Where There Are People There Is Friction

I'm guessing you are a person who has to deal with other people in your life. I know there are a few people that choose to live a reclusive lifestyle, but chances are they aren't reading this. For the rest of us we have other people we deal with.

Parents, children, spouses, co-workers, friends, family, classmates, teammates, and even the people you pass on the road or in a store. I did some quick research on interactions per day, and like any topic there were too many studies to count. Generally speaking it looks like the average number of interactions per person per day is between 10 and 25. I did a quick recap of my day and I counted 35 people I interacted with. Above average, but probably nothing compared to people that work in retail or customer service positions. However you count it we interact with a lot of different people.

All of those interactions and all of those people lead to many opportunities for what I will call friction. Many interactions can be positive, but sometimes they aren't. Friction can take many forms, people that annoy you, anger you, talk about you behind your back, let you down, lie to you, or undermine you. Friction from one interaction can impact future interactions. If you've ever had a bad day at work and come home to yell at your spouse or kids for no reason you know what I mean.

We aren't going to eliminate friction, every person is different which is going to make for some interesting times. All you can do is try to reduce friction wherever possible, the best ways to do that:

  1. Be Yourself - You will cause friction when you try to be someone you are not. Understand God made each of us in our own unique and quirky ways. 
  2. Show Kindness - Even if others are unkind to you, show kindness to everyone you meet. Sometimes kindness is knowing when to not say anything and walking away.
  3. Show Gratitude - Be thankful for others and the little things that they do for you. When we look for things to be grateful for you will often find them, and it can balance out some of the things that may be more irritating for you.
  4. Serve Others - Doing things for others, things that aren't expected but help make someones day a little better and a little brighter can change an entire day for someone.
  5. Be Honest - If something is bothering us, tell someone about it. Make sure to speak the truth in love, but some don't even realize something is a problem unless they are told.
Above all else, you have to understand that you can never control another person. The only thing that we can control is how we react.


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