Tuesday, July 15, 2008


I got to thinking about why it seems that I am such an odd bird.. and have some difficulty finding commonality with others at times. It would be easy to put it in a little box and say "cultural values" but that's really not it. Culture is certainly a common set of beliefs and a way of life - but people are still individuals within that frame. All culture does is help to at least create a baseline - a foundation.

I began writing a list - the things that draw me to others, that make me want to know them better and things that seem to immediately push me away.

1) When I ask "how are you", tell me the truth. I'm really interested or I wouldn't ask.

2) Express your opinions and own them. My intellect is big enough to accept all kinds of viewpoints. If you are open to it, we can discuss. If not, I'll just listen.

3) Don't try to impress me with accomplishments. You won't succeed. I couldn't care less. The only thing I care about is the merit of your ideas and the nature of your character.

4) Don't "double-talk". In other words, don't try to manipulate me. As soon as I sense that, I want to get as far away as possible.

5) Keep your word. If you say you are going to do something, do it. If you say you are going to be somewhere, be there.

6) Be kind. Don't say nasty things about other people. Don't wish ill-will on others - even if it's George Bush. No schadenfreude. If you take pleasure in the pain or misfortune of others, I simply can't be around you.

7) Listen as well as talk.

8) Kreng jai. Have a considerate heart.

9) Let me do things for you without immediately placing a price tag on it and figure you have to do something of equal value for me. Different things mean different things to different people. Don't keep score.

10) If I do something wrong, tell me. I'll listen and be open. For gosh sake, don't just disappear. There is nothing more crazy-making than someone who doesn't have the courage to tell me. I will never be able to trust you again.

So those are the top things on my list. I didn't bother to put things like "please take a shower occasionally" because I figure that's obvious. :)

What's at the top of your list? What will push you away or draw you to others?


As an aside, just in case you'd like to read a great blog, Charles Eisenstein (the guy I've been raving about for the past several months) has started one. I recommend it highly!



heartinsanfrancisco said...

This is an excellent and quite complete list, especially the showering part.

I expect honesty and respect in a relationship, no manipulation or hidden agendas, and my friends need to be as interested in my life as I am in theirs and not to use me as an anonymous sounding board. I hate to be ignored.

If I could not excuse the occasional jibe at George Bush, I wouldn't have any friends at all, so I hope that won't be a problem between us.

I am far from perfect and do not expect perfection in others, but I absolutely need to see upward movement, the ongoing attempt to become better because that is a key motivator in my life.

RKK said...

For me, I want to be able to assume that when someone communicates something to me, I can take it at face value.

I very much enjoy the multiple meanings behind many of the words in the English language, and don't mind the double entendre when it is put forth with good intent (in fun, or in literature and poetry). But I hate sarcasm and any other form of veiled criticism of other people or things.

And I agree 100%...if I've done or said something another doesn't care for, let me know! Don't just disappear and leave me standing there bewildered.

Olivia said...

I like honesty and authenticity,
responsibility and integrity, a sense of humor, and above all, kindness.

I like your list, too.

And Chani, I've nominated you for a Brilliante Weblog...it's a gift, not an obligation, though...See my blog for more info! xxoo, O

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

2, 7, 8, 9 and 10 are all big for me. Honesty may be the biggest, though. I really have a problem with people who lie.

A sense of entitlement will also push me away.

Anonymous said...

Wonderful list, Chani. I so agree about honesty and respect and kindness. I have to admit that I mostly want people to express their opions but not if their opinoins are small-minded or mean-spirited! Then I really don't want to hear it. And the not disappearing thing? HUGE for me.

womaninawindow said...

Oh, I have such a hard time with this. I mostly just keep to myself although I am drawn to strangers and old people. They just seem so honest (sometimes). What I really try to stay away from are spirit suckers but it's difficult 'cause there are some in my family and I work with some. I hate to say it but I think I might do it to people from time to time. I have to carefully watch my intentions. I can be unpredictable, I'm learning. I'm working though.

MsLittlePea said...

