeable and dislikeable in someone’s eyes. If not, then we are not trying hard enough to be ourselves. That’s really dislikeable.

So, with that, I want to once again thank all the disagreeable and dislikeable people out there. I learn so much from you. Best of all, you are a great source of creativity and material.

 

As reference, here are all my past centurial posts. Most of the other people who continue to influence my life are in these posts:

Series Navigation<< Thank You for Your Encouragement and Motivation at 500

2 Responses

  1. Thank you too, Mike Lehr, your posts are most interesting. This one especially resonated for me since Buddha’s “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear” is one of my fundamental motivators. I’ve also always found negatively modelling to be a great learning experience for me. Again, thank you.

    1. Mike Lehr

      You’re welcome, Joseph. Thank you for the compliment. I’m pleased you feel the same way. It’s so easy to fall into the trap of surrounding ourselves with and limiting our interactions to those who are similar to us. Enjoy your holidays!

Leave a Reply


*