Keeping The Found: How To Know You Like Someone Part 2

Posted: March 20, 2012 in Relationships

Yesterday we started on part 1 of the 2-part series, How To Know You Like Someone, which is along our theme for this week, Keeping The Found – which basically means making sure that that which you have identified does not escape from your hands. Now today we conclude on that topic by looking at the last 3 steps you can take to clearly ascertain you like somebody.

Just a recap on the points we discussed yesterday;

1.Question your initial motives for choosing to know this person.

2. Consider how you usually feel in this person’s company.

3. Give yourself some space.

Now let us get down to today’s business;

4. Ask yourself if your expectations for the relationship are too high. Sometimes you might question whether you want someone in your life because you constantly butt heads with them. But it might not be that you actually dislike this person. It could simply be that you like them well enough, but that there are habits or personality traits of theirs you find it hard to relate to or handle over any extended period of time, indicating that you’re just not all that close or that when you’re together, it needs to be only in “small doses”. For example, it could be because they’re an introvert while you’re an extrovert. Or, maybe their interests don’t coincide that much with yours but they insist on telling you all about theirs while not returning you the same courtesy of listening about yours. If you’re thinking by this point “yes, that’s exactly it!”, this is likely to be a sign that you’d benefit by spending more time with other people – as well as still some (perhaps less) time with this person – rather than a sign you dislike this person and only spend time with them to avoid being alone.

5. Expose yourself to as many other people as you feel you can. Spending time with other people might give you a better idea of the kinds of people you’d prefer to know. Seeing other people in different contexts might help to give you an idea of whether or not the person you’ve been spending a lot of time with fits into this category, or whether you might have outgrown them.

  • If you’re feeling nervous about spending time with other people (especially if your time has greatly revolved around this one person), trying out this step doesn’t have to mean spending time with family or close friends (though these things do help) only. Just saying a cheerful “hi” or seeking to make small talk with a few acquaintances (whether it be a shop assistant, colleague, or someone you regularly pass in the street) can be a start.
  • If you’ve allowed this person to take over a lot of your life and shut you off from other people, you might like to consider volunteering with people who are feeling lonely, such as senior citizens, or down and out youth. This will help to put your own feelings of loneliness into perspective and will bring into contact with many other people, thinking of their needs rather of your own neediness.
  • If you feel bad about spreading your wings, see this as an altruistic act. Your spending time with a wider range of people can help break the loneliness cycle not just for you, but for the other person; a recent study undertaken by the University of Chicago, the University of California-San Diego and Harvard found that loneliness is contagious and can be passed on to others, meaning that you could transmit your loneliness to this person without even meaning to do so. In increasing your exposure to other people, you may be breaking the cycle of loneliness for both of you.

6. Monitor your ongoing thoughts and emotions. Another approach you can use to test the relationship’s value to you is by making plans to do something with this person and following through with the plans. All the while you are carrying out this plan, monitor your automatic thoughts and emotional reactions. If, prior to and during this time, you find your head is full of negative thoughts such as “This is going to be awful,” or “I wish I had something nicer/more interesting/better to do,” or you experience strong negative emotions such as dread, disgust, boredom, etc., then these are likely warning signs that you don’t truly like being with or appreciate this person as someone who connects with you.

I hope the steps have been beneficial to you.

Stay tuned for other topics this week.

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