Great list. Number 9 made me think. I don't want to say I "keep score" on deeds. But I am kind of big on reciprocity. I don't like doing, doing, doing and then when it's time I need a favor, I get a blank stare. This is often the case. I start writing a person off as a friend if I feel like I'm giving and loving much more than the other person.

Sorrow said...

This is a splendid list!
I don't think I ever really contemplated what sets my rhythm apart from others, I have always just walked this way.
having lived in the "saccharine South" for many years, #6 made me smile.
and #9 is one that I have always wondered about, know folks that remember things from years and years ago..Don't have the brain space for that stuff.
I think the thing that really always draws me to people is laughter, I love to laugh at myself and my foibles, and I love just laughing at the beauty and simplicity and serendipity of life..
Nothing reels me in more than a giggle.

Girl on the Run... said...

For me it's honesty and loyalty and kindness....

and absolutely the most important... is laughter!


The New Mom on the Blog said...

Truth truth truth!!! I was TAUGHT not to say the truth from young....how awful is my childhood, tell me about it!!!!

I need transparency in people, if you can't be honest than just SHUT THE HELL UP!!!

Carla said...

That "keep your word" is such a big one for me. If you say you'll do something, do it. If for some reason things change, LET ME KNOW!!! Don't just not do it and not say anything, or like you said, disappear. I think I have a similar list somewhere that I made after a bad, abusive relationship. Although I wasn't happy with the stress of the relationship, it sure did help clarify values that are important to me.

Melissa said...

Nice list.
Like many others honesty is a huge one. And kindness. A Golden Rule mentality. No agendas. And I don't like it when people constantly try to draw attention to themselves - it makes me want to run.

slouching mom said...

oh, number seven!


a conversation is between TWO (or more) people. it is not a monologue.

we_be_toys said...

Good list!
I guess if I was going to add anything to that list it would be to take a page from Hele at Truth Cycles, in focusing on living in the here and now and really paying attention to Nature and the people we love.

PeterAtLarge said...

To number 5, can I add: "at the time you said you'd be there"? Being late, in my mind, is a huge fuck-you. Otherwise, your list is great. For me, the fundamental rule is "tell me who you are." With honesty, integrity, and without pretense. But this adds nothing to your comprehensive list.

Anonymous said...

SHallowness is a total turnoff. I want to learn more about you as we get to know each other, so there needs to be something sparkling underneath.

JBelle said...

Chani, This is such a pretty, filling place! And I loved your list. I like honest, thoughtful people so your list sparked my interest immediately. I also like positive people who have chosen to be happy. Who have an ambition of a sort. Lovely blog. Lovely!

Sienna said...

I think, umm, just be yourself, and be kind to yourself..

I just love people, I'm just not sure what it is that would cause me to withdraw, apart from myself just to rest the electrical activity going on in the brain.

There is something about humankind that fascinates me, all of them, maybe it's a curiousity/discovery/learning thing. I'm just not real sure.


Mariposa said...

What a list...and a good one! I'm thinking now what would be in my list...I love your #8 the most! I agree with most...I say most (though I agree to all of it) bec I'm not sure how strong I would be on those things...I'm just too soft sometimes...sometimes it's good and sometimes, can be a fault.

Molly said...

Top of my list?
Kindness, humour, consideration, honesty.
Major turn-offs?
Braggerts, bigots,,inflated egos, judgemental..........
Love #9! There is generosity in allowing me to do doing something nice for you. Let me have that pleasure, without your rushing to immediately settle the score!
I visited Chas. Eisenstein's blog. Loved what he had to say on humility. It confirmed some things I've been thinking for a while. Thanks for the link!

niobe said...

I certainly don't like everyone. But almost everyone interests me and what draws me is trying to understand their stories, to get a sense of their lives.

Staci Boden said...

Hi Chani,
Thanks for stopping by earlier and leaving a comment. I'm already enjoying your perspective and love this list.

I'm more likely to have one on one deep friendships than fly around in a flock of folks.

Some of my relationship biggies are: integrity, committment (because when I say yes, I mean it), mutuality (which isn't about keeping score either), celebrating difference, learning from mistakes and a recognition that during conflic we each have something to claim.

I'll be back.